This was my first time to Kauai and, of course, I fell in love with it. We could have definitely spent more time on Kauai and there are a ton of places to see and activities to do that we didn't get to on this trip. Thankfully, it's such an easy place to get to from the Bay Area, so I know we will be back soon!
We got to the island mid-day on a Saturday and drove to Princeville. After we checked into our place and unpacked our things, we got back in our red Jeep (!) to check out the beach at Hanalei Bay. I think my favorite part about this place, besides the incredible beauty surrounding us, was that most of the people there were locals. This is what they do every Saturday afternoon. Sigh.
We had dinner that night at Tahiti Nui. This place just oozed North Shore Kauai. Super relaxed vibe with good food and local music. This definitely wasn't the only night we spent at Tahiti Nui.
Another favorite for dining out in Hanalei was Bar Acuda. This is fancier than Tahiti Nui but definitely still had a casual vibe. But the food! Their menu features tapas and you will seriously want to get everything on it. We didn't have a chance to go here twice, but we should have. We need to go back to Kauai just to try the rest of their menu. Favorites were: Risotto Fritters and Banderillas.
We rented snorkeling gear for the week in Hanalei at Pedal & Paddle. We brought it with us everywhere and snorkeled at as many beaches as we could. I would say Tunnels Beach was my favorite for snorkeling but you have to walk quite a way down the beach from the parking to get to the good snorkeling. We definitely saw a sea turtle there and probably 40 different types of fish.
By the time we headed back down the road, the canyon had gotten pretty hazy so it wasn't ideal for pictures. This is the best I could get of Waimea Canyon.