For the second part of our trip with Hilton Hotels and Hawaiian Airlines , we went to the beautiful garden island of Kauai. Catch part 1 in Oahu here. Anush joined me for the Kauai part of my trip and we were so excited to be back in Kauai after two years.
This time we stayed at the newly renovated Hilton Garden Inn in Wailua Bay, Kauai. This is the only Hilton property in Kauai and the location is perfect – a short ride from the airport and right next to Lydgate Beach Park. It is also super close to the town of Kapaa, but still far enough to give you that feeling of a chic beachfront getaway. The newly upgraded rooms and hotel property itself was stylish and elegant. There is also a row of gorgeous ocean facing cottages that sit on a sweet vantage point, a stone’s throw from the beach. There’s a casual ocean-view restaurant which served a delicious breakfast buffet every morning, where you can also order cooked to order items. My fave fave item in the menu – the island style french toast with coconut syrup – so so yummy! Other amenities in the property include a pool, hot tub, gym and loaner bikes.
My favorite part of the property was this beautiful gazebo , which had breathtaking views of the gardens, palm trees and the ocean!
Also loved hanging out at Lydgate Beach Park in the afternoons, look at that gorgeous blue water!
On one of the mornings we went for a traditional sunrise ceremony at the property. We were treated to a magnificent sunrise, with colors that lit up the sky so magically! Love the silhoutte of the endless palms against the dawn sky.
Here is a roundup of my go-to things to do in Kauai, compiled from my trip this time as well as two years ago.
1) Napali Coast : This is the NO 1 thing you have to do in Kauai. This time since we were short on time as well as due to bad weather we couldnt do it. But I will never forget the last time we did it – it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life period! We took a boat tour as well as a helicopter tour. They were both just as amazing, but if you get seasick I would recommend doing the heli tour – plus you get to see over 100+ waterfalls that are completely inaccessible, including the Jurassic Park waterfalls! For the bravehearted you can always opt to do the Kalalau trail which is known to be one of the most dangerous yet most beautiful trails in the world!
This is the entrance to the Kalalau trail.
This is the view you get from a helicopter ride! Thanks to my friend and amazing photographer Sam Horine, who visited the island a few days later and was blessed with great weather for his visit to Napali.
2 ) As I mentioned earlier, the town of Kapaa is super close to the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai. Its such a cute lil beach town to spend an afternoon. My favorite spots in the town are Mermaids cafe (great sandwiches), Java Kai (for the best island coffee – try the iced mac nut latte), Wailua shave ice (cos duh!), Street Burger (lipsmackin’ burgers omg yumm!) and Shipwrecked Kauai for the best island shopping.
Lava lava beach club is a fun place to spend an evening with friends on the beach. See more in my post here.
3 ) Waimea Canyon and Kokee state park : Unfortunately the weather was terrible the day we went up to the Canyon, so all we saw were clouds haha! But the last time we went we saw the breathtaking Waimea Canyon in all its splendor. It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and the views are absolutely unreal! Kokee state park is also a must do as you get gorgeous views of the Napali coast from here. The one thing we did stop at on the way this time was red dirt falls in Waimea Canyon – how outerwordly does this look?! Feels like I stepped on Mars! The overcast weather totally added to the rad mood.
And just to give you an idea of how stunning Waimea is, here is another image from photographer Sam‘s visit a couple of days after us.
4) Poipu beach : The south of the island has popular Poipu beach, a fun place to spend an afternoon and walk along the beachfront. This area is home to many resorts and vacation homes as well. I would recommend going to the Beach House restaurant to catch a beautiful sunset and a romantic dinner thereafter.
5) North Shore towns – Princeville and Hanalei. The north shore of Kauai is pure paradise. It really is my favorite part of the island! The town of Hanalei is so charming and quaint – make sure to eat at Tahiti Nui and Jo Jo’s Shave Ice.
And of course catch the sunset at world famous Hanalei Bay, see more in my post here.
6) North Shore beaches – The most amazing beach in all of Hawaii that I have been to is also on the north shore – called Secret beach. See more in my post here. Another stunning and calm beach, which is great for snorkeling is Anini beach (pic below).
7) Hanapepe – known as Kauai’s biggest little small town. Its fun to spend an afternoon here exploring the artsy little strip filled with cute cafes, shops and of course the historic hanging bridge.
Hope this helps you in some way or the other if you are ever on Kauai.
Hilton Hawaii and the HVCB have launched a “Let Hawaii Happen” sweepstakes and are giving away 5-night stays and roundtrip air on Hawaiian Airlines for two. There will be 11 winners! Contestants can enter once a day and share their entry on Facebook to increase chances. Contest ends April 6. Enter the contest HERE.
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
*this trip was sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and Hilton Hawaii but all thoughts and opinions are my own.