People always ask why I choose to go ti Kauai in the summer - the answer is: everything. In the summer months you will find most beaches with small lapping waves, crystal clear water, bathtub temperatures, and green all around. Prime for snorkeling, Tunnels and Ke'e beach are both accessible and amazing and an easy swim in the summertime.
Year round, no trip to Kauai is complete without making it to Haena. This state park requires pre-purchase of passes to drive in or take the shuttle. To get tickets on the day you want, plan to set an alarm to snag your tickets. I recommend booking multiple days - plan a day for hiking and a day for the beach (in the summer). The shuttle is easy, and recommended. Feel free to pack a cooler and stash it in the trees while you explore the reef, just make sure your bags and food are chicken proof!
Hiking is my second favorite past time on the garden isle. At Haena, you can take the Kalalau trail down (or up and down...) to Hanakapi'ai Beach. In the summer you can access the shoreline and the caves along the coast. A fun hike thats slightly challenging for most. If you want even more, continue on the trail to the waterfall. The top photo is from the lookout point as you come around the corner to Na Pali Coast views - one of my favorite spots in the world.
We were lucky enough to plan our trip to attend the annual Waipa Mango Festival - a small island event that I have attended now 5 times! Live music, hula, farm fresh food, local artists, and yes, mangos. Funny thing, I do not even like mangos! But I LOVE this event. For our mango lovers you will have smoothies, salads, tacos, dried, fried, frozen or just fresh cut - and aloha is in every bite.
We drove down to Waimea Canyon, and ended up in the fog that day. It had been raining too, so my favorite trail (at the very very end of the Canyon road) was waterlogged and unsafe. But we made the most of the day with stops at Glass Beach, Kauai Coffee (free walking tours), the swinging bridge in Hanapepe, and a great meal in Poipu.
It might seem a little touristy, but I assure you the Nui this is as good as it gets. Even with the fame of movies and celebs, you will find the same locals at the bar watching and talking to the swarms of visitors. I love to plop down at the orange colored plumeria detailed counter and count how many Mai Tai's the tourists are ordering in an hour... (87 on a Tuesday!). The pizza is amazing (no joke) and you should try their Haupia Pie. Music is always on the schedule, so try to be there early and stay late to enjoy it all. They also do an authentic Luau!
If you want more tips on Kauai, reach on out or ask Jenn if you see here in the shop. If its a family trip with kiddos, a girls trip, or a celebration trip for you and your person - we are happy to share our favorite things to do and see on our favorite island in this world.