Back in Kauai for a six-day stay and the first thing we do once we get off the airplane is go to Duke’s on Kalapaki Beach. The food here never disappoints and the view of the beach is breathtaking. We had the macadamia crusted ahi, calamari, and fish and chips. This place also has the best lava flow on the island. What makes this spot great is after eating you can walk down the path to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. We spent the day body surfing and just lounging around the area. Kauai is so relaxing that Lucy and I fell asleep on the beach after body surfing for most of the afternoon.
Kauai | Itinerary
What to See and Do
- Kalapaki Beach – Body Surfing and R&R
- Blue Ocean Adventure Tours – Napali Beach
- Grand Hyatt Kauai – Shipwreck Beach
- Botanical Gardens
- Spouting Horn Park
- Waimea Canyon State Park
- Poipu beach
What to Eat
- Mark’s Place
- Loco Coco Shaved Ice
- Keoki’s Paradise
- Sea View Terrace
- The Saddle Room
- Puka Dog
- Papalani Gelato
- Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company
- Koloa Fish Market
Having worked on our appetite we dropped by Mark’s place before heading to our resort. Mark’s place is a cool, laid back spot for good Hawaiian eats. The portions are large and the food was delicious. The only exclusion was the macaroni salad, which had potatoes and peas (which I hate).
We were staying at the Grand Hyatt which is an outstanding resort which I’ll talk about on Day 3 – Our Resort Day.
DAY TWO/NAPALI COASTLINE BOAT TOUR
Lucy booked us a great tour of the Napali coastline through Blue Ocean Adventure Tours. This is an amazing adventure but it does require you to have some physical fitness (which I don’t have). You board a ship that is favored by the Navy for its speed and maneuverability. The boat does not have any seats and you ride on the outer rim holding on to a rope as the boat travels at around 30 mph through bumpy seas. To say that this adventure takes a toll on you is an understatement. Although in the moment we felt fine, we were actually pretty tired for the following two days. With that being said, this was our favorite activity of the trip. The ride was exhilarating, the crew (Mads and Kaha) were amazing and so much fun, and the sites/activities were unbelievable. You get to see the beautiful Napali coastline, snorkel on a remote beach, have a delicious Hawaiian lunch, visit ocean caves, go on a small hike and ride the waves at an unbelievable speed.
This is a whole day activity and the whole day is packed with activities and fun. On your way to Blue Ocean Adventure Tours, drop by Porky’s for the best hot dogs the island has to offer or The Saddle Room for a great burger. On the way back from the adventure, we dropped by Loco Coco Shaved Ice for some delicious Hawaiian ice.
DAY THREE/GRAND HYATT RESORT DAY
Having been beat-up on the previous day we decided to take it easy and enjoy the Grand Hyatt Resort. We woke up early and had sunrise hike to a nearby cliff. We then soaked in the hot tub for a while and played on the water slide. The Grand Hyatt is an unbelievable resort all around. From the moment you walk in you get a breathtaking framed view of the ocean and the grounds just put you in that vacation mentality.
This resort is also right on Shipwreck Beach so it makes for a great sunset walk and fills the area with that wonderful sound of crashing waves. We didn’t visit all the restaurants at the resort and unfortunately we couldn’t attend the Luau due to conflicts with other activities. We did though spend a meal or two at Sea View Terrace, which had decent drinks and meals. What makes this restaurant great is the live entertainment on a nightly basis and the great view of the grounds/ocean during the day and the stars at night. (More on that on Day 5).
For dinner, we headed to a local eatery called Keoki’s Paradise, which has a scenic view and amazing fish tacos. In addition they have a great Hula Pie, descent calamari and an amazing happy hour.
DAY FOUR/BOTANICAL GARDENS
Still suffering the effects of our Blue Ocean Adventure Tour we took it easy by visiting the Spouting Horn landmark and neighboring private botanical garden. You don’t spend too much time at the Spouting Horn, it is a quick stop to see it blow some water in the air and visit some of the great souvenir shops nearby. The main event of the day was the neighboring botanical garden.
The botanical garden has two tours and both together take about 5 hours to complete.
The self-guided tour drops you off at the center of the 1-mile circular trail. The grounds are well maintained and offer a pretty peaceful walk through different themed areas. Just remember to bring water and some sunblock, as the heat can get intense.
Old Town Koloa
There was a gap between the two tours so we rushed over to Old Town Koloa for lunch. This is a charming town and a great place to get some quick bites. In a continuing attempt to enjoy poke dropped in to the Koloa Fish Market. I had some cooked ahi and opa which was delicious and the poke was as fresh as could be and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys poke. Lucy wanted something familiar so we went by Pizzetta for a couple of delicious slices. This charming town is great for souvenir shopping and delicious eats as it also has several food trucks.
The second tour is guided and although had better water features and more accents, I would have rather walked the grounds myself. The highlight of this park is all the amazing water features and the filming sites from the original Jurassic Park Movies.
After walking all day, we worked up a good appetite and headed back to the Grand Hyatt’s keystone restaurant, Tidepools. The restaurant is completely surrounded by a koi pond and has a view of the ocean. The restaurant atmosphere is very pleasant and the service is great. The food was excellent except for the steak. I would definitely recommend the seafood but I don’t think the steak is worth it (tough and lacking flavor).
DAY FIVE/WAIMEA CANYON STATE PARK
A place that we wanted to revisit was Waimea Canyon State Park. This park is just filled with breathtaking views of the Waimea Canyon and the Napali coastline. The view is so dense, so plan to spend a day at this park. You can hike around but we just drove from one scenic view to another and were not disappointed. One of the craziest things about Hawaii and this area is that the weather changes so quickly. When we arrived it was cloudily but within an hour or two the skies were completely clear.
We dropped into Puka Dogs for some delicious tropical hot dogs which had great sauces to try with your hot dog, We followed that delicious dogs with some gelato at Papalani Gelato. If you are fortunate to visit Kauai when there is no moon in the sky you will be treated to a beautiful display in the sky. We headed back to the Sea View Terrace to enjoy a beautiful star display, which complimented the performing artist and crashing waves excellently for a relaxing night in Kauai.
DAY SIX/STICKY BUNS AND BODY SURFING
We woke up early and headed down to Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company for breakfast. The highlight of the breakfast was the sticky buns which are croissant like pastries with this a thick molasses like topping. After we fueled up with some delicious pastries, we headed to Poipu Beach for the best body surfing waves on this trip. In addition, the beach had several turtles in the water. Body surfing with giant turtles right next to you was a great way to cap a wonderful trip to Kauai.
Happy Travels !