Our Favorite Kauai, Hawaii Recommendations
ALOHA!! We just got back from chasing all of the sunrises and soaking up all sunsets on this beautiful island of Kauai! 🌅 We are pumped to offer this trip to one of YOU as our SUMMER #CSECHALLENGE GRAND PRIZE! 🤙🏻
Below are a few of our favorite recommendations for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at @koloalandingresort located in Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii, the same location we’re sending our Summer Grand Prize winners to, and we absolutely loved it!
WHERE TO EAT:
HoloHolo Grill at Koala Landing is ahhhhmazing! You don’t have to stay there to eat there.
For an indulgent breakfast, we recommend:
Banana Bread French Toast
Banana Macadamia Pancakes with Coconut Syrup
Egg White Frittata or the Greek Yogurt parfait with a side of honey as a healthier, protein-packed option!
*Pro tip: order it “to-go” at the bar and enjoy it poolside!
HoloHolo Grill poolside or lunch menu:
Veggies & hummus plate
Fresh fish tacos
The kids loved the chicken tenders and fries.
Virgin Lava Flow (ordered poolside!)
HoloHolo Grill dinner menu:
JJ loved the Paniolo Burger for a good treat meal.
I love the Green Goddess Salad add grilled chicken.
Anake’s Juice Bar: Our fave place to get smoothie bowls! Our top picks were the Funky Monkey & Hulk. We also loved their Recharger Protein Shake. We seriously went there four times during our trip. The wait here varies! Seems like breakfast and lunch times are the most busy. We’ve waited 5 minutes and we’ve waited up to 35 minutes. Worth the wait though. *Pro Tip: they let you add in your own protein powder! I brought in a scoop of my CSE Simply Vanilla Protein in a bag and they would add it into my bowl!
Da Crack in Poipu: good hole in the wall Mexican food. We like to get the bowl option. Huge portions, could easily be shared. *Pro tip: don’t waste your calories on the chips. Not a big fan of them since they changed from the flour tortilla chips to the corn tortilla chips.
Makai Sushi: in the same market as Anake’s Juice Bar by Da Crack. All of their bowls are awesome, we loved the Gorilla Bowl because it was high protein, low carb. Balanced out all of our carb-loaded açaí bowl runs!
Waikomo Shaved Ice: Shave ice right by Da Crack. They use all natural flavorings!
Puka Dog: easy grab and go. We like the pineapple relish & the lilikio mustard topping. Great place to pick up souvenirs in that shopping center.
Chip Wrecked Nachos: named one of the best food trucks on Kauai - look them up on IG @chipwrecknachoskauai to see their location and hours of operation. We got the Hurricane and the Castaway Nachos to share and we loved them both! Their homemade flour tortillas are out of this world. Pretty sure we looked like we hadn’t eaten a meal in days with how we attacked them!
Kauai Community Farmer’s Market (Saturday only) : eat Kauai Sugarloaf frozen pineapple. Not a must, but fun if you are in the area or in need of some yummy fresh Hawaiian produce, breads or flowers! They also have food trucks there if you wanted to grab lunch as well.
Hanalei Bay Pizzeria: Grab a slice while on the North Shore. We got the Rooster Revenge and it was to die for! Their pineapple bbq sauce has the perfect amount of sweet and caramelizes in the oven. Their dough is a healthier alternative to traditional pizza or bread dough. Their slow-fermented dough is handmade on site using local Kauai honey rather than processed, refined sugar. *Pro tip: If you get there after 6:00pm be prepared for a long wait! We stopped by and put in our order, left to watch the sunset at Ha ‘ena Point and then came by on our way home to grab our order. They take orders over the phone so that would be the best way to do it! You can schedule your pick up time.
Anuenue Cafe: great breakfast in Poipu! Same shopping center as Puka Dog. Love their Banana Mac Pancakes and French Toast.
Hanalei Taro & Juice Company: great, healthy sandwich truck. We liked their turkey sandwich. Easy grab and go!
The top CSE tribe restaurant recommendations that we didn’t make it to was Porky’s in Waimea, Keoki’s in Poipu and Duke’s Barefoot Grill (not the fancy upstairs menu). Ice cream at Pink’s Creamery in Hanalei.
WHAT TO DO
Drive to North Shore and hike Queens Bath Trail - awesome in the Summer months. Can be extremely dangerous to swim there in the winter months. Wet, slick trail so wear appropriate shoes (no flip flops) and be prepared to get muddy and maybe slip on your tush a few times. The muddy trail is fairly short. Fun waterfalls on the way down and you can even spot turtles swimming in the inlet just before Queen’s Bath so stop and take a look! This hike was a highlight of my kids trip. They loved jumping off the rocks, swimming and searching for tad poles in the tide pools.
Go to Salt Pond Beach for a magical sunset. Such a fun beach for kids. Anytime of day is great! Nice calm beach.
Hike Mahaulepu Heritage Trail at sunrise! My kids didn’t love this hike as part is in the sand and full exposed to the sun. Also steep ledges. We went another day without the kids at sunrise and it was unbelievable! We got to the trail head around 6am. Awesome views and you beat the heat! Take the trail left and hike the full 2 miles in to the private beaches. Supposedly there is a waterfall somewhere back in there, but we never found it. If you head right at the first lookout point instead, there is a rock you can jump from about 40 feet high. Super sketch, but great for those thrill seekers. JJ did it and said it was awesome. LONG swim back to shore after the jump. Beware of the dangers here.
Shipwrecks Beach is great for boogie boarding. Big waves. Not great for kids, but a pretty beach. The trailhead to the Heritage Trail hike is located at the end of this beach.
The beach behind the Sheraton in Poipu was one of our favorite beaches. Fun waves! Mild enough for our kids. Bring tubes or boogie boards for your kids and they’ll have a blast! Showers and a good walking trail right by the beach. We walked from our Resort. You can also take surf lessons on this beach!
Visit Spouting Horn and then go watch the sunset on the grass just down the street where they launch the rower boats. There’s a calm little beach there where the kids can play in the small waves and in the sand.
Go see the turtles coming up to feed and sleep at the Hidden inlet in Poipu. Probably the most memorable thing across the street from Koloa Landing on the ocean side walk toward Spouting Horn about 100 yards. There is a random boat ramp on the left. Walk down it and climb over the black rocks to the right until you see a river. They come in between 6-8pm. The rocks are tricky to walk on so wear good shoes!
Hike Ho’opi’i Falls - you can jump off the first falls and rope swing off the second that is safe for kids. The hike is about 1.3 miles one way. The trail system is a little tricky. Stay high on the trail vs. staying right along the water. It took us an hour to get in (we got lost), but only 30 minutes to hike out. Muddy trail, but not too difficult. Wear appropriate shoes and prepare to get muddy. Bring the bug spray on this one!! We sprayed before and still got bit!
Hit Tunnels Beach for the absolute best view, snorkeling and swimming. I’ll add direction here. Close parking is tricky. I would say early morning or late afternoon arrival would be your best bet at getting a spot. The small street you can park on only accommodates about ten cars. Bring a shade umbrella if possible. No bathrooms. Here is a great site with driving directions!
Visit Ha’ena Beach Park for a great sunset. We were lucky and spotted turtles and a seal! We got rain, a double rainbow and a killer sunset! Plus there was nobody there… only 2-3 other small groups of people.
Hike the Napali Coast Hanakapi`ai Trail! You need to make reservations ahead of time for this one. This is a new policy. You need permits just to drive back to where the trailhead begins. We recommend hiking all the way to the waterfall. Wear your suit so you can swim underneath the falls. It’s a long hike, but extremely rewarding! The views are magnificent! 2 miles to the beach and 4 miles one way to the waterfall. Wear good shoes and bring lots of water & snacks!
Take a catamaran along the Napali Coast is another great way to see it. We did that with adults only, so look into age requirements if taking children. We’ve also heard the helicopter tour is amazing! We’ll do that next time!
Waimea Canyon hike. Not recommended with kids. Not a difficult hike, but there are lots of steep drop offs. Cool hike with amazing views!
Waimea Canyon drive and lookout if you’re wanting a more low-key, out of the sun and water kind of day. The views are incredible! My kids did not enjoy the drive or the views. Maybe not the best activity with young kids. Windy roads, lots of time in the car.