Real Honeymoon: Kauai

After their beautiful wedding in Lake Tahoe, Matt and Amy chose to honeymoon in Kauai where they knew they’d be able to relax and still find tons of fun things to do.  They also kept things interesting by staying in hotels in three different parts of the island.  Read all about their amazing honeymoon in Kauai, and make sure to check out their great restaurants and activities tips at the end:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Kauai in Early August [2013].

sunset

How long was your trip?

We were there for 10 days.

hike

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We both wanted a place where we could relax and unwind after the wedding festivities. Somewhere warm, with beaches, and warm water. The place also needed to offer areas to explore and a plethora of outdoor activities. We also wanted it to be a place neither of us had visited before, so it could be a new experience together.

bay

The best part about our honeymoon was…

You mean aside from spending 10 days in paradise with the one you love, relaxing and soaking up the tropical sun? The best part was not having to stick to a schedule. Our days were just about perfect. First, enjoy some morning coffee and breakfast, then embark on activity for some adventure and exercise. Then beach time, then a great dinner.

beach

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We split our time between the north and south sides of the island. In the North, we stayed in Princeville, which was absolutely gorgeous. The frequent, very quick rain spells kept everything lush and green and also provided some a quick refuge from the hot tropical sun. A five minute drive down the hill and over a one lane bridge took us straight into Hanalei, where we spent fair amount of time. Hanalei Bay and the town of Hanalei proved to be a perfect match for everything we enjoyed. On the south side of the island, we stayed in sunny Poipu. Poipu was dry, had more strip malls and had more of a large resort feel to it. We decided that we really enjoyed Princeville more and would have spent more time there.

princeville

How much planning did you do in advance?

Aside from having our accommodations set up and doing a little bit of research about what activities we could do while in Kauai, we didn’t do a lot of planning ahead of time. We spoke with coworkers and friends who gave us tons of recommendations for things to do and see, and places to eat. Their recommendations were great and steered us in the right direction.

lighthouse

What was your biggest honeymoon splurge?

We went on a helicopter tour of the island, which was absolutely incredible. This was hands down the best adventure we took on the trip. We elected to go with Island Helicopters Jurassic Falls landing trip. We lucked out and had perfect weather. Island Helicopter is the only operator that lands at Manawaiopuna Falls (better known as Jurassic Falls because of it’s role in the Jurassic Park Movie).

heli

Where do you want to go on your next big trip?

We are extremely lucky to already be in the planning stages of our next trip, which will be to New Zealand and Australia in the Spring.

_____________________

Below are some additional Kauai recommendations from Matt and Amy:

Restaurants:

Hukilau Lanai – Kapaa – looks unassuming in a Best Western hotel, but the patio dining room looks out onto a gorgeous garden, and the food was of the best we had the whole trip. They had a fantastic 3 course offering if you sit down before 6. Definitely worth going to for an early dinner.

The Dolphin – Hanalei – One of the best things about Hawaii was the fresh ahi tuna. We ate lots of it and this place had some of the best sashimi we had while on the island. They also have a fish market where you can buy fresh fish.

Merrimans – Poipu – probably the single best thing about Poipu was this restaurant. The food was fresh and expertly prepared. It is a farm to table restaurant and the origins of everything on the menu is listed. Very cool.

St. Regis – Princeville – the bar on the main level of the hotel has an absolutely spectacular view of Hanalei bay. We sat out on the balcony and enjoyed a light bite and some drinks. IT was a spectacular way to enjoy the sunset.

Roy’s – Poipu – We are fans of Roy’s. We had been to a location on Maui in the past. Great food.

Fish Express – Kalapaki – This is a funky spot in across the street from Walmart near the Airport. There are no seats, no frills, just a deli style setup. They have several kinds of poke that you purchase by the pound. Amazingly fresh and delicious.

Be sure to eat lots of Ahi. It is unparalleled.

Activities:

Island Helicopter – if you’re going to do a helicopter tour, this is the one to do. It is a little more expensive than some of the other tours, but well worth it. They are the only operator that lands at Jurassic Falls.

Hike the Kalalau Trail to Hanakapiai – This trail begins at the end of the road at Ke’e beach. It is an 11 mile trail along the rugged Napali coast which is unreachable except by foot or boat. The trail was rugged and got us working, but the views were amazing and made it worth it. We made it to Hanakapiai Beach, which was about 2 miles each way, and took about 3 hours roundtrip. If you continue up the river for another few miles, you will reach Hanakapiai Falls. We would definitely do this leg of the hike on our next trip.

Kayak Wailua – We took a guided kayak trip up the Wailua. Our trip included a stop and quick hike to Secret Falls. It was fun and great exercise.

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