A few weeks ago, Matt and I took a trip to Hanalei, Kauai for my girlfriend’s destination wedding. We were only there for four days but that’s all you need if you do as the locals do…here’s my inside scoop!
WHERE TO STAY
First thing’s first, rent a car. There’s really no other way to get around if you want to explore and check out all of the incredible adventures the island has to offer. Once you have a car, check in at The St. Regis Princeville Resort. No matter what room you stay in, you’ll have views of the property’s beautiful gardens, the surrounding mountains or the glistening Hanalei Bay. Looking for something a little more homey? There are also a handful of great Airbnb’s available throughout Hanalei Bay.
Located just off the shores of Princeville, take a 15-minute hike past a waterfall, and you’ll find yourself at Queen’s Bath. Be prepared to get a little muddy and be sure to wear shoes you can climb in because the hike does get steep at some points. Once you’re there, you’ll find the hike is more than worth your while. Despite this being a popular tourist attraction, the hot spot is pretty serene and peaceful. Dive in!
HIT THE SHOPS
Looking to do a little retail therapy? You’ll find the best bikinis on the island at I Heart Hanalei. If you’re looking for some great takeaways for your home or to bring back a little piece of the island for your loved ones, check out Hunter Gatherer.
HAPPY HOUR, ANYONE?
To kick off happy hour, head over to the terrace at St. Regis Princeville for sunset cocktails. After cocktails, make a reservation over at Ama for the best ramen and steamy buns the island has to offer.
HAWAII FROM A HELICOPTER
One of the best ways to appreciate the island’s beauty, is to get a bird’s eye view of the Napoli Coast. Book your helicopter tour through Blue Hawaiian in Princeville and be prepared to witness the most insane views of your life.
One of my favorite parts of our trip was hand making leis with my girlfriends! You’ll come across many local lei makers along the way but if you have a large group, I highly recommend booking a session through Kauai Experience. Not only will you learn how to create one of these beautiful flower crowns, but also the significance behind the tradition.
ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SNACKS
Last couple of recommendations for the best eats around the island! Stop by the Kilauea Fish Market for their ahi wrap. Another great spot for lunch is Hanalei Taro & Juice Co. Despite being well known for its selection of juices and smoothies, this farm to table joint serves up Kalua pork tacos that may make you rethink becoming vegan.
We had the best time celebrating our friends wedding and couldn’t have asked for a better getaway location. Win, win!
And, that’s a wrap! Saying aloha for now, (did you know ‘aloha’ translates to both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in the Hawaiian language?), and hope this inspires you to think twice the next time you receive a destination wedding invite. xx