Last week I mentioned that I’d share more details about our trip to Kauai two weeks ago for a babymoon. It was our last trip as a family of 3 and I would do the exact trip over again: same hotel, same time of year, same stage in pregnancy, same spots. It was fantastic. Perfect timing too because it feels like my body was just waiting for me to return home to let the 3rd trimester really start to kick in (hello exhaustion + heartburn). We stayed on the North Shore at the very western tip, close to Ke’e and Tunnels beaches. It was a perfect location for so many reasons…
The western edge of the North Shore (just west of Hanalei) felt kind of isolated and not overrun with tourists, gorgeous green jungles and winding roads, and beautiful beaches around every turn. We were there for 7 days and only once did we drive more than 20 minutes to go anywhere but I still felt like we did a lot and weren’t just sitting on beach chairs all day every day.
1. Lumahai (above, and where they filmed the part of South Pacific where she sings about washing that man out of her hair)
2. The east side of Lumahai, which maybe my favorite spot- a pretty walk down (just a couple minutes) and great spot for swimming and lava pools (image below and first beach image above)
3. Secret Beach + lava pools as well there (but not any great ones to swim when we went, tide was low). The walk down was pretty through the jungle but could have been sketchy if it was rainy. It was also a pretty steep hike going back up. Really isolated, super picturesque, huge, but not a lot of shade (images below).
Other great beach spots on the North Shore:
4. Tunnels beach: easy access for snorkeling but the snorkeling wasn’t great honestly the 2 times we went.
5. Hideaway beach: really pretty walk down and surprisingly our favorite snorkel spot, great shade too and really course sand.
6. Ke’e beach: overrun with tourists and impossible to find parking but a nice easy swimming beach this time of year with little kids and lots of fish too for snorkeling. Our hotel had a shuttle that could take us there which was amazing since the parking is so bad. It’s also where the Napali coast trail starts.
1. Queen’s Bath: A beautiful pool made from lava rock right on the cliff. The tide might be too high during the winter to go, there were some big waves that crashed into it while we were there but it was big enough you could just swim or float to the other side. It’s about a 15 minute hike down from the parking lot. Parking is an issue. It’s in a residential neighborhood that does not allow any street parking at all so if the lot is full, that’s it. There literally are no other options to park and you have to just come back another time. That happened to us the first time when we went in the middle of the day, but I’m so glad we went back. The second time we tried going later at sunset and it was amazing! (images below and above. Excuse the bikini shot, I don’t have many pictures of me!)
2. We splurged on a helicopter tour because it was the only way for my pregnant self to see the Napali coast. The trail is too difficult to get down there and the boats won’t take pregnant woman (understandable, that ride is bumpy). The helicopter tour was amazing! So much of the island is inaccessible so it’s really incredible an incredible way to see it. Loved flying around the crater at the center of the island (wettest place on earth!) and the Napali Coast of course (images below)
3. Kayaking. We kayaked on the Hanalei river, which isn’t the most popular place to go but it was still a lot of fun and look at the scenery! The not so fun part: when nature called I lowered myself overboard but then couldn’t get my pregnant self back up! It was hot but Henry was playing a game that for once was really nice: splashing us constantly.
4. Napali Coast Trail: We only did about a mile of it but it was so beautiful. I’d recommend doing at least the first section to the lookout. It’s steep, and rocky though so be careful. We are already planning a post-baby 10 year anniversary kayak trip along the whole coast. It’s just stunning with beautiful secluded beaches, caves to camp in, and turtles. You can hike 2 miles to the first beach and if I wasn’t so pregnant and if the hike wasn’t so sketchy, I would have done it. Sounds amazing!
5. Waimea Canyon: the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Beautiful, and you can drive to the top but our favorite lookout was the very last one where you can see into the Napali coast (image below)
5. Shaved ice. Oh my goodness. Once we tried it we had about 2 a day. Delicious! Best with macadamia nut ice cream underneath. YUM! Henry said it was his favorite part of the trip (unlimited sugar and pretty rainbow colors= kid heaven). The shaved ice just melts in your mouth, put snow cones to shame!