Our vacation crash pad at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation touched the shoreline of the immaculate Poipu Beach settled in the south of the island. Our quaint mini condo was fully equipped with a large refrigerator, stove, microwave and large coffee pot to brew the renowned Kona coffee the island is notorious for. The grounds were layered with mighty mango and banana trees that provided us with fresh fruit daily—this was the epitome of an oasis and my definition of utter paradise.
We had two action packed experiences planned for our trip: kayaking to a waterfall and ziplining. Ziplining was by far the most anticipated adventure we had planned in our itinerary. I’ve never been super fond of heights, so the idea of zipling across a tropical rainforest, surpassing large waterfalls and steep valleys shook me up just a tad. But once I was secured in my harness and cannon balled off the small launch platform, I felt like I was on top of the world. It was such an incredible feeling and recommend it to anyone who likes a little extra adrenaline rush every so often.
I would say that 50% of our time on the island was sightseeing but the other half was devouring the delicious Hawaiian food at the local culinary “hotspots.” The first dinner we reserved was at Tidepools, located on the outskirts of the beautiful Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. We literally ate our dinner inside these rustic thatched huts amongst tranquil koi lagoons, which definitely added to the overall dining experience. We ordered blue crab cakes with fresh avocado mousse and basil aioli as an appetizer and our main entrée was macadamia crusted mahi mahi with jasmine rice, sumida farm watercress and tropical rum buerre blanc. To top it off, we slowly but surely demolished a rich chocolate molten cake filled with decadent raspberry coulis aside vanilla bean ice cream—the perfect duo.
All of our meals were absolutely fabulous. Another great food stop we made was at the legendary Puka Dogs known for their infamous polish hot dogs paired with an array of fruit relishes and sauces made with an assortment of Hawaiian fruits— by far the best hot dog I have ever consumed.
My personal favorite treat on the island was of course shaved ice. There was a small stand by our condo and I ended up ordering the “aloha” style shaved ice which consisted of two tropical flavors-guava and mango set on top of two vanilla ice cream scoops. Perfect sweet for a hot and humid summer day.
Our last day on the island, we toured the Kauai Coffee Estate which gives daily tours of their expansive coffee bean plantation. We did a self-guided tour that basically described their special coffee making process. Then we rewarded ourselves with Kona carmel and chocolate ice blended drinks.
Most of our time was spent on the north side of the island, because we heard from the locals that the best, most tranquil beaches were in that region. At Tunnels beach, we experienced our first snorkeling adventure, encountering an array of exotic fish-- all colors of the rainbow. As we explored the upper tip of the island, we came across Anini beach—an exotic hidden gem that I’ve only seen in upscale travel magazines. All I wanted to do was relax on my beach towel and soak up the breathtaking scenery.
Kauai was the quintessential landscape to create beautiful memories with my mom and little sister. It was refreshing to seize some time away from my laptop and phone and explore the natural beauty of the island.
Let me know if you’ve been to Hawaii and what island you love the most!