Inter-island celebration with the moas of Kauai.
Day one, surprise!
This is the short version:
"Get in the car Russ! Surprise, happy anniversary! We are leaving on a plane for Kauai. Say goodbye to any responsibilities you may have had for the weekend!"
After the initial shock it was off to the airport, and a short twenty minute flight later we landed on the garden isle. At the airport we picked up the rental car, drove to the hotel, and got ready for exploring!
Tip: Rent a car in Kauai, it is the most convenient way to get around the island. Our car came with GPS (no extra charge), which came in handy!
Where we stayed:
4331 Kauai Beach Drive
The resort was located in a convenient location. It wasn't far from the airport and town, but close enough to drive to the places we wanted to visit.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon is known as the grand canyon of the pacific. It is located on the west side of Kauai, it's 10 miles long and around 3,000 feet deep. The canyon is imbued with rich natural hues of greens, browns, purples, and reds (the reds were once black basalt discolored over time by the changing weather.) The rocky crags and valleys were formed from erosion and the collapse of the volcano that created Kauai. The valley continues to erode from the waters that come from Mount Waialeale. The mountain is renowned as one of the wettest spots on Earth, it receives an average of 466 inches of rain each year. This is definitely a must see when visiting Kauai and easily accessible via car. Grab a snack from the local aunty selling delicious local treats.
Touring the Na Pali Coast
For a special treat I booked us a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast that included a bbq dinner. The Na Pali Coast is a must see! We were both blown away by the size and natural beauty of the Na Pali coast. The pastel earth tone cliffs reach to the skies, with an occasional waterfall peaking out from between the cliff faces.
Sam booked the boat dinner cruise with Capt Andy's Sailing Adventures & Raft Expeditions. The company offers different boating excursions other than dinner cruises.
It was late afternoon when we departed the harbor and dark when we returned. The sunset on the ocean after dinner was very romantic, and the crew offered to take pictures. The drinks were flowing and the food was on the grill, people were chatting and the dolphins even joined us at one point. Dinner started with a choice of house or cesar salad, followed by the grilled steak, shrimp, and vegetables. Dessert was a small personal sized cheesecake. All of the food was delicious and we were also able to take the leftovers back to the hotel with us! It was just a great time, and we both enjoyed ourselves. We highly recommend seeing the Na Pali Coast from the ocean.
Kauai Coffee Company
If you are a coffee lover, or would like to gift one you know, stop by the long-time established Kauai Coffee Company located on the southwest side of the island.
Tip: the coffee farm is located on the highway 50 (da main road) making it very easy to also visit Waimea Canyon, Koke’e State Park and the Russian Fort.
Kauai Coffee Company was established in the 1800s when it was known as the McBryde Sugar Company. In 1987 the company made the transition from sugar to coffee.
There are walking tours available and a lot of different coffee varieties to choose from. We highly recommend the Blue Mountain coffee, it is so good!
Da swingin' old bridge
The swinging suspension bridge is located in Hanapepe. Hanapepe is referred to as Kauai's biggest little town. Before Captain Cooke arrived in 1778, this town was used as agriculture land, the fertile land was used to grow bananas, sugar cane, sweet potato, as well as the Hawaiian staple, taro. This area was also used to cultivate salt using salt water water ponds, a tradition that still continues to today.
The bridge was built in the early 1900s, and was rebuilt after hurricane Iniki struck the island chain.
Be one with da sugarcane, and flow down the stream.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures
One activity we highly recommend is the mountain tubing adventure in Hanamaulu. It's an activity you can only experience in Kauai. Grab a tube and float down irrigation channels that were once used to transport sugar cane at the former Lihue Plantation. They provide headlamps, helmets, crock type shoes if you don't already have water shoes, and lunch. Don't forget to bring your mosquito repellent! Kauai back country adventures has exclusive rights to use the land so we recommend booking directly through the company. It was truly a unique experience and far exceeded our expectations!
We stayed a total of two days and enjoyed the island so much! Even though we live on Oahu, the inter-islands differ so much, it's always great to visit the neighbor islands!