Excited for the second leg of our honeymoon and exhausted at the same time, Brandon and I stepped off the plane in Kauai. I had been so busy with wedding planning that I honestly didn’t even look up what to do here. I knew I had booked excursions for various days of the trip, but I wasn’t sure where they were. Luckily, Brandon was a little less occupied with the wedding than I was and he looked into the best things to do for our honeymoon in Kauai.
One thing I will say about Kauai is that we learned the power goes out quite frequently. When we arrived, the entire island was in an outage. There was no way to purchase anything and everyone was on hold. In other words, if you are traveling here, make sure you have cash on you at all times. Neither Brandon or myself drink very much, so we tend to explore and stay active often.
beautiful sights to see
There was so much to see and do on this island even though it is the smallest Hawaiian island. We booked most of our excursions online through Viator which is a pretty cool and easy website to use. We saw multiple state parks, we hiked and even took a helicopter ride. If you do any excursions at all in Kauai, the best one to do is to take a helicopter. Kauai contains some of the wettest places on the entire earth, so by mid morning clouds tend to cover the top of the island. Make sure that if you book a helicopter tour it is one of the first ones to leave. You might be really tired, but the views are worth it. We used Island Helicopter tours and they were really great and accommodating.
The helicopter tours are breathtaking. You will definitely want to bring a good camera and brace yourself for one of the most thrilling views of your life. The tours are one of the only ways to see the Napali coast, other options include; sunset cruises, hiking, and fishing boats. There are no roads that go all the way around the island so you will need to hike from Hanalei.
great food to eat
One of our favorite places to eat was Little Fish in Poipu. We stayed at an amazingly beautiful resort; Kiahuna Plantation which happens to be across the street. At Little Fish, you can order ahead of time online and then pick it up if you have the app. The acai bowls and the coffee shakes were healthy, delicious and filling. We were in absolute heaven and enjoyed many a morning breakfast here.
Kona Coffee is another really awesome place we enjoyed on our trip to Kauai. Since we don’t drink a lot of alcohol we thoroughly enjoyed the coffee tasting on the deck. They have a store with really cool souvenirs and coffee to take home and you can order food, drinks, or ice-cream. The coffee brewery also offers tours of the plantation and the history of Kona Coffee. The last tour usually leaves around 4pm during the week so make sure you get there early.
what the heck happened here?
Like I said, my husband and I do not drink very often and so it does not take much to get us drunk. The first day we arrived in Kauai we decided to check out the resort restaurant which was rated very highly. The food and drinks were amazing. However, things started to go downhill when I decided “one drink won’t hurt right?”. Well, one drink turned into 3 strong drinks off the cocktail menu because our server completely forgot to put our food and appetizers in. We waited for over 2 hours for our food watching people come and go all around us. Instead of the manager comping a dessert or a drink or anything on our receipt he stood 5 feet from our table and stared at us. He never said a word, just stared. Needless to say we never went back. I worked many jobs in restaurants for over 8 years and never had I ever been treated that way. Regardless of how good the food was. We would recommend take out over that experience. The food was great, but completely overpriced and the service was terrible. No thank you.
exploring the hidden falls
On one of our last days in paradise, we had an excursion to Wailua River and secret falls. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but Duke’s Kayak was a great guide. The hiking portion was beautiful and the falls were amazing to see. If you go with a tour guide, you will most likely be there with many other groups and it can get crowded. Check it out later in the day if you are knowledgeable of the area and there are a lot less people around. Be careful though, because you can get lost easily while kayaking.
Our tour guide had a small dog who kayaked and hiked with us the entire day. He kept us entertained and made sure the group stayed together. There are really awesome views and cool historical information shared about Hurricane Iniki and the damage on the island. Like everywhere else on the island, there are roosters and chickens everywhere. Brandon and I enjoyed our lunch by the waterfall and then jumped in the water. One thing we should have been aware of was the amount of large unforeseen boulders under the water. Brandon and I both banged ourselves up pretty good. Luckily, no blood just large bruises, but they still hurt. We were so glad we invested in waterproof Keens for this hike.
One of the most beautiful views on the entire island are of Waimea Canyon. Brandon and I took the long drive up to the top of the national park one early morning and were one of the first people there. Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea canyon is a popular attraction in Kauai. There is access to hiking trails along the way, but for the sake of time we chose to drive to a look out point and just take in the view. We bought fresh fruit and banana bread from the fruit stand nearby and tried to take in the view. Our photos do not do it any justice. The canyon is gorgeous and definitely comparable to the grand canyon. On a future trip we would definitely hike this awesome attraction, no matter how difficult it may be.
Polihale State Park
Brandon decided on our second to last day of our honeymoon in Kauai that he wanted to take me to the Polihale State Park. I had no idea what it was and when we arrived I was even more skeptical. We drove down atleast a 5 mile dirt road to get into the state park and on the beach. The road was note graded and it was extremely rocky. We did this in a ford mustang convertible so it was a little risky for us, but it was totally worth it. The sand is extremely hot (like all other beach in the dead of summer) and the beach is large so you’ll have to run to the water. Although we didn’t do it, you can also camp here by the beach or under the trees further off shore.
There is a beautiful view of the start of the Napali Coast Park. We chose to sit on the beach for a few hours watching the Navy Battleship off the coast. A lot of people were sunbathing on the beach in their bathing suits. The park was not crowded at all and the beach was huge, this place is high on the recommendation list if you have a Jeep. Or if you don’t have a Jeep and you just wing it like us.
pizza in lihue
To our surprise we found a New York pizza counter in Lihue called Pietro’s. We were so overjoyed it was insane. Not only was the pizza actually affordable, but it was just like home for us. We can never find great pizza out in the midwest and deep dish is too greasy and messy. It’s always a pleasure to find good tasting regular crust pizza we can fold in half and enjoy. We stopped at the pizza place just before we head over to the airport in Lihue for our connecting flight to Arizona. We sat outside and in the shade enjoying our slices with a slight breeze. Pietro’s is definitely on our list of need to visit places if you want authentic New York pizza.
We didn’t quite get the memo that the first American Airlines flight out of Lihue was ours. When we arrived at the airport we returned our rental car and walked over to the ticket counter. It was completely empty and the lights were off. It was 4pm. We thought we would get there early, go through ticketing and security, eat and then catch our flight. Unfortunately, we were not able to go through security until 7:15pm. We sat out front of the airport counters for three hours before we could check our bags. Since we had to check out of our condo so early in the morning we had nowhere to go. The rental car was sent back to the rental place so we couldn’t leave and we were stranded. It was a rookie mistake. ALWAYS check your airline’s schedule before you head over to the airport. You might want to have dinner in the city.
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Leave a comment below of your honeymoon or vacation experiences on Kauai!