FH and I are getting married in Sept in Sydney - great, no problems there. We weren't planning on having a honeymoon due to work commitments, blah blah.
Now good friends of ours are getting married in Hawaii (Kauai) in March and we thought we might go and make it our honeymoon too. Only problem is that I have no idea about where is good to go in Hawaii! I have tried looking online but I have had bad experiences with booking online... the photos seem to lie a lot.
Do you or your readers have any recommendations? We will be going for about 10 days and will spend 4 days on Kauai (at the Outrigger Waipouli beach) for the wedding - after that we need a plan. Not keen on Waikiki or anywhere too touristy - we are beach bums and want something super chilled out and relaxed. Hawaii looks like an awesome place with beautiful scenery and I don't want to ruin it by ending up somewhere built up, in a giant hotel.
Thanks so much in advance!
I enlisted Heather of One Love Photo to help me with this one. Heather's partner Jon is from Hawaii, so they spend a lot of time (and shoot a lot of weddings!) there.
Here's what Heather had to say:
My advice would be to stay on Kauai the whole time and head North to Hanalei right after the wedding.
A perfect day in Hanalei would be; drive to the pier in Hanalei Bay and rent two paddle boards or kayaks. Go for a paddle up the river from the rental place (get a half day rental). Once you get done with your paddle eat some tacos at Pete's Taco truck in the parking lot (best tacos ever). Eat your tacos on the pier with your feet dangling over the edge. Then head over to the bay for a swim. Then drive up to the end of the road to watch the sunset at Ke'e Beach park.
Have dinner back in Hanalei at Neide's Salsa & Samba in the back of Hanalei Center. Get the kalua pork chimichanga then walk across the street for some people watching, music and a super stiff Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui.
I would recommend renting a condo through VRBO (vacation rental by owner) or Craigslist for a full week while in Hawaii. You will get the best rate if you do a full week. We have scored some great deals through both websites. The last time we visited Kauai we got a two bedroom, two bath fully furnished condo with kitchen, Lanai and full ocean view in Princeville for $125.00 per night! The key is to book your room as last minute as possible to get the cheapest rates. Princeville is a a golf community on the Northshore. Tons of condos, very developed and a little weird but it has great rates and the island beauty is a short 5-10 minute drive right outside of "condoland."
Kintaro -- On the east side, in Wailua, right after you cross the river going toward the north shore from the airport on your right. The best sushi I have ever had, hands down. Get a Hanalei Roll and have a sake drop. Gets really busy, so you might want to make a reservation.
Postcards -- In Hanalei, on the left right when you first get into town. It is small and lovely and the food is really good. Always lots of hippies in the kitchen ;)
The Hanalei Gourmet -- Go on fish taco night -- they are the best! The Gourmet also has great drinks and live music.
Tahiti Nui -- This is the most classic, local-style, shady-business bar in Hanalei -- it's awesome. Karaoke, cheap(er) drinks, great people watching.
Ke'e Beach -- The very end of the road, on the north shore. Great snorkeling. This is also where the Na Pali coast begins. If you like to hike, take the trail to Hanakapiai (a couple of miles.) Amazing views! The trail ends in Kalalau Valley, kind of a gnarly hike but you will get amazing pictures!
Tunnels -- This is before you get to Ke'e. Gets really busy, but if you go down the beach in either direction you can usually find your own spot away from people. Really great snorkeling and diving.
Hanalei Bay -- In Hanalei. Sandy, nice, mellow surf (except in winter) great for kayaking or just swimming/walking, etc.
All time Best!
If you're planning to do anything active, I would rent kayaks or Stand Up Paddle Boards and go down the Wailua River on the East side or the Hanalei River. So beautiful!!!
Hit a Farmers market or two. Make sure that one of them is the Tuesday afternoon market in Waipa (just outside of Hanalei when you are heading to the end of the road). It is the best. Everyone lines up right before it opens at 2pm and then when they open it up everyone rushes the stands to get their goods.
Cocktails at the Princeville Hotel -- swanky and spectacular -- get drinks in the lobby at sunset and feel like a rock star.
Other fun stuff to see....
Art Walk in Hanapepe
Waimea Canyon -- Can't miss this, Grand Canyon Hawaii style, eat lunch after your drive up to the viewpoint not before. Small windy roads!
Glass Beach -- AWESOME if you like beach-combing. Do the canyon and glass beach earlier in the week while staying at the wedding resort (less driving).
Thanks, Heather! NOW WE ALL WANT A MAI TAI.
Images by One Love Photo