Hawaii is on so many bucket lists for so many reasons. It is hard to resist waterfalls, lush, tropical beaches, surf and volcanoes with the comfort and convenience of English-speaking locals, modern comforts and countless daily flights to and from the islands. Kauai lured us in and we are now smitten with her tragically dramatic coastline, differing micro-climates, endless outdoor adventures and nice people.
We explored Kauai for six days and are (literally) already planning our trip back for more adventure! Here is how we spent our precious vacation days in Hawaii:
Day 1 We arrived late the night before and spent the night in Lihue near the airport because of our early morning helicopter ride on day one. We flew with Mauna Loa Helicopters and loved the experience. We chose to fly with the doors off during our private tour and got a bird’s-eye view of the entire island for over an hour. While the ride was only an hour, it was definitely the highlight of the day. We left Lihue after the helicopter ride and drove to Poipu for an afternoon of walking the local shops. Dinner was a picnic at Kauai’s most western beach and location – Polihale State Park; wine and sunsets are never a bad thing!
Day 2 After working off some of the wine and cheese from Day 1 with a 4th of July beach workout with CrossFit Poipu, we drove towards the western coast once more. This time, we turned inland and drove up Kokee Road, around the Waimea Canyon and other mountain roads and then down Route 550. The roads and vista points were beautiful. It was fun to compare our views of Waimea Canyon at “eye level” to our vantage points from high above in the helicopter ride from Day 1. We watched the surfers and sunset at Shipwreck Beach on Day 2 with a repeat of a dinner of cheese, cold cuts and wine. What can I say? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
Day 3 We left Poipu on Day 3 and paddled the Wailua River with stand up paddle boards with Kayak Kauai. As well as the paddle up the river, we hiked down a rugged trail into the forest and took a dip in a cool, refreshing, and somewhat dried up waterfall. The shores of Kauai are beautiful, but inland: just wow! It is something you do not want to miss while on the island. After our adventure with Kayak Kauai we drove north to Wainiha Bay for the rest of our time on the island.
Day 4 Even though we stayed active while on the island, it is always fun for us to check out local CrossFIt boxes while traveling. So, Day 4 started with a drop in at CrossFit Kilaeau for an early morning workout. After our early morning work out, we hiked 4 miles (roundtrip) on Kalalua Trail. It was tough, but a worthwhile hike for sure. We cleaned up and ate store-bought dinner following sunset at Ke’e Beach with – you guessed it – a bottle of wine.
Day 5 The theme of this day with swimming and snorkeling. We beach-hopped from Ke’e Beach to Tunnels Beach to Queen’s Bath and loved all of them for different reasons. Beaches in Kauai are not really calm, but we loved that we were able to swim some. Believe it or not, this was the only day I swam; unless you count the swim during our beach WOD with CrossFit Poipu.
Day 6 We spent the last day in Kauai completely relaxing. We ate a late breakfast, drove south towards the airport and spent the afternoon before our late flight eating, drinking, shopping and taking walks along the beaches in Poipu. It was a relaxing way to end a great vacation on Kauai.