Every other year, our family goes on a trip together. Last trip we went to Turks and Caicos, this year due to the Zika Virus, we decided on Kauai. We had an amazing time and will definitely go back. Here are some sights we saw, places we dined at and memories we made!
Our family rented a house on Tunnels Beach, just outside of Hanalei. We had a great spot (a couple doors down from Pierce Brosnan) on a remote beach with great sand, surf, views and some snorkeling. The house was spacious with a great patio and grass area. We enjoyed many sunsets on our beach and some fun dinners at our house!
Jack Harter Helicopter Tours
The only way to experience the whole island is by Jack Harter Helicopter Tours. And doors off helicopter that is! In an hour time, you can see the Waimea Canyon, Olokele Canyon, Na Pali Coast, The North Shore, Wailua Falls and the South Shore just to name a few. The experience was incredible and not having the doors on made for a thrilling ride. The pilots talk to you while you fly and narrate certain sites of the island along with locations of movie sets. As the passenger, you can ask questions and talk to one another using the headsets you are given. If you only took one tour during your trip to Kauai – please take a tour with Jack Harter!
The house we stayed in was located just outside of Hanalei. We loved visiting the cute little surf town for lunch and shopping. Hanalei Bay is also gorgeous. We spent an afternoon picnicking on the grass near the river eating Pat’s Taqueria while drinking Maui Bikini Blonde beer. It’s a great town to stop in for the day and take a swim or walk around. (or spend the whole week there!)
Kalalau Trail Hike
Don’t let the google search fool you – this is not a four mile hike nor is it easy. Kalalau Trail is a great hike with amazing views, but if you want to make it down to the beach, you might want to consider your athleticism. Luckily we all were fit for the hike…we crossed rivers, fought some rain, witnessed some mud slides, encountered large insects, saw beautiful foliage, climbed rocks and ran out of drinking water. It was a fun adventure and would also encourage people to bring more than 16 ounces of water.
St. Regis Princeville
We stopped by the St. Regis on our way home from the South Shore for Mai Tais and the sunset. It was a beautiful property that sits right on the edge of Hanalei Bay. Be sure to stop here if you are in the area. Mai Tais are great and the views are even better.
Located in Hanalei, The Dolphin is a laid-back seafood riverside restaurant has the freshest local fish. Come here for lunch or dinner – this spot has some of the best sushi I’ve ever tasted.
Who would have thought a white food truck at the end of the Hanalei Pier would be famous? Yes, Pat’s Taqueria is the place to grab a quick taco while in the area. We grabbed some fish and carne tacos and some beans and rice to eat while we had a picnic on the beach. Our nephew gobbled up a quesadilla to himself too, with a couple bites from his aunties!
Aloha Juice Bar
Aloha Juice Bar was a frequently visited when we were in town. The acai bowls, smoothies and chocolate macadamia nut shake are amazing! It’s a cute stand in the retail parking lot – but don’t worry you won’t miss it. It’s red and filled with colorful fruit. To note – they only take cash, so be sure to go prepared.
Chef Thomas Ryan
We decided to surprise our parents and bring in a chef one night to cook a meal for us. Chef Thomas “Tommy” Ryan was who we found and what a special treat. Chef Tommy cooked us an incredible meal. We started with fresh local ahi poke on crispy wonton chips, Kauai chicken tostadas with house made avocado puree and tomato salsa. First course was Kauai greens with local papaya, avocado, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onion, macadamia nuts tossed with a honey lime vinaigrette. Second course was fresh local monchong fish with potato puree, wok seared vegetables, topped with pineapple relish and drizzled with sweet Thai chili butter. Finally for dessert we had local ice cream and a chocolate molten chocolate cake that was divine. Our family would highly recommend Chef Tommy. He and his assistant were professional, friendly and treated us incredibly special. T.W.O. highly recommends Chef Tommy!