The island of Kauai is also known as the garden island. This island is small, but there is many things to do and see. We had 8 days to explore with one day dedicated to watching two of our favorite people get married.
We arrived in Lihue and immediately upgraded to a Jeep Wrangler so that we could drive around town topless. You can not drive from one end of the island to the other because Ha’ena State Park does not have a road through it. To see it all you would want a comfortable vehicle. As of September 2019 you will also want to get a pass well in advance to see this park and all of the Napali coast. They only allow a limited amount of people in every day get your passes as early as possible.
The wedding was at the Princeville Resort so we decided to rent a town house through Airbnb with a 3 bedroom 3 bathroom in Princeville with our family. As we pulled in to the town of Princeville we saw a gated beautiful community with a golf course and manicured landscape everywhere.
We hiked every day in some way shape or form. So much so that, Damion had to throw away his shoes. Luckily, we did not have time to hike the last couple days with the wedding festivities therefore that didn’t matter.
This was our go to beach after a long day of hiking. We parked in a lot further down from the pier to have more space to spread out. They also had a large parking lot, bath houses and picnic benches.
Wedding at Princeville Resort
Talk about a dream wedding venue! We got to attend the wedding of two very important people in our lives at the Princeville resort. I recommend this spot to anyone looking for an island wedding or just a great vacation on Kauai.
If you look closely behind us their is a waterfall on the lush green mountain. The sunset on their wedding day make for a perfect cocktail hour scene. The 5 course meal included some of the best food I have ever had. Then we danced off the food and laughed the night away with some friends we met for the first time that week.
This was the perfect way to end the trip. In the next couple weeks I will be sharing the rest of our two weeks in Hawaii.
Hike Sleeping Giant
These kind of views are always worth the effort.
We hiked Sleeping Giant during the hottest part of a 90 degree day on the island of Kauai. Luckily, when we arrived at the top the wind cooled us down.
I am still unsure of how Damion hiked with worn out shoes without falling every other minute. He carries all my things and tells me along the way if there is something to watch out for. I’m so grateful for such a wonderful hiking partner.
Nounou trail/Sleeping Giant gets it name from the rock form looking like a giant laying on his back. While we drove to our hike we saw it from miles away.
Near the top we noticed that there are 3 trails that bring you up to the top of the Giants head. Kaumoo trail is considered easy for those with kiddos or want less of a challenge, the east trail is moderate, and the west trail is difficult.
This beach was wonderful, but we prefer the Hidden Beach or Hanelei a bit better. Although, if you would like to camp on the beach for your vaca this is the place to do it.
Mentally this trail was difficult and had the most obstacles we have ever experienced on a hike. The trail was not marked well, but we knew we had to follow the river to make it to the waterfall.
During the hike we crossed the river a couple times wading through the water/hopping rocks. We went through two bamboo forests. Also, through root systems of many trees where we had to limbo beneath branches and jump over others. The mud made it hard to stay steady on our feet, but we made it!
The reward was taking a dip in the pool at the bottom of this waterfall. It was the most rewarding feeling to cool down before we have to head back the way we came.
We had the entire place to ourselves besides one other sweet couple that took our picture, and made our trek back out together.
We read many reviews before taking on this trek and one of them even said during their hike they “Cried out for Jesus.” As you can imagine this was the running joke as we made our way back out.
Hanakapiai is a 300 foot waterfall. In the picture our friends only got part of it in it, but it is the tallest on the island of Kauai. If your up for a challenge this will be right up your alley.
This waterfall in magic if you do not want to hike. You can pull right in to this parking lot, walk 100 feet, and there she be.
Across the road from ‘Opeaka’a Falls is this view with educational plaques to read the history of this area.
Captain Andy’s Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Seeing the Napali coast by catamaran was like being in a dream. All of the colors of the ocean, sunset, and mountains were vibrant and surreal. We got to see dolphins swimming next to the boat and mountain goats climbing the cliffs. Also, the many waterfalls were gorgeous.
Captain Andy’s catamaran sunset Cruise was the perfect way to kick off this wedding weekend. They do private tours, keep the waves as minimal as possible, and the food is to die for.
I feel so lucky to have this experience with such a wonderful man and his family. We are blessed to celebrate Tessa and Ryan’s wedding today, and feel grateful to take this trip with them.
Queens bath has taken 29 lives and counting, but yet it is worth the hike down to see this magical place.
If the gate is locked there is a small opening through the flowers not far from the gate. It is less than a mile hike down in the mud. When you arrive there are many pools of water and mini waterfalls.
It is memorizing to watch the waves crash over the rocks. Unfortunately, when a large rogue wave crashes over “the bath” it can take anyone over the rocks and in to the ocean.
We decided not to jump in because of my voice of reason. I appreciated Damion respecting my wishes, but I could tell it killed the adrenaline junkie in him.
You will have to work for this one. Wear good shoes because it will be a muddy ride. This tiny beach is a hike to get to it and it is so clear you can see all of the coral. Its fabulous if you do not like packed beaches.
Did you know Hawaii has it’s own version of the Grand Canyon?
At Waimea Canyon State Park you can choose from many different hikes and difficulties. Give yourself at least half a day if you want to see more than just this lookout point.
My expectations were low because I love the Grand Canyon, and didn’t think this would be so cool. Boy was I wrong Waimea Canyon is 10 miles wide with lush greenery and waterfalls you can see from miles away.
This is the place to be at sunset. Watch people surf, jump off the pier, and boats go in and out while the sun goes down.
As the waves rush into the rocks, water surges out of the cracks creating the spouting horn.
We pulled up to this lookout to see families with little kids shouting about how cool this is, and a shaded craft market to beat the heat of the sun.
Princeville Night Market
As we were heading to dinner this market took us by surprise. Just outside of the Princeville Center locals are selling crafts and snacks. Damion bought me a handmade bracelet. I love the random and unexpected finds while on vacation.
Just passed the Canyon this look out is a gorgeous viewpoint of the valley. Park your car and walk right up to this outlook. This was our last stop before we had to head to the airport. I felt sad to be leaving this amazing place, but glad I got to see so many wonderful things.
We did not have enough time to see the next lookout Pu’u O Kila. It is only 1 mile up the road and I hear it is a gem.