Hanalei Valley Overlook — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
A great day on the North Shore of Kaua`i is all about amazing food, time at the beach, vibrant sunsets, underwater amazement and riding a wave or two. You can experience just about all of these if you begin by 9:00 in the morning and can go into the night.
Start your day on the North Shore with views of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Gaze down into the clear blue water of the cove, where birds nest and whales make wintertime visits. It’s a classic photo opportunity with the lighthouse standing proudly above the cove.
Kilauea Lighthouse — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Now head back up to Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza for a quick, but quality breakfast of sweet and savory pastries, coffee and other treats. If you’d like, you can drop into some other shops here.
Then it’s off to Princeville for a short hike down to Queen's Bath or SeaLodge Beach (or both if you’d like). Queen’s Bath is only recommended for the summer months, and SeaLodge requires more time to visit.
After working up an appetite hiking, stop at the Hanalei Valley Overlook for a photo and then head down to Hanalei for a healthy local lunch at the Hanalei Taro and Juice Co. This is a great place to try some healthy Hawaiian dishes. Now to experience what the north side is all about – surfing.
There are two options here: you can rent a surfboard at Hanalei Surf Company or Backdoor Surf for a self-guided surf lesson. Or, if you’re more comfortable with a surf school, visit the Titus Kinimaka Hawaiian School of Surfing in Hanalei and book a lesson. Another option is renting a stand-up paddle board and hitting the Hanalei River or Hanalei bay if the waves are flat.
Secluded SeaLodge Beach — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
For lunch, stop at Red Hot Mama’s in Wainiha for some unique burritos and local fish. Enjoy them on a nearby white sand beach. If it’s summer and the waves are small, Tunnels Beach is the next stop for excellent snorkeling, so don’t forget your snorkel gear.
From here, drive to the Maniniholo Dry Cave across from Ha`ena and take a quick peek; it’s a fun place for photos. Then, it’s a stop for more photos and a quick dip of your feet in the ice cold water of Waikapala`e Wet Cave. Some people like to swim here, but the cave can be pretty dark and eerie.
At day’s end, head down to Ke`e Beach for more snorkeling in the natural pool and enjoy the sunset. On the way back, stop in Hanalei at Postcards Cafe or Bar Acuda Tapas and Wine for dinner. If you’re looking for entertainment, check if there’s live music at Bouchons Hanalei or Tahiti Nui.