When I was ten years old, my family took a week-long trip to Maui. This trip stands out as one of my all-time favorites for a multitude of reasons. As a small-town Midwesterner, everything was so exotic and new to me on this gorgeous, vibrant island. The things that stick in my memory most are staying in a vacation rental on the ocean and hunting for geckos on the path to the beach, jumping off the top of a waterfall and hitting the water square on my ass (making sitting painful for days), doing the hula at a luau in a small, grass skirt, and taking a sailing cruise, spotting dolphins leaping through the clear blue waves. Of course I want to go back, this time to Kauai. I’m confident that the experience will be just as magical as the first time. The trip is not yet booked, but if it was, here’s how it would all shake out:
What I would see and do:
- First of all, rent a car to explore the island as much as possible
- HIKE! Kauai is rich with state parks like Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon
- Sail out into the open sea
- Attempt to surf at one of the many gorgeous beaches
- Seek out all of the waterfalls, like Hanakapiai Falls and Wailua Falls
What and where I would eat:
- Loco Moco – a local delicacy consisting of rice, a meat patty, egg and gravy
- Tide Pools at the Grand Hyatt – a romantic, fine dining establishment
- Gaylords which is located in an old mansion, and offers an amazing selection of seafood
Where I would stay:
- Koa Kea Hotel and Resort because it looks exactly like all my Hawaiian fantasies.
- Kauai Beach Resort for it’s budget-friendliness and the gorgeous beach next to it
- Hanalei Colony Resort for it’s seclusion and ocean view rooms
When I would go:
- Late Spring/Early Summer when airfare is cheaper and the weather is prime.
How I would get there:
- Alaskan Air is actually the best option financially from Chicago, with the catch that there is a stopover in Seattle.
Helpful Kauai Blogs:
- Alex in Wanderland – “Hiking Kauai’s Kalalau Trail”
- Forget Someday – “7 Days in Paradise: Kauai”
- Hula Land – “15 Things to Do in Kauai (that are completely perfect)“
- Well Plated – “What to Eat, See, and Do in Paradise“
Have you ever been to Kauai, or any of the Hawaiian Islands? What did you think?