When I went to slather on my lotion this morning, I realized that my enormous bottle was empty! How does that happen? I glanced around my basket of products, and nestled way in the back, was a bottle of Malie coconut vanilla body cream. It’s been about 3 years since I lived on Kauai, so I thought maybe it should be tossed, but I needed some lotion! I quickly put on the coconut vanilla dream concoction, and that delicious scent brought me back to Kauai. Isn’t it funny how that happens?
I moved to Kauai about a year after I graduated college. Had an awesome job at an awesome company, but I had never lived outside of Houston (besides college), and I was ready for an adventure. The decision was made, and I was on a plane, in roughly a two-week time period. Now I understood this little holiday would eventually have to end, so I took advantage of every moment possible. I made tons of friends, went to the beach almost every day, tried out almost every restaurant in the guide book, shopped, cooked, and I even worked a little bit on the weekends at the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co..I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of everything, but check out their websites!
Here’s my list of favorite places and things to do on Kauai…
#1) Plantation Gardens Restaurant. This place is uh-mazing. Not only is the food delicious, everyone that works there is fabulous. My first trip to Plantation Gardens was supposed to be a quick stop at the bar…which lead to a few hours and a delicious tuna dish that changed my previously negative opinion about tuna. I can’t leave out that the place is supposed to be haunted, so the manager obliged my curiosity of ghosts and after the restaurant was closed, he let me walk through the kitchen with all the lights turned off to see if I could see anything. I didn’t. Thank God. After that first trip, I ate at PGs at least once a week, and that’s where I brought all my visitors. My favorite dish is the Seafood Lau Lau. It’s fresh seafood and vegetables cooked in ti leaf. They also have crazy good specials every day. And I couldn’t ever leave without dessert. If I was trying to be relatively good, I’d split the lilikoi cheesecake. If I was celebrating something (like say, the last day of my two-month no sugar, gluten, dairy detox diet), I had the Baked Hawaiian. If I had to choose the last dessert of my life, I’d choose a Baked Hawaiian. I’m debating buying a plane ticket tonight, just so I can have a Baked Hawaiian. What is it? The Baked Hawaiian is made with Lappert’s (we’ll get to them later) chocolate and macadamia nut icecream on a fudge brownie crust with toasted meringue. Are you drooling yet?
#2) Tutu’s Soup Hale. I discovered Tutu’s one afternoon because I was meeting some friends at an art show near it. When I had some extra time to spare before the show began, I ducked into Tutu’s to see their menu. It’s painted bright and cheerful, and they open the doors so the cool breeze blows through it. I was instantly drawn to it. Then I met the owners…Bert and Sage. They are the reason I went back so much. I didn’t work Monday-Friday, so I drove 45 minutes into Kapa’a almost every day to eat breakfast with Bert and Sage. They became my Kauai “parents.” I could talk all day long about the fantastic food, but I’ll just leave you with my 3 recommendations: Chai tea (best on the island), Bert’s Breakie, and Gorgonzola Walnut Cranberry Salad. This is a little embarrassing, but I had a Bert’s Breakie pretty much every day for an entire month. Sage said when she met Bert, that’s what he ate for breakfast every day! It’s a croissant filled with scrambled eggs, salsa, and veggie sausage. I miss them. Oh, I should also add they have intuitive readings, and wanting to take full advantage of the Kauai experience, I totally did it. You should know I was a queen in a previous life! Tutu’s is in the Kinipopo Shopping Village right off the Kuhio Highway.
#3) Poipu beach. It’s on the south shore of Kauai, so it’s bright and sunny most of the time. Lots of families and a great beach to swim in the water, and there’s easy parking access. Definitely my favorite beach to go to on Kauai.
#4) Lappert’s Icecream. I often stopped by here after a day at the beach. This adorable icecream shop is in the Kukuiula Shopping Village in Koloa. If you see some cute old-timey looking shops in a red building, you’re there. You can get a cone and walk around the shops while you eat. My favorite is the Kauai Pie…Kona coffee icecream swirled with chocolate fudge, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and vanilla cake crunch. I was addicted.
#5) Kipu Falls. Lots of locals talk about this place, so I knew I had to go before I moved back to the mainland. I went just a few days before I left Kauai, and I’m so glad I did. You have to take some back roads to get there, and I honestly don’t think I would have ever found it if my roommate hadn’t been my guide. There’s a little bit of a hike to get to the falls, but it’s well worth it. After reading this article, I’m glad I didn’t jump in, but it was a great place to hang out for the afternoon. P.S.- my friends did jump, and they survived.
My next 5 will be coming soon!