Exploring Kauai

The first half of our trip to Hawaii was amazing, but the second half was even busier! On Tuesday it rained literally all day long. I don't think the showers stopped until at least 6pm. I had been warned that it rains a lot on Kauai (it does house the rainiest spot on Earth!!!) but I was told there would be short warm showers that barely interrupted the day. Not true! However, we made the most of the day by staying in, watching the rain in the ocean from our balcony, and catching up on House of Cards on Netflix. Luckily we had great evening plans- a luau! We went to Luau Kalamaku and had the perfect evening. We actually ran into my old boss and friend and his fiance at the luau and spent the evening with them! The food was delicious (lots of great vegetarian options) and the entertainment was even better.

Wednesday morning dawned a little gloomy on the North Shore, so we chose to spend the day exploring the island and hitting the sites. We started by checking out 'Opaeka'a Falls on the south side of the island. Despite the clouds we still had beautiful views of the waterfall, which unfortunately you can only see from the road. 



After checking out the falls we went to Polihale State Park, which is the farthest west you can drive on the island, and the most western publicly accessible beach in all of Hawaii. It was quite the trek to get there, being over 2 hours from where we were staying, and with the final 5 or 6 miles being all over rugged dirt roads. When the rain is bad the roads flood, making the beach inaccessible, but luckily for us we had our Ford Explorer and were able to make it to the beach. Our thoughts were that the west side of the island would be the warmest, but unfortunately there was lots of wind and we were only able to stay and enjoy the view for a short bit of time. I've heard that Polihale has the most gorgeous sunsets though, so next time we will definitely be going in the evening!

After leaving Polihale beach we started driving back towards the south side to try our luck at the beaches there. While driving we saw a gorgeous beach with large white sand beaches, lots of sun, and waves that weren't too huge. We stopped and spent a bit of time there, but decided to try our luck at Poipu beach in hopes that the water would be more swimmable. On our way there we stopped at Kauai Island Brewery & Grill, a great casual spot that was the perfect place to get out of the sun and enjoy a beer and lunch. One of the things I came to find out about the food scene on Kauai is that it is mostly either very quick, casual grab and go sorts of places, or more upscale restaurants. It was hard for us to find places that were a good mix- casual and fun, but that you could still spend some time in. Kauai Island Brewery & Grill was perfect!

After an afternoon soaking up the sun at Poipu Beach we headed over to Lawa'i Beach, where we had been told there were lots of sea turtles. Luckily we were not disappointed and saw a sea turtle immediately after arriving! We went to a different spot on the beach and saw even more sea turtles frolicking in the waves and playing in the water. We ended the day at Spouting Horn, a very cool little spot to watch the ocean and see great spouts of water. 

Thursday was our last full day in Kauai, and we wanted to take advantage of the warm weather to really soak in the rays and enjoy the beach. Princeville was still a little gray, so we went straight to Poipu. When we got there we saw that a monk seal had come up on shore to sunbathe! Apparently the sight of them is fairly common, but since they are endangered locals set up a perimeter around them to keep them safe from tourists. The little guy loved laying on the beach and sunbathing as much as we did!

Later in the afternoon we were getting drowsy, so we decided to go back to our condo and relax a bit. We ended up spending most of the afternoon at the hotel pool and taking it pretty easy. We decided on Kalypso again for dinner, which was the perfect way to end our trip!

I feel so thankful to have gotten to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kauai. I can't wait to go back again to the jungle paradise and tropical beaches.