Aloha ʻoe, aloha ʻoe. E ke onaona noho i ka lipo. Those sweet words were the lyrics I would be singing during our entire stay in Kauai. I brought out the deep man-voice vibes to make it more authentic. Michael didn’t care for it. The only reason I even knew those lyrics was because of Lilo and Stitch, and partially due to my amazing report done Freshman year of the Queen Lili’uokalani.
We did everything on this trip. This was our longest vacation to date, and we took advantage of every single day, but one. Note, ‘don’t ever take dramamine ever again.’
We explored so many of the beaches which is impossible not to do considering you’re literally on an island. The whole thing is practically a beach. My favorite must have been Hideaways Beach (pictured above) which was on the North Shore. There is a small parking lot close to the entrance and if you’re lucky enough to get a spot, take it! The fun trek down the steep path led to a beautiful and secluded beach. The lack of parking spots helps contribute to the quiet beach below. We stayed at The Cliffs at Princeville for a majority of our trip. I’d highly recommend staying there! The people were friendly, the property was quiet (minus the roosters) and the view was gorgeous!
Everyone will tell you that you have to see Queen’s Bath and I would agree wholeheartedly! No one told us to go early though, but we did anyway and were so glad we did. Not a soul was there; just Michael and I. This made his videography brain ecstatic.
The most magical place we visited was the Ha’ena State Park which is basically the jungle from Lost. It was seriously like entering into a whole other world and we didn’t want to leave. We actually came here twice. The first time we didn’t get to experience that golden hour glow. I’ve learned not to argue when Michael wants his shot, because he always ends up shutting me up with the magic he creates in just one photo.
We came to the conclusion that as much as we loved our stay here, we wouldn’t want to live on Kauai. The island is extravagant but a lot of the activities are so tourist-focused, which we definitely took advantage of!
First up, helicopter tour! People highly recommended Jack Harter Helicopters; they had the doors-off tour at a reasonable price, and though this was our most expensive tour, it actually wasn’t our favorite. The great thing about touring the island by air is that you get to see everything you wouldn’t get to see by foot. Most of Kauai is privately owned so if you don’t personally know the owners, you’re going to see a very small, yet still very remarkable, portion of the island. We saw more waterfalls than I could count on this tour; everything was truly breathtaking.
I need to note here that every single staff member that was part of the tours we went on were absolutely outstanding! The pilot in our helicopter had so much knowledge of the island and it was great to see how much pride he had in where he lived. Our tour guide for our Kipu Ranch Adventure was a ton of fun whether the group he was guiding was or not. He admitted that a hard part of his job is to maintain high energy when some of the people don’t respond to anything he says. Michael and I took it upon ourselves to get our group a little more hyped. He was super grateful too. How could you not be excited?! You’re off-roading and getting coated in a thick red dust while being surrounded in the very place Jurassic Park was filmed!!
The last stop of that tour was at a waterfall which was a brilliant idea considering we were heading to dinner straight after and needed somewhere to rinse off. The surrounding area was covered in walls of bamboo; photo to commemorate? Check.
At this point we had seen Kauai by land and air…now, by sea! This. This was our favorite tour by far. Michael and I decided it would be so romantic to do a sunset/dinner boat tour around the island. We went with Captain Andy’s and we couldn’t have been happier. They have the most amazing and fun crew; they had to have been certified in getting their sea legs because oh my word.
Remember how I mentioned we were excited to be all cute and sweet with Bon Iver playing in our heads as we drifted off into the sunset? Now, imagine the opposite of that; the waves thrashing and our catamaran dipping so far into the ocean blue I’m surprised we didn’t lose a few people. My dress was drenched from top to bottom. While holding on for dear life, we were laughing hysterically at the girls on the trampoline getting absolutely pummeled with water and catching major air as we hit each new wave. It was a little much at first, but once we realized that there was no escaping it unless we went to the back of the boat (which wasn’t an option, I married a photographer, hello!), we soaked (ha) it up and had the best time!
Our last day was one I will never forget and I’m certain my muscles will never forgive me for. It deserves a post all on its own. So for now I will leave you with this photo of me looking longingly onto our time in Kauai…until that final day.