I am getting some major wanderlust “wish I was back there” vibes as I write this post about our family vacation to Kauai. The Garden Isle, as it is known, offers up some of the most amazing and awe-inducing views and backdrops you can dream of (you know those views are good if several big Hollywood movies have been shot on-location there!) Although I was expecting this lush island’s beauty, everything I had read about and seen, did not do Kauai justice! This is definitely one place we have on our list of places to come back to. There is so much to do and so much to see that 6-days on the island were just not enough to take it all in and have the full Kauai life experience.
Of those activities and sights we did get to see this first time on the island, we did via a road-trip around the island (it only takes about 1 hour or so to get from the North Shore to the South Shore of the island) and then do some serious R&R on the secluded beaches we check-marked as our favorites. Unfortunately, since baby RE is only 10 months (plus, he had some additional pearly whites decide to pop out during our first few days there!) we were unable to do one of the popular boat tours of the Nā Pali coast (yeah, I know, we missed out big time but, the little one comes first always and this is just another excuse for us to go back as soon as baby R is walking and talking!) We really enjoyed our time on the island with the incomparable views of the jungle coastline from the various beaches in the Hanalei Bay area and from our hotel.
We stayed on the North Shore of the island in Princeville at The Westin Princeville. The hotel is refreshingly secluded (yet close enough to shops and restaurants where it is what you need it to be ie: R&R or easy access to an activity filled day off-site) and has a subtle Hawaiian vibe with modern details which is perfect for that quick getaway with the fam. The beach access is shared with the St. Regis down the road and is by far one of my favorite beaches. It is small with a great private beach feel, with beautiful trees that go right up to the calm waters, and is perfect for a family day at the beach with chairs available for Westin and St.Regis guests. (Note: The cabanas are available for reservation but are on the pricier side. Go check out the lounge chairs available for guests of the St. Regis and Westin or even the grand shade provided by the coastline trees.)
Mom Tips Sidenote: Travel with the stroller you know well and use daily. Bonus points if it is apt for more “off-road” walking, so to speak, with larger and wider wheels. We traveled with our beloved Bumbleride stroller, I talk more about the stroller in this other post, which was the best decision ever. Baby RE felt “at home” with his comfy stroller plus, the larger wheels I mentioned earlier, allowed us to take it on the street, on the sand, in the grass, you name it without a flinch. The stroller has amazing storage room under the baby seat area so it is a great “extra-hand” at the airport (you can get away with carrying more without feeling like your arms will fall off) Baby in stroller, bags under stroller, macchiato in one hand and the hubs in the other? Perfect, count me in! Oh, and by the way, get a chain for your frames! They are trending majorly right now and are a huge lifesaver while trying to carry your mini-me across the sand, in water, etc. Check out these super chic and stylish ones from Frame Chain.
For those days you prefer to stay on-location, the Westin’s pool is perfect with a natural rock design and private cabanas available for reservation and which I recommend so that you have dedicated shade with fans too cool down from the sun and a larger space to lay the little ones down to rest (quick mom tip #2). Some of the cabanas even have direct access to the pool via their own stairs into the pool. Also, for brunch, highly recommend the waffles…such a great way to start your day off on a tropical (and delicious!) note.
I recommend Kauai for those looking for an adventure filled with diving, hiking, gorgeous coastline sightseeing and for families looking to give their little ones a taste for travel and of course, to create some great first memories at these unique and beautiful beaches.
I am including a quick guide below to my Kauai go-to’s which include beaches, shops, restaurants as well as a few style suggestions to be island-ready! Hope this provides you some inspiration for your next travel itinerary.
Now, go do some wanderlusting! xo -J.
Upon Arrival: Do get some R&R to jumpstart your island sojourn.
Eat: Here are our faves from the trips. Definitely a must while there!
Wear: Ah, the what to wear while there…As always, I took way too much with me! Packing tip from this trip: stick to 3 great swimsuits, a great pair or two of denim shorts, pair of flats, pair of heels and a fun skirt paired with a beach-vibe accessory (try cowrie shells which are on-trend for fall and carry through to spring) for that last night dinner on the island. The island is super chill and with all that R&R and beach visits you need to do, why fret with overpacking (again, totally guilty of overpacking this trip but, learned my lesson! 🙂
Oh, and Before Departure:
And, to help inspire your next style itinerary for island adventure vibes, here are my top picks: