All About our Trip to Kauai, Part One

Here’s your quick recap: Travis and I had wanted to go to Hawaii ever since our wedding and we finally booked it to celebrate our 10 (and a half) year wedding anniversary. It was also going to be our FIRST kid-free trip without Jack, who is 7 ½ years old. We decided to go to Kauai and booked a fantastic condo through HomeAway in the Poipu area of the island, which is on the South side.

Our plans were to be really lazy, eat delicious food, spend time on the beaches, and maybe go for a hike.

I shared a ton of photos on Instagram while we were gone, but now I finally have had the chance to sit down at my desk and write up a post. I took notes while we were there so that I could look back and remember what we did each day because it was such a whirlwind!

This post ended up being super long, so I broke it into two parts:

Part One: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday (you’re reading it!)

Part Two: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (find it here!)


We flew out from Maryland early in the morning and arrived in Kauai on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-hour time difference worked in our favor, so we kept with it by going to bed relatively early each night and also waking up pretty early in the morning. Once we landed, we went to pick up our rental car and we totally let the nice rental car lady talk us into upgrading to a jeep.

The top popped off the jeep and we were SO GLAD that we had it for the week to enjoy exploring in the beautiful weather. On our arrival day, we didn’t do too much. After settling in our condo, we went for a walk to Shipwreck Beach (less than 10 minutes from our condo).

After hanging out for a bit, we returned to the condo and went out to find a store to buy some groceries (mainly breakfast foods and coffee) and had our first Puka Dog.

Puka Dogs are pretty much one of my favorite things I ate all week and here is my perfected order: polish sausage with mild original sauce, coconut beach relish, and Auntie Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard. Absolute heaven!


This is where we started our morning routine of making a pot of Hawaiian coffee and sitting out on the lanai to enjoy a few cups each morning. When it got too hot, we’d move our coffee party into the living room and watch some HGTV. We both get sucked in and Fixer Upper is our absolute favorite!

On our first full day in Kauai, we did some exploring. We started by walking to Poipu Beach (less than 10 minutes from our condo in the opposite direction of Shipwreck Beach) and saw some sea turtles.

We walked back, took the top off the jeep and decided to drive West to explore. We went to Hanapepe and walked around that little town, tentatively walked across the swinging bridge, and enjoyed lunch at that location of Little Fish Coffee.

Then, we kept on driving until we ended up at the lookout for Waimea Canyon. It was absolutely beautiful!

Pictures truly don’t do it justice. We bought some fruit from a man at the top of the lookout and had a little picnic before driving back down to visit Kauai coffee.

We walked the self-guided coffee tour and then helped ourselves to lots and lots of coffee tasting samples. We ended up buying me a t-shirt (it says Sunshine & Coffee), a bag of ground coffee for us, and a bag of coffee beans to bring home to my coffee-loving brother. We hit up Puka dog for an afternoon snack and then had dinner at Brennekes, a nearby restaurant. They are known for their “World Famous Mai Tai’s”, so that’s what I got with my fish tacos.


After another lazy coffee and breakfast morning on the lanai, we made our way over to the East side of the island. A couple weeks ago I went ahead and booked a tubing trip through Kauai Backcountry Adventures. We got there a little early, so we walked to the corner to grab me my very first shave ice and got Travis a waffle hotdog.

The shave ice was so delicious! I got pineapple juice and coconut on the top and macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom. I’m still drooling over it, weeks later!

For the tubing adventure, we wore our swimsuits and I topped mine with a SPF 50 surf shirt. I really didn’t want to get burned on the 3-hour adventure! It worked out perfectly and even kept me a little warmer when we were going through the cooler dark caves.

I love this photo of Travis:

And you can basically hear me going “SQUEEE” in my photo from the cold water hitting me on the sudden drop:

We LOVED the tubing trip and we had so much fun. I highly suggest adding it to your Kauai itinerary if you go!

Once we got back to the condo and showered, we decided to head back to Hanapepe for their Friday Night Art Festival. All of the shops were open late with lots of food trucks and bands playing in the streets. We ended up eating a food truck smorgasbord of Chipwrecked Nachos, Malsadas, and more Shave Ice for dinner.


We enjoyed the Little Fish Coffee shop so much in Hanapepe that we decided to visit the location closer to our condo for breakfast. It was absolutely delicious, but we learned after this second visit that it saves a ton of time to order online and just schedule for pick up. Then you can bypass the long line and go straight to grabbing and enjoying your breakfast!

After we fueled up, we stopped by the Ke Kahua O Kaneioluma statues and then made our way to Spouting Horn.

From there we went to Warehouse 3540. OH MY GOSH, this place is a total treasure trove of amazing finds. There was handmade jewelry, vintage dresses, a used book shop, and more (check them out here). We spent so much time just oooohing and aaaaahing over everything. Then, we made our way outside to the Kauai Poke Co food truck to grab a Kalua Pig bowl, followed by some hand shaved ice at Fresh Shave.

Then we went thrifting! We stopped by a nearby Salvation Army store and I found the cutest Hawaiian shirt to take home to Jack, I also found a skirt for myself and Travis found two Playstation games.

We went back to the condo to laze around for a bit and then hit up Kalapacki Joe’s for happy hour/dinner before running outside to watch the sunset.

Okay, that’s the first half of our trip… so I’m going to cut it off here. I’ll come back on Thursday with Part Two, which includes a catamaran tour of the Na Pali coast, rum tasting at Koloa Rum Company, and a nasty man who kept vomiting on our flight home.

Let me know if you have any questions about our fun Kauai adventure so far!

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