Destination – Kauai, Hawaii
Why did you choose this destination?
I actually chose this destination for three reasons. First, my work was having a conference on Kauai at one of the hotels and I thought it would be interesting and fun to go to. Second, my husband had never been to any of the Hawaiian islands before, so I really wanted to take him here as I had previously been. My husband is from the Boston, Massachusetts area and they normally vacation to the Caribbean whereas I am from San Diego, California and our normal vacation spot was Hawaii. I was so excited to show him the magic that this island has to offer. Lastly, our one year wedding anniversary was the week before we left, so we decided that this trip would also be a celebration of one year of marriage!
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How long were you there?
I was in Kauai for a total of 8 days. It’s a quick and easy flight from San Diego, California to the beautiful island of Kauai. Just right on over the Pacific Ocean.
What’s the estimated cost of the trip?
Hawaii in general is going to be one of the pricier destinations you may choose. Due to kauai having to import almost everything, the cost of vacationing here is not cheap. Granted, there are always ways around this- Ie: backpacking the island, renting a camper van, staying with friends, etc. but that is not the route I chose to go. So hear me out, the price of this trip really could range from one end of the spectrum to the other based on the activities you choose to do and the places you choose to stay.
My husband and I decided that we were going to kind of “live it up” on this vacation. We usually choose the more cost effective routes on all our trips, but for some reason we wanted to splurge a little in Kauai. We chose to stay at a higher end hotel for the first three nights and then a middle ground hotel (which was still extremely nice and definitely still more than what we really needed) for four nights. We stayed with my cousin on our last night in Kauai.
My husband and I are definitely the adventurous type! I can’t sit still. So, sitting by the pool everyday was not an option for us. We chose to do a few tours which cost us some money and then we also chose a few free activities like hiking to offset some costs. Read below about some must do attractions!
Lastly, my husband and I choose to eat mostly organic foods and we love going out for coffee together. Unfortunately, eating out racks up quite the bill, but we really enjoyed checking out lots of breakfast spots, cute little coffee shops and some delicious dinner spots.
All in all, we spent about $4,000 not including our flights. We had been saving up for this trip and putting money away each month, so that we could enjoy our time here and not necessarily worry about the cost.
Must do attractions?
Alright, I am going to give you my top three “must do attractions.” I will include some that cost money as well as some that are completely free!
1.Napali Coast Boat Tour-I can’t even begin to explain how amazing and spectacular this tour is. I personally used the company called Capt Andy’s. There are lots of companies out there, but this is one of the only companies that is actually allowed to pull up to one of the beaches along the Napali Coastline. We got to eat lunch on the beach midday, take a little walking tour and learn the history of the Napali Coast and then head back out to see the rest of the jaw-dropping Napali coastline
2. Hike in Waimea Canyon- This is a completely free day adventure. There are so many trails throughout the park ranging from easy to extremely difficult and short to long. There are lots of lookout spots along the way too! They call this place the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.
3. Kayak through Wailua River- This is another fun and inexpensive day adventure. You can kayak along the Wailua River, do some cliff jumping and even get out and hike one mile to a waterfall-what more could you ask for?
Things to know before you go
Obviously make sure to bring sunscreen, bathing suit, and a hat. Other than that, also prepare yourself for some “most likely” rain. Bring a rain jacket just incase-this saved us a few times considering this is known as one of the wettest islands. Lastly, I would suggest renting a car that can get a little more “beat up” or something with fourwheel drive. We chose to rent a convertible, which was still a ton of fun, but it limited us from going to a few beaches that had bumpy roads to get to them.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Gosh, there are so many favorite parts to our trip! It is so hard to pick just one! One of my favorite highlights is hiking down the Awa’awapuhi trail in Waimea canyon and turning a corner only to see one of the most majestic and also frightening sights I have ever seen. I was standing on a narrow both with steep drop offs on both sides, looking down at the Napali Coastline in awe of how beautiful our world is. One of my other favorite highlights is all the morning breakfasts’ I had with my husband. Breakfast is my favorite meal and it is always fun to find a great spot to eat and enjoy some coffee while talking with my husband before we start the day.
What was your least favorite part of the trip?
My least favorite part of the trip was the rain. Kauai is known as one of the wettest islands, so I knew going into the trip that we would probably encounter rain, but I was hoping it would have been a little less than what we experienced. We also visited in March, which increased our chances for rain, so I would suggest going in the summer if you want hot weather and fewer chances of rain. I also was unable to go into the Queens bath’s which I was really hoping to do, but the swell was to big while we were there.
Make sure you try
-If you like healthy juices then you must try Kauai Juice Co. we stopped here almost every day to help get our serving of veggies in through some juice haha
-Eat at AMA in Hanalei and get a Ramen bowl, Bao bun, and their housemade donuts for dessert. This place had great food and a great view!
-You have to get a snowcone from Jojo’s shave ice. They have so many flavors to choose from and they put ice cream on the bottom of your snow cone 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelsey Evans is a full-time Emergency Room nurse in San Francisco, California. She commutes to work from San Diego, CA as this is where her husband and family live too. She always loves seeking out new adventures and is always down to travel to new places. She has traveled to over 15 countries and hopes to add more to her list!