Known as the Garden Isle of Hawaii, it is also one of the wettest locations on the planet! But don't let that deter you from exploring this beautiful island! (it's usually just a quick afternoon shower on the daily when it comes to rain)
Have you ever seen Jurassic Park? Remember the lush jungle like terrain that the dinosaurs inhabited? THAT IS KAUAI!
It's been a hot minute since I had the pleasure of visiting this gem of an island but let me tell you- it is one of my all-time favorite Hawaiian destinations.
My parents were married in Kauai in 1973, in the Fern Grotto, which you can still visit today. Unfortunately, due to hurricanes, you can't go into the grotto (a grotto is a small, picturesque cave) but you can still take the fabulous Wailua River Cruise to the area and enjoy a small hike to the outskirts of the cave.
If you're the adventurous type- taking a hike on one of the many trails is sure to fill your soul! Personally, I have hiked the Kalalua Trail on the North End of the Island, but I have also hiked a trail that isn't even listed in the trails section of the Hawaii guidebook- it's in the adventure section! That one was a doozy, and I wish I could remember its name, but it was an all-day adventure that I was definitely unprepared for.
The Smith's Family Garden Luau is the best and longest standing on the island. The family started their luau business over 50 years ago and it is still family run and operated today. Personally, I love to combine it with the Wailua River Cruise! Hop on the 1 1/2 hour cruise to the grotto, come back to the dock & explore the amazing gardens then enjoy the luau & an amazing buffet with locally sourced foods!
Since the center of Kauai is so thick with jungle terrain- this makes all your major stopping points along the shoreline, creating incredible views for an afternoon drive! Even better than you can take a single road nearly all the way around the island!
Hanalei is a super quaint yet fun town with great houses for rent right on the beach. The bay is perfect for relaxing on the shore or renting a stand-up paddle board and exploring the coast. Postcards is an all-time favorite restaurant for my family and Kalypso's serves up killer fish tacos!
Princeville has exquisite shopping and dining- plus great hotels like the Westin and The Cliffs at Princeville.
Waimea Canyon is on the west side of the island and resembles a slightly tropic Grand Canyon in my opinion! It has great hiking and several dinner cruises that I would highly recommend.
Overall, if you are looking for a laid-back island vacation- this is definitely the island for you!