16 In Beaches + Ocean Activities/ Food Envy/ Hawaii/ Hiking + The Outdoors/ Travel

Kauai Photo Diary

Kaua’i is truly the most beautiful place I’ve been so far. I have fallen in love with a lot of places for a wide array of reasons, but Kaua’i is so perfect because it simply has all of my favorite things. Mountains, waterfalls, lush beauty, hiking opportunities galore, adventure, farmers markets, an endless supply of tropical fruit, perfect weather and all the rainbows! All of these things make for a paradise for me – this made for the absolute perfect Wundermoon.

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This overlook was so incredible. The first time we passed it, we U-turned to get another look at it and it became sort-of a hangout spot for us. On rainy evenings, we picked up dinner, parked our car here, listened to good music and just enjoyed the view. I seriously am so lucky to have a husband who is constantly wowed by natural beauty.

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One of our adventures took us to Queen’s BathIt was just a small adventure, but because we were staying in a condo in the neighborhood of this hike, this day felt like we were simply living in Kaua’i and it was amazing being in a place that was just so beautiful – even just a few steps out your back door. [Side note, this photo is of the scary pool before Queen’s Bath, not the actual tidal pool.]

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This was amazing overlook no. 2 – it was where we stopped for sunset on really rainy nights, but it’s beautiful all. day. long.

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It’s no secret that Matt and I instantly fell in love with that Hawaiian shaved ice. We legitimately had it 1.5 times per day if you average it out. We were obsessed! I have to say that Wishing Well Shave Ice was my favorite!

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They offered a wide variety of flavors – organic or traditional syrups, fruit + coconut toppings, homemade ice-cream in the middle. There are plenty of options – something for everyone. We tried loads of flavors combos (Left: passion fruit / orange / guava + papaya)  (Right: organic lemon + organic lime). My favorite one we had, we ate it so quickly that we didn’t get a photo of it: organic blackberry + organic papaya/lime syrups, fresh banana on top and homemade vanilla ice-cream inside. It was incredible! 

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We also got all sorts of crazy with flavor combos like cotton candy and root beer [left]. After getting lunch and treats in Hanalei, we spent a good amount of our time relaxing at the beach in Hanalei Bay. I’m not really a beach person unless it has a more rugged coastline and there are places to hike around or lots of trees or something, but Matt enjoys it so we went and laid out a few times. 

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I don’t know why, but cartwheels just seem natural on a beach… 

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Eating in Hanalei was usually stopping by a food truck. Trucking Delicious was my favorite! First of all, how trucking hilarious is that name? Secondly, the food was just incredible! Chloe, the owner and chef, was super friendly and you can really see that she is living out a passion. We ordered the vegetarian fried rice and I was totally blown away by the quality. I was expecting a few peas and maybe some carrots, but this was packed with all kinds of delicious veggies like carrots, onion, broccoli, local mushrooms, green onions, bell peppers and more! The second time we went Chloe even threw in some of the local purple potatoes for us – she’s just a gem. Let’s talk about portions too! This was a single serving. We were able to both share this for lunch and even had a bit left to have with our dinner another night back at the condo. We also had her macaroni salad, which was super yummy and is very apparently a super Hawaiian thing. 

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This is the amazing vegetarian fried rice. Thanks, Chloe, we can’t wait to get back to Kaua’i and eat more!

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Matt + I were very happy to discover that on the weekends they provided free mai tais and we were sure to get in on that! It was extra fun because we were dressed up to go to our luau! 

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We were in Hawaii, so of course we had to go to a luau. Our concierge highly recommended Luau Kalamaku. The show was absolutely incredible and told a traditional Hawaiian myth. The price of the luau tickets includes an all-you-can-drink / all-you-can-eat meal with a traditional Hawaiian buffet and access to the beautiful plantation and their shops inside. They had a live band to enjoy during the meal, with interactive activities including a hula lesson and a couples dance – which was a lot of fun to dance up on stage. The show started after dinner and was highly entertaining and very beautiful! 

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Ke’e Beach was our spot. Since we were on the North Shore, it was so accessible to us and we just loved the views of the Na Pali, along with these crazy trees! People built little day-forts into them and they just added a little something extra to the experience. 

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Wailua Falls is a gorgeous waterfall near Lihue [the city where the airport is] and it was gushing like crazy because of a storm that came through. The waterfall is typically two distinct falls side by side, but it was really flowing the day we were there – and that’s also why the water is a bit brown. This is the perfect waterfall for people who want to see some natural beauty without doing any hiking because it’s right off the road! 

 

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Another view of Wailua Falls [left] It rains basically every day on Kaua’i – some days it was a heavy downpour, other days just a quick popup shower – but the best part about the rain were the rainbows that popped up all over the island.

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After our helicopter ride Matt decided to take me on a spontaneous stop to Kilauea Lighthouse. Kilauea Point is a protected wildlife refuge and if you’re there in the right season you have a good chance of seeing humpback whales, dolphins and more.  

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We didn’t see any awesome sea mammals, but we did see some nēnēs – the state bird of Hawai’i found exclusively on five of the Hawaiian islands. 

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Something I totally fell in love with on the island were the multiple different daily farmer’s markets. We loved the one near Kilauea Lighthouse in the afternoons by a Banana Shop. I loved getting to see the beautiful tropical fresh flowers, taste the yummy fruits and see the beautiful handmade products. 

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This girl fell in love with Hawaii and decided to move to Kaua’i. She lives out of her van, wakes up early to collect shells and other natural materials and then makes jewelry out of them. How could I not buy something from a fellow-wanderluster? So, I bought the most darling set of earrings made with tiny orange and purple shells.

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This was our honeymoon, so the favorite part of the whole trip was getting to spend time in paradise TOGETHER. I cannot express how much I just love adventuring with this man. Whether it’s on a helicopter ride, taking an epic hike to a major waterfall, looking into a canyon or just sitting in a car watching the rain fall enjoying each other’s company. 

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One evening it rained all night, so we decided to make the most of it by hitting up our second favorite overlook and watching the sunset while the rain poured overhead. We enjoyed our time together and giggled like crazy while Matt stood outside with his shirt pulled out from his body to cover his camera on the tripod, trying to get the perfect shot.

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Other little moments included late night Hawaiian ice from JoJo’s Shave Ice [left] and making a tropical fruit salad for a late night snack at our condo [right].

Kauai Helicopter Tour (50 of 48)

Our helicopter ride over Kaua’i will ALWAYS be one of my favorite experiences ever. My dear friends gave us this incredible gift and we will both always seriously cherish this experience that we got to experience as a first together. 

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If you’re near on Kauai and want to grab something quick and extremely delicious for lunch, pop by Porky’s Cart! This food truck is classic foods with a Hawaiian twist! I had a grilled cheese with kalula pulled pork, grilled sweet onions and their sweet BBQ sauce. It was truly the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. Their food truck moves around, but it’s worth looking up! 

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Following the Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi’ai Falls was definitely a highlight. It was the most adventurous hike either of us had ever done and I absolutely loved the challenge – even if I was cursing the hiking gods a bit on the last half mile – Haha.

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My mom’s bestie (aka my other mother) told me that when she and her husband went to Hawai’i they had these cocktails out of a pineapple. How can you not have one after you hear that? Our font desk guy found us the perfect spot at Duke’s Barefoot Bar to enjoy a pineapple cocktail with a view of the beach! It was just too much fun! 

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Kaua’i was just the absolutely perfect place for us to spend our Wundermoon, celebrate our vows to each other and reward ourselves from all of our hard work. We will return to Kauai as soon as it feels right, but I can guarantee it will never feel right without this man. 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina
    September 21, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Kauai looks like a place I need to visit. Wonderful waterfalls, great beaches, lots of green fields and healthy food. I’m impressed with your handstand on the beach.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      September 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      It’s pretty magical, and thank you! It took a couple of attempts, but my childhood gymnastics came back to me! 😉 haha

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    September 21, 2016 at 9:08 am

    My very first trip to Hawaii was this past year in April when we went to Oahu and now I am hooked! I want to visit all the Hawaiian islands now! Kauai looks incredible through your photos, excellent job capturing it! I especially LOVE that last photo of the two of you as well. Very beautiful!

  • Reply
    http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com
    September 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Kauai is one of my favorite places. When I’m disturbed about something, I mentally lie in the waves of Kaui, being soothed by the beauty that surrounds one on this incredible island.

  • Reply
    Amandas_Wanderlust
    September 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Kauai looks like a really cool place to visit. Wailua Falls look awesome too! I do like a good waterfll. There is a bit of a food theme going on in this post (especially the pics)! And now I really fancy some shave ice, but it would only give me brain freeze lol.

  • Reply
    Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy)
    September 21, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I think (fingers crossed) my first trip to Hawaii will be in the Spring. After seeing your pictures, I’m putting Kaua’i firmly at the top of my list. Everything from the food from Trucking Delicious to the waterfalls has captured my imagination. I can’t wait to go!

  • Reply
    thetravelpockets
    September 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve been to Hawaii twice, but haven’t made it to Kauai. Looking at your photos really makes me want to go now! I mean farmers markets and endless supply of tropical fruit?!?!? Who could ask for more? Well, besides the pretty view, but that is just a given in Hawaii 🙂

  • Reply
    Samantha | There She Goes Again
    September 21, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Oh my word this wundermoon makes me smile from ear to ear. Such beautiful photos, especially that last one! And I can see why you fell in love with Hawaiian shaved ice! It looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    Mimi
    September 21, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Hawaiiiiii soon! Next summer, so excited. Kauai looks like a really beautiful place to visit. Wailua Falls are amazing, but man there is way too many places in Hawaii to visit, let’s see how I can squeeze this one in!

    http://www.adventurefaktory.com

  • Reply
    Vyjay Rao
    September 22, 2016 at 1:47 am

    This is a lovely place, so serene and beautiful. A great choice for a honeymoon, I must say. Romance seems to thrive in the air. You sure had a great time.

  • Reply
    abcdeghizzy
    September 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Ugh wundermoon… I love that your honeymoon even had its own unique name! So happy to see (and read) that you had the best time imaginable and that you were able to chronicle all your adventures so thoroughly! That shaved ice though! And hahaha trucking delicious, I love it! PS did you end up getting a bridesmaid gown made for yourself?? It would make total sense though cause those dresses were gorgeous and they work so well for a tropical locale like Hawaii!

  • Reply
    thewanderlusteur
    September 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Love your photo diary – takes me back to when I visited (oh, the memories)! I love your travel style of taking in the views, discovering local haunts, and some R&R with loved ones (my style too!).

  • Reply
    Mother, May I?
    September 22, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Kauai is one of my favorite places and this photo diary reminds me exactly why! How gorgeous! I bet you guys had the best time. The trip looked lovely.

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  • Reply
    wheninmyjourneys
    October 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Love your last photo. It said it all about your trip. Cheers To More Happy Travels. 🙂

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