GUIDE TO KAUA'I: North Shore
It’s no secret I’m having a love affair with Kaua’i. In fact, we’re moving in together. I committed recently to split time between the island and Texas.
After three visits to the Garden Island, I have favorites to share with you. If you’re planning a trip to the island here are my 10 hot picks on the North Shore.
North Shore Countdown
10) Nourish Hanalei - a brand-new (as of May 2019), female-owned food stand tucked in a grove of trees down Hanalei Plantation Road, upon first sight, you’ll feel as if you’ve discovered a secret paradise just for you. Enjoy your food overlooking the expansive views of Hanalei Bay and the mountains.
9) Favorite Big Beach - Hanalei Bay with it’s huge expanse of sand, protected bay and mountain views (with waterfalls) is one of my favorite places to lounge. Bring an umbrella as the beach is exposed and a volleyball for some pick-up sand games (opt for an overcast day so the sand doesn’t burn your feet!)
8) Favorite Small Beach - Hideaways Beach accessible only by a steep, dirt trail with ropes is my favorite spot to escape when I want to feel shipwrecked. The beach has no lifeguard and is unprotected (open ocean) so use extreme caution swimming and snorkeling here, but laze away a day under the palm trees on the pristine sandy beaches and you’ll wish you could be marooned here.
7) Best Shave Ice - Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei, served out of a food truck, has delicious syrups and flavors. The price is the highest on the island but much better than chains (sorry JoJo’s). The macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom is a delicious, creamy treat. Closes at 5pm.
6) Best Poke - Hanalei Poke Food Truck in the Ching Young Village in Hanalei is my absolute favorite for fresh poke. I love how tiny the cubes of fish are, the smallest dice I’ve found on the island. Order half greens, half rice to lessen the carb load. Cash only (can use the ATM in the Big Save Market.)
5) Best Sushi - If you are craving amazing sushi, then Sushi Girl in Kilauea is your spot. The rolls are handmade to order and delicious. Order at the truck and enjoy your food under a shaded table.
4) Favorite Calm Beach - Anini Beach is a protected lagoon, one of the only on the island due to Kaua’i’s relative geologic infancy as an island, with shaded spots on the beach, restrooms and idyllic views. Great for snorkeling further out.
3) Favorite Bonfire Beach - Rock Quarry is down a rutted road (you’ll need 4WD if it’s muddy) but worth the bumps. At night the beach is secluded and transformative. Plenty of driftwood to start a fire and gaze at the moon.
2) Best “Easy” Hike - Okolehao Trail, accessible off Ohiki Rd in Hanalei, is an easy hike technically but a challenging cardiovascular workout. To do the full hike requires hours and agility using ropes at the end, but the first 1.5 hours of the hike is doable by anyone in decent shape. Beautiful close up views of the mountain and overlooking Hanalei Bay.
1) Best View - Visit the Princeville Resort’s outdoor bar for spectacular views of Hanalei Bay at sunset.
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