Kauai Recap: Days 1 & 2

Almost a full 3 weeks after we arrived in Kauai and I am finally getting around to my day-by-day recaps of the trip ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived in Kauai late on the night of December 22. I think our flight landed about 10pm. So we basically just picked up our rental car and drove to our Air BnB rental. We rented this great loft apartment, which was in a fantastic location as long as you don’t mind not being on the water. In hindsight, we do wish we’d booked on the beach – but now we know for next time ๐Ÿ™‚

1 air bnb

Day 1: Friday, December 23ย 

Day 1 started with a walk to check out our surroundings since it was pitch black when we arrived so late the night before. We walked down to the water, which was only a 5ish minute walk from our Air BnB rental, and watched the sunrise.

2 sunrise day 1

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3 sunrise day 1

After our walk we got in the car and drove to the southern part of the island to go to Costco and stock up on groceries and alcohol for the week!

5 costco trip day 1

After Costco we got stuck in the worst traffic jam ever driving back to our rental! Our drive to Costco took about 20 minutes and our drive back to our rental took closer to an hour! The insane traffic is one of the reasons I probably wouldn’t visit Kauai again during the Christmas season.

After we put all of our groceries away we loaded up our car with the beach essentials – chairs, towels, beer ๐Ÿ™‚ and drove to Lydgate Beach Park. Sadly it was very windy and wavy so not good for snorkelling. I did a bit of swimming but we mostly just sat on the beach reading and relaxing.

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After a couple of hours at the beach we headed back to our rental to rest for a bit – this is where a beachfront rental would have been really nice. When we went to Maui we could relax / rest on our Lanai and still have an amazing view of the beach and ocean ๐Ÿ™‚

That evening we borrowed a couple of bikes from our rental, which was one of the huge perks of it, they had a whole bunch of cruiser bikers (albeit quite old and rusty) that you could use for free! So we jumped on bikes and biked down the beachfront path for a happy hour at Sam’s Oceanview.

7 biking to happy hour day 1

The view was amazing but the food and drinks were just OK and kind of pricey.

8 happy hour day 1

On our way back from happy hour Eric thought it would be a good idea to buy a coconut and then proceeded to bike the rest of the way home carrying it in one hand.ย The back tire on his bike was also flat so it was quite hilarious.

10 biking home coconut day 1ย 9 biking home coconut day 1

And that wraps up Day 1!

Day 2: Saturday, December 24

I loved this day! It was very much a spontaneous day. We woke up with no real plans and decided we’d get in the car and drive north. Kauai is a very small island so it’s pretty easy to drive from one end to the other. First, we had breakfast at our rental. Eric of course had spam and I had a papaya with yogurt and the most amazing Kauai granola.

11 christmas eve breakfast

We were driving along and saw a sign for Anini Beach Park and was like “let’s pull in and check it out!” so we did and there were people snorkelling. Snorkelling is my absolutely favourite Hawaiian activity. We did it soooo much in Maui. So we grabbed our stuff out of the car and headed into the water for a snorkel ๐Ÿ™‚

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The snorkelling was just OK. We only ended up snorkelling twice in Kauai on two different beaches, and both times we just found the reefs weren’t as bright or colourful as they were in Maui. Maybe we were in the wrong places?? Hopefully veteran snorkelers / visitors to Kauai can feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

After we got cleaned up at the awesome public washrooms at the park we hit the road again and kept driving north! We made it to Hanalai, which is the cutest little town ever!

We loved the north side of Kauai way more than the south side. When we go back one day we will definitely stay in the north. We stopped in Hanalei for lunch and then drove right to the end of the road. We were kind of hoping to check out Ke’e Beach, but holy smokes was it ever busy and we couldn’t get a parking spot. So we turned around and headed back down the road and ended up stopping at Lumaha’i Beachย because it was so empty! I guess it was so empty because the swimming on this beach is treacherous, but it sure was nice to have the beach almost to ourselves.

18 christmas eve beach

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19 christmas eve beach

We just sat on the beach reading, drinking beer and watching the waves crash for a good two hours. It was beautiful!

After leaving the beach we stopped again in Hanalei for a Christmas Eve dinner from the Trucking Delicious Food Truck. So yum! Food truck meals are the way to go in Kauai – so much cheaper than restaurants, just as good and allow you to do BYOB.

22 christmas eve dinner

23 christmas eve cupcake

This dragonfruit cupcake was ah-ma-zing!

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This lookout near Princeville really shows the incredible green lushness of Kauai. There is a reason it’s called the Garden Island.

We stopped to do a small hike on our way home as well to the Pools of Mokolea, as per the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook I ordered on amazon.

24 christmas eve crab chasing

25 christmas eve crab chasing

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We also discovered this totally random rope swing in the trees by the beach. So funny!

26 christmas eve rope swingย 27 christmas eve rope swing

We ended the night by witnessing the start of a beautiful sunset as we walked back to our car ๐Ÿ™‚

28 christmas eve sunset

And we finished Christmas Eve off by watching The Santa Clause on Netflix and eating snacks in bed. It was a very full, but perfect, day!

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Have you ever been to Kauai before?ย 

9 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    Ah, sounds and looks so fun and spontaneous. And so nice to have a condo and have the option to make and store your own food. I felt a little cramped just being in a one bedroom hotel room with a crib for 6 days.

  2. Abby Nastase says:

    Beautiful! So you got to explore a different part of the island than we did! So this is fun to read. We stayed at a resort kind of near Princeville (on the night we were backpacking :D).

    We did not snorkel, but scuba dived near Poipu (sp?) — and our diving was pretty awesome. But it was August and the waters are quite calm then? I wonder if that makes a difference.

    Yeahhhh traffic can be bad in Kauai since there is like…one big road that circumnavigates the island!! Same thing with Oahu!

    I love the flat tire coconut photo ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I love that Eric biked around with a flat tire, holding a coconut. Hilarious. Looks like your trip got off to a good start. It’s too bad that it was so windy when you were there so wasn’t great for snorkeling. Now that I have been reading up on Hawaii it sounds like that is commonly an issue in the winter months. It’s still beautiful, though!!

  4. Bronwyn says:

    Beautiful! Yes the one time I went to Hawaii I went to Kauai, I really loved it it was just a gorgeous island. I can’t say we found any super exciting snorkeling either, but I was also the only one interested in snorkeling so we mostly just went to beaches for folks to hang out and me to swim!

  5. Alison says:

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing!! I am SO glad you got away!!

  6. […] You can read about our first two days in Kauai here.ย  […]

  7. […] It was our first time ever going away at Christmas and it was amazing! (You can find the recaps here, here, here and […]

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