Friday, August 9, 2013

Backtracking: Honeymoon Adventures in Kaua'i

Kaua'i was our second island to visit on our honeymoon and is one of more romantic islands. I have two friends that opted to skip island hopping and instead to honeymoon in Kaua'i. This makes sense for people who have less time, or anyone not wanting to include the airport in their trip. We had a great week on Kaua'i and were really glad we included it in our visit.

We stayed in Lihu'e (same town as the airport) at the Marriott Kaua'i Ocean Beach Club. Again, our week there was part of our wedding gift from my mom, so we can't comment on value, but we can say we LOVED this resort. Their were fewer children than in Maui, and it had an overall more romantic vibe. The resort was right on the beach, but the beach wasn't as large as the Marriott Ocean Beach Club's on Maui. The staff was incredibly friendly, and we even got complimentary honeymoon champagne! We really liked the location of Lihu'e because being on the east shore it was in the middle of north and south shore (west shore is inaccessible by car).

The Pool 

Our first day was spent at the McBryde Gardens doing a self-guided tour. We loved seeing all the beautiful exotic flowers and plants.

The best shaved ice in Kaua'i is definitely at Uncles.

We loved the north shore, and spent lots of time there. One thing we did was visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, which was a great place to spot many different kinds of birds (and you can see whales here in the November to March season).

The Tahiti Nui is a great bar in Honalei (north shore), and they make the most amazing Mai Tai's EVER.

We had a romantic and fancy dinner at the Beach House on the south shore. It required advanced reservations, but we had a table right next to the sunset view. The meal was expensive, but tasty (as Brendan points out, part of what you pay for is the view). The service was unbeatable (which is not true of many places on the island). The beach house beach is also home to GREAT SNORKELING! We rented from Snorkel Bobs (again, about $40/per week per person to rent the gear). It's a bit rocky, but once you get out there, the snorkeling is amazing.

Another awesome thing we did was a Zipline excursion. We went with Just Live Zipline tours because it was recommended to us, and we absolutely loved it. Our tour was small (5 people total), and the staff was very friendly and made us feel really safe (important when you are zipping off of 200 foot island pines). We did the 3.5 hour Treetop Canopy tour. It was really fun! I would definitely go ziplining again! Added bonus: we could walk to the Just Live headquarters from our hotel.

My friend Lauren honeymooned in Kaua'i and she recommended the Dolphin restaurant in Hanalei. We were so glad that we took her advice, because we had an amazing sushi dinner there! It was more expensive than other sushi we had on the island, but good sushi and good service! The atmosphere was also really fun. The sushi at Kintaro and Sushi Katsu is also very good and less pricey, but the service at those two places is incredibly slow. The rolls are also less inventive. The atmosphere at Kintaro is nice...Sushi Katsu is... different, but it will give you a story to tell and the fish is very fresh! Other eats we liked were Mermaid's Cafe (Cheap, walk up counter) in Kappa, which is a cute and fun town.

The Dolphin Sushi
Another snorkel spot we liked was also in Hanalei. Makua (Tunnels) beach was an amazing spot where you literally swim with turtles. It also wasn't very crowded. We wished we had had more time there. I don't have a picture of it unfortunately!

Wailua Falls (above) was worth checking out.

We did a whole day at Waimea Canyon State Park/Koke'e State Park and did the Canyon Trail hike at the latter, which had stunning views. Make sure to bring plenty of water!

Another thing we did in Kaua'i was the Napali Coast Kayak trip, but that was such an experience that I'm going to do a separate blog entry on that alone!

Kaua'i is a great pick for honeymooners...the island is romantic and beautiful and there is SO MUCH to do and see. Interested in island hopping? See also Travel Tips for Maui.

Island hopping isn't too expensive...we used Hawaiian air and each flight was about 60 per person. The flights take no time at all (up and down in 30 minutes or less), but make sure to line up early, there are no boarding groups and once the bag space is gone, you might have to check! If you are going to island hop, I recommend using carry on luggage. We both made it 18 nights with one carry on and 1 backpack each, so you can do it too. I've been to the Northeast for a month in that amount of luggage space as well. People usually way overpack. Do laundry (both of our resorts had easy access laundry rooms) and you save yourself a lot of dead weight and baggage fees.

Happy honeymooning!
<3 S & B

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