Living in San Diego, most of us have grown up on the sand and in the water, soaking up the place that everyone tells us we’re so lucky to live nearby. But, sometimes, it is just as valuable to step away from the status quo and explore the places less noted – no matter where we are.
This past summer, I spent ten days on Hawaii’s northernmost island. And because I’m not typically someone to spend hours on the beach just hanging out, I was a little hesitant that there wouldn’t be much to do. But, Kauai quickly proved me wrong.
Hawaii is most commonly known for its scenic beaches and shave ice that somehow tastes a million times better than anything you could get on the mainland. And don’t get me wrong- those are their specialties for a reason. If you ever find yourself on the island of Kauai, make sure you get to Hanalei Bay and Jojo’s Shave Ice.
A traditional recommendation you will hear is to attend a luau. No matter how much you want to try to fit in with the locals, this is a classic activity that you don’t want to miss out on. The atmosphere of tradition and appreciation is incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced before. Plus, the food is phenomenal. If nothing else, it’s a reason to put on your floral print dress or button-up and head out to a luau.
But, on Kauai, plenty of excursions go unnoticed.
If you tend to sway a little bit more on the adventurous side, then ziplining through Kauai’s largest mountain range may be appealing to you, as it surely was to me. The lines take you over waterfalls, lead you to a swinging bridge over a canyon, and drop you off at a river for lunch and a quick swim. Even if you’re scared of heights, just close your eyes and at least you’ll have a good picture to Instagram.
Now, for my introverted readers who would rather relax on the beach or in the Airbnb with a good book, you would find the same kind of homeliness at Talk Story as I did. I first found myself there with a recommendation from a family friend, noting that Talk Story is the westernmost bookstore in the United States. This hole-in-the-wall shop on the side streets of Hanapepe boasts a wide collection of books – both new and well-loved. It’s nearly impossible to walk out of this place without a stack of paperbacks in hand.
Kauai is a place for everyone, whether you are most comfortable in the sand…or in bed. If you ever find yourself on this Hawaiian island, take these tips to heart and have the vacation of your life!