​What to do in Kauai. – ChowBellaTravels

Chow Bella,

My family and I were planning to go to Europe…

But we didn’t know that your US passport can not expire within three months after your return date. So we had everything ready, bags, flights, and a cruise booked (With the cancellation protection plan THANK GOD) so Friday morning we headed to the airport to get on our flight at 5:30 am. We got in line at LAX international and we got up to the front and the lady told us I am so sorry, you can not fly today.

So we went home and started looking for flights going somewhere in the US. On Saturday evening we found a flight to Kauai, Hawaii. So we booked it and started changing out what we packed…

We got on our plane at LAX flying to Kauai on Hawaiian airlines. We got to the airport and checked in smoothly, went through security and headed to our gate.

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We got on our plane and headed off to Kauai.

We really liked flying with Hawaiian airlines. They had great service, great seats, great food, and they were very clean.

In the premium cabin, they offered us tablets to watch movies on which was very nice.

Once we were about to land you could already see how beautiful the island is just looking out the window.

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Landing in Kauai is a much calmer pace than LAX, when you get off the plane you are basically outside… There are huge windows open everywhere, no AC, so it was a little warm considering it’s the prime of summer heat.

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After we got out of the airport we got a taxi (keep in mind we never check our bags, only carry on) and headed to the St. Regis Princeville.

 

The drive from Hanalei airport to Princeville was about 45 mins, but it was a beautiful scenic drive!

To the right of us was crystal blue water flowing beautifully and to the left lush green mountains with waterfalls cascading down the sides.

When we got to the hotel they got our luggage and gave us bead necklaces to keep (so we thought… More on that later) When you enter the lobby you are amazed by the glorious view. Floor to ceiling glass windows showing the ocean and island.IMG_7503

There is a bar and restaurant in the lobby, as well as a coffee shop with snacks around the corner.

Our rooms were not ready, so we decided to eat at the pool restaurant, so we went to the elevator went down to level 4 walked down a hallway took another elevator down to level 1. Once we got to the pool it was so beautiful on the same level as the ocean, so a wonderful view.

Here is a picture of the beach with the pool just behind.

IMG_7624Later that evening for dinner we went to the fancy restaurant at our hotel called Makana terrace. We didn’t enjoy the food at our hotel, we had overcooked food and wilted salads.

After our dinner, we went to the town Hanalei to get some groceries. It was a 15 min drive to town.

We got water, nuts, and some fruit. We walked around the town a little bit then went back to the hotel.

The next day we had a breakfast buffet on the terrace, it was the best food we had there!

After breakfast, we went down to the beach, got some snorkel gear and went in the water! The water was pretty warm and full of coral. It was a little murky but we didn’t think too much of it.

After we went snorkeling for about an hour and a half we relaxed on the beach for a bit, then went in the pool. For lunch we decided to go to town, so we went up to the room showered and headed to town.

We ate at the dolphin restaurant in Hanalei, it was very good.

dolphin2.jpg*not my photo* Kauai surf company.

We got a couple of sushi rolls, the poke, and the fish tacos.

We walked around a little and found a shop with snorkel gear that they rent, so we got 4 sets for $20 for the week.

The next day we got a rental car and drove around the island before we left the hotel we asked for snorkel spots they recommend. They said tunnels beach and Anini beach, so we started the 20-minute drive to tunnels beach. We were driving on the windy beautiful roads surrounded by green trees and beautiful birds, and all of a sudden it started raining hard. And the water to the right of us began to look very aggressive and with big swells. So we got a little worried if we would be able to snorkel still. But we kept driving in hope of being able to snorkel.

When we got to tunnels beach it was still raining, but the beach was very busy. Just no snorkelers… So we decided it looked too rough, and turned around and headed the direction we came to go to Anini beach.

As we were driving to the other side of the island the rain and ocean began to calm down. When we got to Anini beach it was perfect. There were 2 people snorkeling down a bit from us and only 3 other people on the beach, it was beautiful. We hit the jackpot. We put all our gear on and headed out, as we were swimming out we could hear a guy yelling to his wife there are 2 turtles over here. So immediately I start freaking out because I LOVE sea turtles. So we were swimming around and all of a sudden I see the turtles, and I was so happy. They were beautiful creatures, just flowing in the ocean. We stayed watching the turtles for about 45 mins then we swam around and as we were getting out of the water it began to pour rain. So we ran to the car, loaded up, and started driving. As we were driving away we all knew we would remember that special experience for the rest of our lives!

At this point we were hungry of course, so we drove to a nearby town and got some pizza from a popular Italian food truck.

This is the artichoke, katamala olives, and onion pizza, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.IMG_7589

 

After we ate we drove back to our hotel to shower and have drinks on the terrace with the live music and enjoy the sun set.

After that we were hungry so we headed to Hanalei to try out the tapas restaurant Bar Acuda. We got to the restaurant and the ambiance was lovely.IMG_6084

 

We ordered the Lyonnais salad with duck confit, bacon lardons, radicchio, fried potatoes and a warm Dijon vinaigrette. It was very good, pictured below on the right.

And the Whole roasted local tomato bruschetta with balsamic, leeks and garlic rubbed grilled bread. It was simple, but good.

 

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The next day we scheduled a horse ride to a waterfall hike and lunch at the Princeville ranch. They also offer zip lining, and off- roading.

So we got up had breakfast at the hotel, and drove to the Princeville ranch which was 5 mins from the hotel.

When we got there we filled out paperwork and had a briefing on how to control the horses, and we saddled up.IMG_7742We rode for about 40 mins through green grass, surrounded by mountains, to a horse tie station, parked our horses and started to hike down a trail to the waterfall, it took about 20 mins to hike down the steep hill.IMG_7749

At the bottom was a beautiful waterfall with a picnic table. We ate our sandwiches the guide brought for us and enjoyed the nature. IMG_7641 After we ate, we hiked back up to the horses and started riding back.

(Photo by Mom)

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After the long, muddy, fun day we decided to head to the beach and pool to relax a bit.

The next day we had breakfast, and then headed out in the rental car to explore the island. We drove to old town Koloa. Est. 1885IMG_7665IMG_7670

 

This is the monkeypod tree planted in 1925! Such a beautiful tree.IMG_7676

After old town Koloa we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

We heard about a new Italian restaurant in Hanalei, so we decided to check it out.

 

But of course, we had to get pictures with the amazing sunset first.

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At the restaurant, La Piazza we ordered the spinach ravioli.

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The ahi poke appetizer.IMG_7761

Then the beet salad, this was delicious.IMG_7760

The grilled octopus.IMG_7757

Mmmm, The fried polenta was great.IMG_7758

White sauce mushroom pizza, YUM!IMG_7756

 

After this meal, we went back to the hotel and prepared to leave in the morning. When we got back to the hotel and went to our rooms, our beads they had given us were gone. When housekeeping cleaned they took them… And we did not realize until we were on the way to the airport. 😦 But it does not ruin the amazing time we had.

We then decided we will definitely be returning to Kauai soon! We loved the island!

We flew out of Kauai to Honolulu, then LAX.

We flew Hawaiian airlines from Kauai to Honolulu, then Virgin America to LAX.

The Virgin America flight was great, awesome movie selection, and great food.

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Thank you for reading,

Happy Travels,  Chow Bella.

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