#6) Hanalei Dolphin Fish Market & Hanalei Pier. I’m including both of these together because every time I went up to the North Shore to go to the beach, I had to stop at Fish Market for some fresh sushi rolls. Really fresh. Going to the beach can be a little hit-or-miss depending on what the clouds decide to do while you’re there, but there are lots of cute little shops if the beach part doesn’t work out. Definitely recommend jumping off the Hanalei Pier.
#7) Kauai is so beautiful, it’s hard not to want to explore it. You won’t catch me hiking in Texas, but I did it quite a bit on Kauai. There wasn’t a hike I didn’t like. Here are some pictures from all over the island to give you an idea of what you can see if you’re up for a little adventure…and calorie burning!
#8) Historic Hanapepe. Friday night is Art Night. I went with some friends right before I left the island, and it was so cool! We went to dinner at the Hanapepe Cafe before walking the street. I remember my meal because it was the first time in my life I’d had purple potatoes! It was delicious.
I don’t have picture walking the streets, but it’s really wonderful and quaint. All the galleries open their doors, and it’s fun to just browse. I still love the prints that I bought that night from Isa Maria and Robin McCoy.
#9) ATV, zipline and horseback riding tours. I’ll start with the ATV tour. We went to Kipu Ranch Adventures, which is a private ranch, AND you can see Never Neverland while on the tour. Parts of Jurassic Park were also filmed here. I’m such a sucker for wanting to go places where movies were filmed. But seriously, who doesn’t want to see Never Neverland? The tour was pretty cool. Just so you know, there’s a good chance you’ll end up covered in mud, so plan for that. I rode with one of the guides because I’d flipped so many ATVs as a child, and I just didn’t feel like taking a 12 hour flight with a broken leg. He may or may not have offered to take me to the Neverland beach on his boat. Sadly, I had other commitments.
I will also highly recommend the Kauai Backcountry Adventures zipline tour. The guys that work there are awesome, and I felt totally safe the whole time. Even when I looked down and saw this…
The only time I did get scared is when they told me I had to curl up in a ball because they were afraid I wouldn’t make it to the other side.
For the horseback riding tour, we went to Silver Falls Ranch, and had a great time. Lunch was included, along with a cool dip at the waterfalls. Highly recommend this company.
#10) Sunsets. Ahhh, there’s nothing more magical than a Kauai sunset. The best part about Kauai is that the locals don’t take it for granted either. You would think if you saw something that beautiful every day, all your life, you would forget to stop and notice it. They don’t. And that’s magical.
I just couldn’t stop at ten, so here are two bonus favorites:
#11) Kalaheo Cafe & Coffe Company. This little delight is where I spent my weekends! Six a.m. shift every Saturday and Sunday. Master pastry icer. Queen of putting out the scones of the day labels. My one true regret from living on Kauai is not trying a knuckle. Please try one for me! Besides this being one of the best restaurants on Kauai, it’s inexpensive, has a ton of menu options, and it’s very cozy. Although I worked the breakfast/lunch shift, I often went for dinner. There fresh fish specials are divine, and the place is totally transformed for dinner.
#12) Kilauea Point. This place isn’t just my favorite place on Kauai. It’s my favorite place in the entire world. I remember when I looked down for the first time, I realized that something really can “take your breath away.” I had always thought that was just a saying…until I went to Kilauea Point. It’s a National Wildlife Refuge, and there’s a lighthouse there. Not much to do besides look, but boy is it breathtaking!
Well I could go on forever, but I’ll leave you with my top 12. Hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you get to enjoy Kauai some day! It’s truly fabulous.