We took a trip to the Hawaiian islands back in August and these are the photographs that we took while on vacation! This is just a snippet of all the pictures I actually took while we were visiting Kauai and Oahu.I hope you are able to gain some tips for helping you plan your own Hawaiian getaway! I will link all the places we stayed as well as experiences you cannot pass up on while in the islands.
Some of my favorite places…
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows– My favorite place in the entire world. No, I am not joking. I have been staying at the bungalows since I was a teenager and they never disappoint! Give Greg a call and see if he has any availability. They usually book up fast! We stayed in the Pikake garden view bungalow and it was an absolute dream.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa– One of the places we stayed while on the island of Kauai. This was my first time on the island and truly enjoyed staying at this resort! Definitely on the pricier side. They give you a lei when you walk through the doors with your baggage to check-in and have their own sanctuary of tropical birds in the foyer. This was the only location that we stayed at that had air conditioning so you can imagine how excited we were for that!
We debated between St. Regis and the Grand Hyatt when choosing our accommodations on Kauai and from reading the reviews they seem to be pretty comparable resorts. The only difference is that St. Regis has the view of the Nepali Coast and Hanalei Bay which is pretty spectacular, to say the least! When we choose to go back to Kauai we will probably check out this resort next!
Haleiwa Joe’s– One of my favorite restaurants on the North Shore of Oahu. On one of the trips that we took to the islands a number of years ago, my dad was on a mission to find the best Mai Tai on the island. He chose the Mai Tai at Haleiwa Joe’s as his favorite and once I had a chance to come back to the north shore as an adult I got a Mai Tai as well! You are able to take the cocktail glass with you as a memento of your trip. We now have a collection from trips over the years. You will never have bad food if you decide to eat at Haleiwa Joe’s. Just maybe a pretty long wait to get a table. A must-stop if you are passing through the north side of the island.
Ted’s Bakery– My dad basically begged us to make a stop at Ted’s when we were snorkeling at sunset beach one afternoon. Their Chocolate Haupia Pie is to die for and is the perfect treat after spending a day at the beach!
Hanalei Bay, Kauai– Maybe one of the prettiest places I have ever been. It is a unique location for sightseeing, hiking, or just relaxing with the Na Pali Coast as the backdrop! Stop by one of the local shops to grab a coffee or a shaved ice. We grabbed some shaved ice at Jojo’s before heading over to the south side of the island for the rest of the trip. It was delicious!
Kalalau Trail, Kauai– Intermediate trail on the north side of the island in Kauai is a must if you like to hike. Also if you don’t mind a little mud and are ready for a little bit of bushwhacking. This trail wraps around the Na Pali Coast for several miles.
We only hiked two miles in before heading back because we were running out of water. The park requires you to buy permits to hike further into the park due to how to cut off the trail becomes the further you hike back in. Be ready for lots of humidity and amazing views!
Waimea Valley– Located on the north shore of Oahu the Waimea Valley has great views of the lush Hawaiian scenery that attracts so many people to the islands. Once entering the park you will find ample parking and a path that will lead you through the jungle to a waterfall at the very back of the park.
When we came to the park when I was about 14 I got chased across the parking lot by a flock of peahens. So be aware of the birds here! One of my favorite memories of the island because of how hilarious it was! They also host a local farmers market at the garden throughout the week featuring lots of local produce that is usually half the cost of the supermarkets on the island and is much tastier!
Puu O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site– Another one of my favorite stops on the north shore of Oahu. When I was vacationing with my parents about 10 years ago the manager of the house we were staying at told us to follow the street up to the top of the mountain above Haleiwa. He told us to take the first right when you get to the top of the incline which leads to the park. This seems to be a hidden gem that not very many people know about because there are no signs to the historic site. I also have never seen it advertised anywhere. I took my boyfriend this past August and he really enjoyed seeing the Hawaiian history. We also had the entire park to ourselves!
Bubble Tea, Honolulu I fell in love with bubble tea after getting introduced to the drink while in college. I have a friend that posted on Instagram at this tea shop. Her bubble tea looked so amazing I made sure we made a stop while in the city. Cool local tea shop with a huge menu. There were only a few people when we stopped in. The parking was pretty sparse but it was still a cool experience. I ended up getting a Thai Milk tea w/ boba and it exceeded my expectations! I really try to support local business where ever I travel and you should consider stopping here as well if you are ever in the area!
Cafe Haleiwa– My new favorite breakfast place on the north shore! Everything in Hawaii is expensive and it has only gotten worse over the years. Everything we ordered for breakfast was well priced and super tasty! We woke up super early on our first morning on the island and stopped in around 7 a.m. to grab our first breakfast on the island. They have early bird specials that are even better priced than their main menu. I am pretty sure we were the only tourists in the little cafe so early in the morning! You know it is good food if that is where all the locals flock for their morning jo.
Well, there you have it! Of all the places we stopped these are by far some of my favorite and we will definitely be going back with the family in winter of 2019 (already planning the trip back lol) :). If you have favorite spots that I did not mention in this post that make your Hawaiian vacation magical please let me know in the comments!