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Kauai Day 1

It’s finally time to blog about one of my favorite places in the world, Kauai! My husband and I went to Kauai and the Big Island for our honeymoon in September.  Originally, when our other plans fell through I turned up my nose at the idea of going to Hawaii for our honeymoon because it suggested we were a hum drum typical honeymooner couple.  I was soooo wrong!  Hawaii is everything that everyone talks about and more. Because each island is vastly different it’s possible to visit three different climates on one island in one day. Contrary to popular belief, Hawaii isn’t just for couples, and really offers a ton of activity for any adventurous traveler.

As we began to plan out our Hawaii vacation we realized that you really do need about a week on every island because there is so much to do on each one!

We  began our trip in Kauai. Kauai is where the idea for this blog was born. My husband and I were hiking one of the best trails in America on the North Shore of Kauai when we both said to each other that we wish travel planning and itinerary sharing was much easier, and so an idea was born.

Kauai is vividly beautiful, it’s where they filmed the incoming shots of Jurassic Park.  It is also a moody island as clouds roll in frequently on the North Shore and rain is an everyday occurrence.  The South Shore on the other hand (i.e. Poipu) is sunny and cheery pretty much everyday. Kauai is the western most island in Hawaii and the west side of Kauai is the western most point of the United States. The island is very small, about 50 miles all around, but renting a car will make your trip all the more easier and fun.

Below is day 1 from our Kauai itinerary.  I hope you enjoy reading and dreaming. Please comment if you any tips as well!

Where to stay

Because we were on a honeymoon and wanted a nicer place to stay for this leg of our journey we chose the Grand Hyatt in Poipu (south side of Kauai). The Grand Hyatt has great service, delicious brunch, and is near Poipu beach, which has some of the best snorkeling and body boarding on the Island.  But, when I go back next time, I may switch gears and stay on the North end of the Island at the Princeville, which is a bit more dramatic. In the alternative, there are a ton of b&bs on the island that probably offer a better rate than the chains. (ie. check out frugal traveler at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/28/travel/frugal-traveler-a-cottage-of-one-s-own-in-kauai.html?pagewanted=1)

Regardless of where you stay on the island, it’s fairly small and you can get around easily to either side as long as you rent a car.

What to do

Day 1 – Poipu Beach

Wake up early and grab brunch at your hotel’s buffet or check out Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company for an awesome cheap brunch of pancakes/eggs. Kauai has some of the best coffee (in fact we brought several bags home) so enjoy it while you’re there! http://www.kalaheo.com/

Drive to Poipu Beach (less than 3 or 4 miles from the Grand Hyatt- your gps will recognize this beach if you enter in places/recreation). Rent your snorkeling gear from the local shop to the left of the parking lot if you don’t have your own ($6 daily rentals). Poipu offers some of the best snorkeling on Kauai. The water is shallow and calm, which allows you to swim out to the little reef and observe all the native fish in their habitat. On our first day snorkeling there, we saw a ton of fish, and a few sea turtles. We did this all for $6 a person, without a tour guide or a boat taking us to some remote location.

After you tire of the snorkeling, and chilling on the beach, walk down the road to Brennecke’s Beach, which is literally part of the same park as Poipu Beach.  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29218-d155134-Reviews-Brennecke_s_Beach-Kauai_Hawaii.html

Brennecke’s is one of the top body surfing and body boarding places in the world. The waves break throughout the year consistently because of the sheltered cove that it is sits on.  On an interesting day, you’ll see local kids riding the waves like pros and tackling each wave with a lack of fear. My husband literally probably stayed in the water for 4 hours straight just riding the waves. What makes this beach ridiculously fun is the backlash wave from the rocks on the beach, which allows people to ride 2 waves simultaneously at the same time. Even if you’re a bit timid of the water, Brennecke’s is still fairly shallow, so novice swimmers could get in the water and ride a few waves on their boogie boards.

After a rollicking day in Poipu, if you’re in the mood for an upscale nice dinner, try a nice Italian dinner outdoors at Donderos.http://kauai.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/entertainment/restaurants/index.jsp#1823

Check out Frugal Traveler’s article for more tips..http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/travel/27Hawaii.html?ex=1359262800&en=afd4eefbbcb6a0a0&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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