Hi hi hi!!!! It’s been quite a while since I blogged on this thing. I tend to focus on one thing and get really into something instead of working on multiple things. ANYWAYS – I’m back with this blog! & I’ll be sharing my experiences about my life here. This is more of an online journal for me sooooo if you read this then yay! if you don’t then it’s okay!
A month ago, Steven and I traveled to Hawaii for our 2 year anniversary. We stayed in the island of Kauai for a whole week and it was just magical. We paid for this trip with points! Thanks 10xTravel! If you want to know about travel hacking -please ask me, I’m obsessed.
We stayed at the beautiful Marriott Kauai Beach Club. Not only was this trip an anniversary trip but it was also a trip with Steven’s parents! Kind of like a goodbye trip before we move to Boston (in 5 days!! ahhh!). The resort is seriously so beautiful and steven and I went swimming almost every day at the pool! As much as we loved the resort, we didn’t spend too much time besides sleeping / swimming. We had a lot of activities planned for the week. But before writing a long post detailing everything we did – I’m going to bullet point everything.
We ate at both touristy and local places. Keep reading to find out everything that I ate on this trip!
- Hukilau Lanai – If you want some fancy eating – this is the place to go! It’s located in the Kauai Coast Resort with a beautiful view of the ocean. Get their poke nachos and honey lemonade!
- Mark’s Place – I’m surprised we didn’t eat a lot of traditional Hawaiian food, but on our last day, we ate at Mark’s Place! It’s hidden by some warehouses and most of the people who eat here are workers around the area – definitely stop by and get the combo plate (beef stew, katsu chicken, teriyaki beef, rice, mac salad, and a spam musubi on the side) !!
- Hamura Saimin – Saimin is a noodle soup dish with a fish-based broth. Think of ramen but a little more fishy taste. Saimin soup is my favorite. We got the classic noodle soup and dumpling soup. This place is close to the Lihue airport and I promise you won’t find any tourists here. The portions were HUGE and perfect if you’re starving. Personally, get the dumpling soup!!
- Kauai Juice Co. – Located in Kapaa or at the Poipu Shopping Village – Yes, cold-pressed juice is expensive but it was humid and hot and definitely worth buying. We tried the “Omega This” (soursop, orange, dragonfruit, pineapple, chia seeds) – & I’m salivating just thinking about this drink. SO GOOD.
- Ono Family Restaurant (located in Kapaa) – We ate at this restaurant right after church because I read on someone else’s blog that their coconut banana pancakes are to die for. That’s exactly what I got & I think I died & came back to life. Now I just wish I had their homemade coconut syrup with me all the time!
- Ono Shave Ice – If you are still hungry from Ono Family Restaurant, walk next door and get some shave ice! We got guava, passionfruit, and coconut with ube ice cream and snow cap (condensed milk on top). I give this place 5 stars for having ube ice cream!
- Jo Jo’s Hawaiian Ice – You’ll see this shave ice place on your way to Waimea Canyon lookout! I wasn’t a huge fan, unfortunately… They packed it tight so the ice was super hard and there wasn’t too much flavor. It was still a fun spot if you’re craving shave ice!
- Duane’s Ono-Char Burger – One of our first stops in Kauai! You definitely will miss this spot if you aren’t really looking. If you’re driving North to Princeville, it’s on the right side of the road – in a little red shack that you order from and sit at the tables outside. We ordered the Local Boy (teriyaki, cheese and pineapple) burger. It took a while to get our food even though it wasn’t too busy but other than that – their burgers were DELISH!
- Duke’s Kauai – Duke’s was always on the list because it’s located right in our resort! Steven came here all the time when he was young. This was our last dinner with Steven’s parents so we went all out – coconut shrimp, surf & turf with steak and a 1/4 lobster tail, and their famous Hula Pie! Duke’s is a definite must for that Hula Pie (chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted mac nuts and whipped cream).
- Keoki’s Paradise – Keoki’s is Duke’s sister company – so they have similar items on their menu. Keoki’s is located in the Poipu Shopping Village and we got lunch here on the way to Waimea Canyon. We shared a huge plate of Kalua Pork nachos, Wayne Farms chicken & farro salad, and the Holua sliders (Korean fried chicken and Kalua BBQ pork sliders). The sliders were AMAZING, I would get all 3 sliders to be Korean fried chicken. The chicken and farro salad was not the best (there was no dressing and tasted too plain!) but the nachos were out of this world. We also had the original Hula Pie – YUM.
- Loco Coco Shave Ice – Our tour guide at Kauai Outfitters told us that this was his favorite shave ice place & he was not lying! Loco Coco tops your shave ice with fresh fruit, natural fruit syrup and homemade coconut cream sauce. This was our FAVORITE shave ice in all of Kauai! We had mango and coconut with fresh mango & coconut cream on top!
- Da Crack!! Oh my gosh – best. burrito. ever. This place is located right next to Loco Coco Shave Ice. I’m not going to write much about it because we literally inhaled this burrito. It was so good – I didn’t even have time to get a photo – this was taken from YELP!
- The Fresh Shave – I’ve been reading about this shave ice truck on all of the Kauai blogs that I read prior to this trip. It’s similar to Loco Coco where they use organic, natural ingredients for their syrups. Super hip place where you can’t just order any flavor you want – they have their own flavor combinations that you have to choose from – named after a different mustache. I got the Fu Manchu (Strawberry + banana + cream) and Steven got the Handlebar (Pineapple + Coconut). Loco Coco still beats them because I wish Fresh shave had softer ice and added more flavor! But they did have mustache stickers!
Okay! Enough about food! Here are the things that we did –
- Kilauea Lighthouse View – Breathtaking views on your way to Princeville! I definitely want to frame this picture one day.
- Queen’s Bath – This place was probably the easiest hike I’ve ever done. But I’ve read a lot about Queen’s Bath and how it’s super dangerous to go if it’s high tide. I read that in the summer months, the tide is low so it’s safe to go. But if the tide is high, then the waves can be too strong and you might get washed away. I was super nervous but when we got there, it was perfect weather with low tide. Queen’s Bath has multiple tide pools that people can jump and swim in. It was a lot of fun and thankful for my waterproof phone case to get these cool photos.
- Wailua Falls – an 83 foot waterfall (thanks Wikipedia!) that is really easy to get to – you don’t even have to hike! Google map “Wailua Falls” and it’ll take you right to a parking lot where you can see the falls. There is a way to hike down to the falls, but it’s blocked off because it can get really muddy and dangerous. It’s also super steep. We got there when it had rained a ton the day before, so we didn’t want to risk it – but next time we come back we are going to hike down!
- Catamaran boat ride along the Na Pali Coast & snorkeling – This was our FAVORITE activity that we did all week! We saw this random ad in a magazine in our hotel for Blue Dolphin Charters and all it said was “romantic sunset cruise along Na Pali Coast” and Steven booked it for our anniversary! We went with the catamaran cruise with snorkeling and Hawaiian sunset dinner. WOW – this was so much fun!! I was kind of nervous because I get a little seasick and it was supposed to rain all day… We got so lucky that 1) we didn’t get seasick at all and 2) sunny skies all day! Honestly, you can’t really trust the weather app because before our trip it said it was going to rain everyday but it only rained once when we were there! Anyways this Catamaran boat ride had the best crew and group of people. Everyone was so friendly! We got to snorkel with the fish and took some amazing photos of the Na Pali coast. We were so close to these beautiful mountains! We went under waterfalls with the boat and had a delicious Hawaiian buffet while watching the sunset. I will always remember this because it was AMAZING.
- Kayak, Zipline and Hike with Kauai Outfitters – Steven did this exact tour 10 years ago and loved it so he wanted to take me! So basically you start kayaking about 2 miles in a river and then hike to different watering holes with rope swings and then do 2 ziplines. It was a lot of fun but I got a ton of bug bites!! Our tour guide showed us a ton of spots that were filmed in different movies like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean! In the video below, you can see more of what we did!
- Helicopter Tour of Kauai – We did this on our last full day on the island. We went with Sunshine Helicopters and if you’ve never been on a helicopter – this is the time to do it! We paid for the first class seats AKA seats in the front of the plane with the pilot. We paid more for these seats because they have the best view! The views are just spectacular – there’s just some things you can’t see on the island if you are not in a helicopter. We saw the Na Pali coast, a ton of water falls, and went inside an old volcano – soooo cool! We did get to a little air sick towards the end, so if you get sick on planes – maybe don’t do this.
Kauai was so fun! A trip I’ll always remember. I’m so glad we could go with Steven’s parents! Check out my short video that I made from this trip. Comment below if you have any questions!