Hawaii Islands - Kauai, Hanalei

In 2017 we visited the islands of Hawaii for 17 days. Snorkeling, driving, hiking, exploiring everthing that the islands of O'ahu and Kauai had to offer. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. We visited Hawaii before, back in 2012, where we traveled around Maui for 8 days. You can read about our Maui adventure here!

We landed in the Island of O'ahu, where we stayed for 4 days then flew to Kauai for a longer visit. We ended the trip in O'ahu again before flying back home.

* O'ahu, Waianae - (Yokohama Bay, Kaena Point State Park)
* Kauai, Hanalei - (Tunnels Beach, Cannon's Beach, Makua Beach, Ke'e Beach)
* Kauai, Hanalei part 2 - (Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast)
* Kauai, Polihale - (Polihale State Park, Queen's Bath, Waimea)


We flew to Kauai after 4 days in O'ahu, Waianae, our plan was to spend 8 nights in Hanalei, and during that time, drive around the islands and explore it. The area we were had picked, which was located near the Northern Tip of Kauai, close to Princeville, had several homes available for rent through Airbnb, many of them high end and located in Princeville. The home we choose was right next to Wainiha Bay, very close to the Wainiha River, an area that would later be devestated by flooding in 2018.

The location was choosen due to its proximity to the Kalalau trail, Ha'ena State Park, Tunnels Beach, and Queen's Bath, while still being close enough to local food and restuarants.


One of the restuarants, that we found ourselves stopping at frequently, was a small shed, walking distance from the house, SushiGirl. This location has since been closed, and they have moved further inland. It was an awesome little place that served a very small menu of fresh sushi burritos and sushi rolls.
The house was a raised home, on stilts, which was of course due to the floodings that must of happened frequently in the area.

It was a great location, in theory, while we expected to in a slightly remote area, as it took several winding roads to get in and out, we didn't expect that our neighbors would be close enough that their dogs, (upwards of ten, less than 20) could be heard barking at all hours.

There were also no fences in the area, only trees, so it was difficult from the ground to tell where the property lines started and ended.


The house itself had a lovely interior design, but only one shower. The seating area was nice and comfortable, but halfway through our trip the owners showed up and removed the couches, as they had been "sold". They replaced it with a single futon, which ruined the seating for three people. We were quiet upset about the change and it was one of the primary reseasons we would never recommend this host again.

Despite the gorgeous views, and ignoring the change in the furniture halfway through our trip, this house close to unbearable to stay in. The house would get extremely hot during the day, and there was no airflow through the house due to misplaced windows. The fans did not work well and were only present in our bedrooms. We then found at night we were unable to open the doors to allow more air in due to the overwhelming amount of mosquitoes. By the third day of our trip we were all covered in mosquito bites.

This did make sense, however, considering we were surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.
This poor pup was our next door neighbor (the house was a duplux, a small studio apartment on one end and the rest of the house was rented to us.) The owner of the dog (not the home owner, but a young woman who rented from them) would frequently leave this poor thing on a tiny balcony where it would frequently go stir crazy and try to escape the balcony. This was several feet up, and we would constantly come outside to find the dog wedged between the guard rails, about to plummet 16-18 feet below. Several times during the trip we had to find a nearby ladder to rescue the dog.

Later in our trip we came home to find it with a cast on its leg, but luckily also with a babysitter.
We knew of a small area where a collection of food trucks gathered in town, and visited there frequently. Trucking Delicious served some of the best Coconut Shrimp we have ever had in our lives.
We went snorkeling in Tunnels Beach, Cannon's Beach, Makua Beach, and Ke'e Beach while in the area. It was hands down some of the best underwater adventures we've ever had. If you notice some of the photos have a heavy red tinting, it was due to experimenting with an underwater red filter. While the red filter worked wonders in deeper water, it doesn't work as well near the surface.
We saw a shark! A dead one... but still! It was a bit of an adrenaline rush seeing it before we realized it was dead.
Heading back into town again we visited Tahiti Nui a restuarant that served one of the best Mai Tai drinks and some decent pizza as well.
Back at the beaches we explored ever further finding several creatures we never expected to see. Such as this fish buried partially in the sand.
Our underwater photography rig.
Moray Eels!
You can kind of see the second turtle in the background in the upper right. We saw so many different sea turtles in this area.
Postcard Cafe was one of the fancier places we had reservations at in the area. They served a large list of seafood entrees, which we were excited about, but despite its menu and popularity, the food was overcooked and bland. There are much better options in the area and this restuarant was more of a tourist trap.
Stay tuned for our hike on the Kalalau Trail!