Kauai is wild, in the best, most stunning sense of the word. It is lush, varied, dense, tropical and awe inspiring.
We spent the most magical, memorable dinner watching sunset from the Makana Terrace at the St. Regis Princeville. It felt so indulgent to simultaneously enjoy champagne and the breathtaking view, and although I kept thinking the sunset must have peaked but it continued to get better and better.
Since Hanalei Bay is known for great surfing, I took a lesson with Hanalei Surf Company (they also do stand up paddle boarding and kayaking tours and rentals) and am proud to say that I got up on my first wave! I subsequently wiped out on my next wave, just to keep me humble. Hanalei Coffee Roasters and the Aloha Juice Bar supplied a satisfying post-surfing breakfast in Hanalei town center.
Postcards Cafe serves fresh, perfectly prepared seafood and vegetarian fare in a quaint, cozy setting in Hanalei. It's clean eating at Postcards but it's so delicious you probably won't notice. Everything closes early in Hanalei (especially compared to NYC), which prompted me to declare that this is my kind of town.
On the eastern shore of Kauai, we sampled shave ice from Ono Ono and Hee Fat General Store. My favorite discovery was Moloa'a Sunrise Juice Bar, and I still dream about their Date with Fate smoothie. My overarching food memories from Hawaii include bountiful fresh seafood (poke, sushi, fish tacos) and plentiful tropical fruits.
Enjoying champagne while watching the sunset over Hanalei Bay from the Makana Terrace. I thought it couldn't get any better, and then this happened:
Flooded taro fields between Princeville and Hanalei
The edge of the legendary Napali Coast seen from Ke'e Beach. Winter is high surf season on northern Kauai, so we weren't able to fully appreciate this natural wonder. I think we'll just have to go back! The drive to the "end of the road" (aka where the Kuhio Highway dead ends into Haena State Park) is an adventure in itself, with beautiful views of Hanalei Bay and plenty of sights to stop and explore.
Let the record show that shave ice from Ono Ono is plenty big enough to share.
Wailua River State Park and Wailua Falls