Every summer, my family takes a vacation to the beautiful island of Kauai. For the past two years we’ve done a ton of island activities such as ziplining, atv tours, helicopter rides, catamaran boat rides and surf lessons. We’ve loved every second of our last two trips but wanted to do something a little different this year. We wanted to relax, check out different beaches, head to Princeville for a day and lay low for the week. Oh…and eat and drink and eat and drink. I mean, what’s a good vacation without amazing food and some delicious Mai Tais?!?
Where We Stayed In Kauai:
(the view from our room at the Lawai Beach Resort)
My parents SO kindly purchased a timeshare at Lawai Beach Resort a couple of years ago and we’ve stayed there every year. We love the location, the multiple pools, the ocean across the street and the Beach House Restaurant that is about a 3 minute walk away. We also can walk down the street about 10 minutes and be in the Kukui’ula Village Shopping center with some great restaurants and cute little shops. Such a great area to stay in!
Where We Ate In Kauai : (what didn’t we eat!?)
Puka Dog : Ok, so you don’t like hot dogs. It doesn’t mean at some point you can’t at least TRY a Puka dog. These are amazing Hawaiian style hot dogs that come in a wrap around super fresh bun. You pick your sauces (which there are many options), what kind of dog you want and then you sit back and thoroughly enjoy. There is also a veggie dog option which my mom loves! SO GOOD.
The Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co : We have friends who originally recommended this place to us and we’ve been eating breakfast here ever since. If you want a big, good, hearty breakfast, you go here. Everything we’ve ever ate at this cafe has been delicious and so fresh!
Eating House 1849 : This was our first time ever eating at Eating House and we LOVED it. Actually when we left and my parents stayed for an extra week, they went back and ate there again! Long story short, there was a little spot in Kauai that served an amazing Lychee sangria that we looked forward to getting every year. When we got to Kauai this year we sadly saw that the restaurant had closed….and we were seriously devastated. We look forward to those Lychee sangrias every year! We decided to try out Eating House for dinner one night and voila!….a Lychee sangria was on the menu. And it did not disappoint! Just as delicious and refreshing. Not to mention their fried chicken was melt in your mouth good. Great spot for fresh food, good drinks and with an amazing open airy vibe.
La Spezia : What do I love about this place? Maybe it’s their amazing brunch. Their fresh french press coffee? Their Bloody Mary Bar? Or their Brie French Toast?! It’s all amazing. Great spot for breakfast/brunch and we’ve heard it doesn’t disappoint for dinner or happy hour as well.
(our breakfast at La Spezia – YUM!)
JoJo’s Shave Ice : So when you go anywhere in Hawaii you have to have shave ice at LEAST once. I always feel like the best shave ice is always on the Hawaiian islands. We tried out Jojo’s shaved ice this time and LOVED it. We ordered the “Fruity Special” which had a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom. I mean….shave ice WITH ice cream!? SO GOOD. (Uncle’s Shave Ice is also a great option if you are in the Poipu/Koloa area).
Brennecke’s Beach Broiler : We’ve never ate here (even though the food does look delicious), we’ve only stopped in for a drink before hitting Poipu Beach for the day right across the street. Fun hawaiian style drinks walking distance from the beach. Great option if you want a beverage or snack during your beach day.
Cortado Coffee Bar : This is hands down my favorite little coffee spot on the island. I look forward to visiting this place every year. This is just a little coffee hut, run by the same guy every day who makes delicious cold brew coffee topped off with a huge coffee ice cube. Strong brew but oh so good.
Aloha Aina Juice Bar : Right next to the little coffee hut above is a DELICIOUS juice bar that makes the best acai bowls. (It’s inside Kukuiula Local Market, in the back). Their “Funky Monkey” bowl is to die for and topped with their homemade hawaiian granola….YUM. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Makai Sushi : Also inside the Kukuiula Market is a tiny little sushi bar that serves fresh fresh fresh sushi. They only serve about 6 different rolls but we really liked it!
(the Funky Monkey acai bowl at Aloha Aina Juice Bar)
Anuenue Cafe : This place was just opened in the last year, so it was our first time eating here. Another amazing spot for breakfast with outdoor seating. This little spot is family owned with delicious daily specials and fresh baked macaroons.
Beach House Restaurant : One word. YUM. This is probably our favorite place on the island. Not only can we walk here from our place but the food & view of the ocean is outstanding. It’s a little pricey so make this your end of trip special dinner or don’t and just go there because you’re on vacation. It’s worth every penny.
Nalu Kai Grill & Bar : We spent one day up in Princeville where we ate at the St.Regis poolside restaurant. Such a beautiful location, good food and fun cocktails. We could have just relaxed by the pool sipping drinks and eating chips & guac for hours! Such a great stop if you take a little day trip to Princeville…not to mention the hotel itself is gorgeous!
(the North Shore Beach quinoa salad at the St. Regis)
(fun poolside drinks at the St. Regis)
Things We Did In Kauai:
Beaches: We’ve been to many beaches in Kauai and you really can’t go wrong with finding an amazing beach on the island. Here are some of our favorites:
– Shipwrecks Beach : can be rough at times (not ideal for swimming) but a great spot to watch surfers.
– Poipu Beach Park : great for snorkeling and for kids as there is a “safe zone” for children.
– Tunnels Beach : gorgeous water and super soft sand.
– Polihale Beach : beautiful breathtaking views but can be windy and takes a while to get there down a unpaved dirt road.
– Lawai Beach : is located right by the Beach House Restaurant and a great little spot for snorkeling.
– Kalihiwai Beach : ideal for swimming in the ocean and lounging all day.
Kauai Coffee Plantation : This was the first year we’ve done this and it was definitely very neat and the coffee was delicious. It’s a free tour about 20 minutes long and at the end you get to taste all the different types of coffee! This is where we bought a bag of “Toasty Banana Nut Cream Coffee” beans and let me tell you, the smell of that coffee brewing in our kitchen is to die for!
Luau: We’ve done a couple of luaus on the island but this summer we did the Aulii Luau at the Sheraton. It was beachfront, right on the water and the food was amazing! The show was entertaining and I would highly recommend this luau to anyone. We did this on our first day in Kauai and it was a great way to start the Hawaiian vacation!
Shopping: There are so many cute beach shops in Kauai, I promise you’ll go home thinking about which room in your house you want to change into a “beach” theme. We always love walking around the shops in the Kukui’ula Village and this year spent a little time walking around the little town of Hanalei which had some fun little shopping spots. (that’s where JoJo’s Shave Ice is as well). Who doesn’t like to shop a little while on vacation!?
I feel like I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the amazing things to do in Kauai as this was just a brief snapshot of our vacation this year. Kauai is such a beautiful island with way less tourists, amazing food and drinks and some beautiful spots to visit and relax. Like I said in the beginning of this post, there are so many fun activities you can plan in Kauai and so many different beaches to see…..the options are wonderfully endless.
Mahalo and thanks for reading!