Visiting Kauai's North Shore
Since 2011, we have been lucky to travel to all 4 of the larger Hawaiian Islands, Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai, each enthralling in it's own way. As a creative person, each trip has brought me renewal and inspiration, a respite from the city lifestyle and hustle that is Los Angeles. On our most recent visit we traveled to Kauai seeking relaxation, adventure and family time. I had been feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending list of work related tasks in the city, which in turn, had diminished my creativity. Once in Kauai, we headed to the North Shore, rainy-side of the island, where it was so easy to unwind and recharge. In Princeville, we stayed at the Princeville Westin Resort and Villas, which I would highly recommend. It was lush and close to hiking, kayaking and an artsy town called Hanalei.
On Day 2, we visited Kīlauea Lighthouse located at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, where we saw protected birds such as the Nene and albatross as we soaked in the views.
One thing, that has charmed me about Kauai, is all the color green from every angle. Since Kauai is known as the garden-isle it is so lush due to the abundant rainfall especially on the North Shore of the island. There are a variety of tropical plants that make it especially verdant. Since, Kauai manages to be simultaneously rainy and sunny throughout a single day, it provides the perfect environment (for me, a rain lover) to vacation!
Read on through to the bottom to see where we stayed, what we ate, and really truly enjoyed during our 7 day adventure on the beautiful Garden Isle.
Heading South to the Sunny Beaches of Po'ipu
While we both enjoyed the north shore of the island, after 2 nights, we headed to the beaches of Po'ipu in south Kauai. Po'ipu was especially sun-drenched and welcoming. At Po'ipu Beach, we were lucky enough to swim with 2 sea turtles along with spot a monk seal resting on the sunny shore. Po'ipu and Brenneke's Beach was ideal for our toddler as well. He was able to stand in the clear blue ocean water and swim in a little cove off to the left that was protected by rocks. The rocks lessened the strong current as the waves broke further off-shore and we were able to see yellow and white-striped fish as they darted in and out of the rocks.
Beach day, left us feeling hungry. We tried a new modern restaurant The Lanai, which is connected to the Living Foods Market and has a great Happy Hour from 3-5 pm. Our favorite thing off the menu, was the Brie Arugula Pesto pizza with pears, macadamia nuts and Maui onions. yum! The memory of it is making me hungry.
Then on Friday, we planned to take a day-trip to explore Waimea Canyon. It is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and it did not disappoint. For this journey, we planned to go in the morning because I heard that it gets crowded with tours later in the day and occasionally clouds begin to roll-in causing near white-out conditions. For a successful outing with our almost 3-yr-old, we followed Shelly Rivoli's tips to exploring Waimea. We left Po'ipu around 8:15 and arrived in Waimea by 9:15. The view from the Waimea overlook did not disappoint. The canyon was verdant, rugged, wide and deep. Equally thrilling were the views of the canyon seen from the Iliau Nature Loop Trail, a 1/3 mile loop which is flat and safe for toddlers.
Although, we saw an amazing 800 ft. waterfall from afar in Waimea Canyon, we decided to visit one on our last night in Kauai. On Kauai's east-side there are 2 drive-up waterfalls that are both located in Wailua State Park. We chose to see Wailua Falls based on the beautiful pictures that I saw online. We drove up to the lookout about an hour before sunset. We heard the sound of the water thundering down as we approached the lookout. It gave me a feeling of the magnitude of this Falls. The lushness and depth of the Falls were hard to capture completely.
We spent our last night in Kauai, with a magical view at Lava Lava Beach club, an outdoor restaurant with tables in the sand. We listened to a local singer lull us with Hawaiian music as the sunset on the water.
Now, that vacation is over, I look forward to sharing a couple of new projects that I took on in the New Year, along with a custom coat rack that I recently designed for a client. I'm considering having some of these photos reprinted as functional pieces, tote bags, beach towels etc. What services have you used to print digitally? Please let me know, if you have a site that you love and recommend that does digital printing. I'm am looking for a quality product that is printed professionally to scale with good resolution. I would love to hear your experiences with this!
Other products that I would like to see include baseball caps and clutches, I think. I will share a pic on Instagram when it arrives.
Here a quick recap our favorite places to see, eat and visit in Kauai from each shore:
1. Towns of Princeville and Hanalei
2. Napali Coast: drive and hike
3. Kilauea Lighthouse
4. Cafe Turmeric, a delicious vegetarian Indian food truck. We highly recommend the coconut curry.
4. Poipu Beach
5. The Lanai
6. Kauai Juice Co.
7. Waimea Canyon
8. Salt Pond Beach, a kid-friendly beach featuring tide pools and a cove
8. Wailua Falls, gorgeous waterfall that is an easy drive from the city of Lihue
9. Lava Lava Beach Club, vacation vibes, good food and Hawaiian live music
Have you visited any of the places on the list? What were some of your favorite experiences on the island? I would love to hear about your trip!
HI, I'M HILARY.
A Day in the Life, aims to inspire you through DIY, design and travel. Textiles and woodwork have a special place in my home. I hope to inspire you through these projects and adventures that you find here. Relax and enjoy this space where art and craft meets California design. I hope to meet you in person at one of my workshops for creative people like you!
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