DESTINATION: Kauai, Hawaii
13 + hrs later and we finally landed in Kauai, HI. One Word: Breathtaking. Kauai is the most remote and untouched island out of all of the Hawaiian islands and boasts some incredibly astonishing features. We went during the Thanksgiving season and were able to take advantage of the little to no crowds at the both the resorts, spa, gold course and various tours we went on.
We stayed at the beautiful Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue. The self proclaimed luxury hotel did not dissapoint. The rooms were modern + updated and they had numerous top tier amenities including a spa, botanical walkways, suites with ocean views, a huge pool with several hot tubs, beachside swimming with seating, live luau dining, an 18-hole golf course, AND beach club dining with mai tai’s that I still crave.
I take the utmost pride in the fact that I thouroughly planned this vacation and all the excursions/ tours that we went on. It was the ultimate adventure packed vacation + these are the sights that you want to make sure are on your list of “To – Do’s” ….. I hope you enjoy !
This Kauai feature is located within driving distance from the Kauai Marriott Resort. Waimea Canyon is 10 miles long , 3600 feet deep and was referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain. This is an excellent spot for hiking enthusiasts like myself (prior to baby) – However, the main lookout is only a few feet away from the parking lot and provides you with the perfect insta worthy shot spot ! I would rate this spot as very family friendly when compared to many of the other sights within Kauai that require a little more leg work (and arm work) to see.
The Wailua Falls was by far the easiest Kauai feature to view and It requires little to no physical activity unlike several of the other waterfall features on the island and accesible from the roadside. Located just north of Lihue and the Kauai Marriott Resort I was able to drive there in less than 20 minutes. I arrived just before lunchtime and was able to snag a great parking spot right alonside the road to hop out and view these waterfalls. (Pro Tip: Arrive early to avoid a walk as cars start to line up down the road rather quickly). Wailua Falls is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running show “Fantasy Island”
If I was ranking these excursions in order I would rank a tour of the iconic Napali Coast as #1. You can take in the views of the Napali Coast in two ways; by boat or by air. I would recommend doing both BUT if you can only choose one than I would tour the coastline by boat. Boat tours leave rather early in the morning and the tour boats are docked about 90 minutes away from the Lihue Airport and the Kauai Marriott Resort. (Pro Tip: Have transportation set up the day before as Uber’s and Taxi’s are not as easily obtained as they are in NYC). Our tour in total lasted around 4-5 hours and consisted of a beautiful ride there, ride back, food and drinks, scuba diving and insightful fun facts as we were touring the coastline. The Catamaran tours are not recommended for those that get “sea sick” or get “motion sickness.” The tours can get very choppy and bumpy depending on the wind and weather out at sea. Two people on my cruise both had buckets underneath them and were throwing up on the way back (my husband included) HOWEVER, I had an amazing time and loved every second of it haha.
Spouting Horn Beach Park
An absolute MUST SEE ! Spouting Horn Beach Park is located on the South Shore of the island and features a lookout area where you can view a “blowhole spout a plume of sea water into the air.” Since we visited the island during an off peak season we were able to “bend” the rules a bit and get very very close to the blowholes. The park had amazing views all around and we were evn able to find some cool hiking trails as pictures below near the parking area.
Secret Falls Kayak Tour
The Secret Falls Kayak Tour tour was unbelievable. We were the only ones on the tour with our scheduled tour guide even though we purchased the group rate tickets. (Perks of visiting in the off peak season) Our tour started off with doubles Kayaking down the river. It was calm, quiet and the views were serene. Our tour guide had a great sense of Hawaiian humor and had some great stories to keep us entertained as we made our way down the river. We docked and started to make our way “through the jungle” to the hidden waterfalls. I am so glad we had our tour guide with us because the waterfalls were actually hidden – there was no gimmick here. Get ready for an adventure ! At one point in the hike I was knee deep in mud. Once we finally made it to the watering hole and the waterfalls we were allotted a great deal of time to explore within the area on our own, eat lunch, take pictures and swim ! I would 100% recommend booking with this company.
I hope you enjoy visiting the island of Kauai, Hawaii as much as we did !