Hawaii Bound: Kaua’i

For the next 5 days, I am kid-free and husband-free. Since naps are rare around here these days, I rarely have any free time to blog. So I am determined to do a little catching up over the next few days.

When we last left off, I was recovering from a miscarriage in Hawaii.  Hawaii is truly a beautiful place to heal the soul.

My BIL Darren lives in Kaua’i, so this was a logical first stop.

Accommodations

We stayed at the Courtyard Kaua’i  at Coconut Beach.  This was purely a budget choice on my part. We booked this trip at the last minute, and there was very little available in terms of vacation rentals. I got a rocking’ good deal on the room rate at this hotel and honestly did not have any expectations except for it being a place to crash at the end of each day. I also liked that it was centrally located in Kapa’a. We were pleasantly surprised. There was a beautiful beach front, a lovely swimming pool and free Mai Tais every evening. What more could we ask for?

Food

We tend to judge our vacations by the quality of our meals. There is nothing like eating your way through a trip.  This experience was no different.

Kapa’a

Waipouli Deli & Restaurant 

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This restaurant was a hop, skip and a jump from our hotel.  It is not much to look at, located within a strip mall. But it served up some very decent macadamia nut pancakes and was filled with locals, usually a good sign of a good meal.

Java Kai

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This was a cute coffee and smoothie bar, a nice place to grab a quick breakfast before setting out an a day of sight seeing. I recommend the Surfer Girl- scrambled eggs, spinach, tomato, cheese and bacon on a bagel. Yum!

Bobby V’s

The sidewalks in Kaua’i literally roll up at 8 pm. After a long day of exploring the Napoli coast line, with a sleeping child in the car, we discovered this Italian restaurant and pizzeria, which was open until 9. The staff were friendly and obliged our request of take-out meatball and chicken parm subs. It was surprisingly decent for Italian food in Hawaii!

Anahola

Moloa’a Sunrise Juice Bar

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We discovered this gem on the ride to Hanalei. We ordered the Date with Fate and Taste of Hawaii.  Both were good, but the Date with Fate was the clear winner. We have tried to recreate it at home without success.

Hanalei Bay/Kilauea

The Dolphin

This fish market and sushi lounge was our first meal in Kaua’i.  We ate outside & the ambience was lovely. So was the sushi, albeit overpriced.

The Hanalei Gourmet

We ate lunch at this very packed dive of a restaurant. We had the fish and chips and it was tasty and fresh, good but not great.

Bubba Burger 

Perfect for a quick bite before heading to the beach. It’s no Hop Doddy’s but served up a solid burger.

Pink’s Creamery

This is where the dining got good.  Hawaiian grilled cheese and creamy gourmet ice cream? Yes, please! For those of you who have not had the pleasure of Hawaiian grilled cheese, it is yummy shredded pork, muenster cheese and pineapple sandwiched between sweet Hawaiian bread.  And it was good! The ice cream was equally delicious. We came back two separate times to enjoy it. I heartily recommend the Kona Mud Pie, Haupia, Aloha Cherry Truffle and Banana Mac-Nut Brittle.

Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza 

 

The pizza here was just ok. My husband is a New Yorker, so we are hard to please when it comes to pizza.  I would recommend the baked goods.  The cookies were delicious.

Jo Jo’s Shave Ice

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My daughter loves snow cones more than anything.  DH and I tend to prefer ice cream- until we met Jo Jo’s Shave Ice, which deliciously blends the two in a unique and fabulous way. You should order the Tropical Breeze- macadamia nut ice cream nestled inside shave ice with guava, passionfruit and mango syrup and topped with coconut cream. Wow!

Kalypso Island Bar & Grill

There was nothing overly impressive about this bar and grill fare. We had a burger, chicken pesto sandwich and coconut shrimp.  But it did boast some tasty cocktails including the coco banana- rum, amaretto and banana frozen and blended.

Kauai Nut Roasters

This was a cute nut shop in the center of Hanalei. We brought home the pineapple coconut and butterscotch macadamias. The best part was that the store clerk was from my home state of NH and she hooked us up.

Po’ipu

Brennecke’s Beach Broiler

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On the south shore, this is a popular casual dining spot located directly across from the beach. It consists of a deli, souvenir shop and restaurant.  If you sit on the second floor of the main restaurant, you get some amazing views of beach through open windows. The food was overpriced ($22 for fish and chips, which fortunately was large enough to share with my daughter), but the drinks were phenomenal. Try the Original Brown Nipple with Banana if you dare.

Beaches

The best part of Kaua’i is the stunning beaches. We explored several beaches while we were there including Anini Beach, Hanelei  Beach Park, Lydgate Beach Park, Po’ipu Beach and others that were unnamed. Anini Beach was probably my favorite, but traveling with a little one, I’d recommend Lydgate Beach or Po’ipu. Both had shallow, wave-free kids areas to swim, and Lydgate has a play area, which was a hit with J. We also went to the Blue Room, a cave aptly named for the glow of it’s blue water. It’s a slippery downhill hike to get to the water (J and I had to watch from above), and there are signs everywhere warning you of the risk of bacterial infection should you swim. But it was stunning!

The Sights

The great thing about Kaua’i is that you don’t have to obligated to do anything in particular except for enjoy it’s beautiful beaches and nature.  Having said that, I did have a few sights I had to see including Wailua Falls in Lihue, the Spouting Horn in Koloa,  and the Napali Coast including Waimea Canyon and Kalalau look-out. We also had the opportunity to take a ride in Uncle Darren’s boat, and J even got to captain it for a little while!

All in all, our trip to Kaua’i was wonderful, and I would come back here every year if I had the chance! I highly recommend visiting.