*Omicron is spreading in Hawaii however the state has not made adjustments to its journey insurance policies. Vacationers are inspired to respect local and national advisories.

In 2021, I spent more time on the road than I did at dwelling. As a passionate adventurer, certainly one of my biggest classes over the previous yr has been a new appreciation for solo travel. Group journeys, {couples} getaways, and household holidays are nice, however there’s one thing empowering about taking your travels into your personal fingers. Especially as a woman. Exploring unknown locations alone leaves the door large open so that you can create your personal itinerary with the liberty to be spontaneous alongside the way in which. You study to have enjoyable by your self, join extra deliberately to the world round you, and expertise individuals and locations in new methods.

Or no less than, that’s what I’ve gained from it. And I’m completely hooked.

My most up-to-date solo journey was to Kauai, Hawaii’s wettest, greenest, and fourth-largest island. With 97 p.c of the island coated by forests or mountain ranges, it’s a haven for nature lovers and out of doors adventurers. The countless stretches of seashore surrounding the dense greenery make it a imaginative and prescient of tropical paradise — and a pure stand-in for Jurassic worlds, distant jungles, and far-off planets.

Touring to Kauai solo, I used to be in a position to meet individuals I by no means would have linked with had I gone in a cloistered crew. I’ll or might not have left with new ink as a result of I met a tattoo artist and proprietor of Tried and True Tattoo at dinner on my first night time. I usually modified plans on a whim, whether or not that meant chilling on the resort pool with a Mai Tai or climbing very first thing within the morning. No matter I wished to do, I did it. By the tip of my 5 days in Kauai, I felt extra linked to myself, nature, and my spirituality than I had in a very long time.

In case you’re in search of a solo journey of your personal, Kauai is my #1 choose on the planet. It’s hospitable, secure, and filled with magnificence. Under, you’ll discover my solo traveler’s information to the island — however I’ll readily admit that I’ve solely scratched the floor of what there’s to see and do.

PART I — The place to Play

Discover Waimea Canyon

Initially, you’re going to wish a rental automotive in Kauai. Uber is scarce right here, and as a solo traveler, it’s good to have straightforward transportation entry at any time of the day. I spontaneously determined to improve my rental to a convertible, and it was one hundred pc price it. (As a rule of thumb, by no means go away any valuables in your rental automotive.) Top-of-the-line components of my journey was merely cruising via the jungle with the highest down and testing the views. This was particularly pleasurable once I drove via Waimea Canyon State Park, a ten-mile lengthy and three,000 feet-deep canyon the place cliffside views are considerable.

Waimea Canyon wasn’t initially on my itinerary, however a convincing DM from certainly one of my Instagram followers persuaded me to vary issues up (once more, the perks of solo journey!). I spent a day driving via the state park, making stops alongside the way in which every time one thing caught my eye or I seen a line of vehicles parked on the facet of the street. From miles of mountainous greenery to waterfalls and operating creeks, the island’s huge pure magnificence is on full 360-degree show all through Waimea Canyon.

On the high of the state park, there are lookout platforms the place you’ll be able to take within the views from up above. Nevertheless, if you end up in Kauai throughout winter, then you definitely’ll notice how shortly the climate can activate its head. By the point I made it to the height, it was utterly foggy and completely pouring (AKA, deliver a rain jacket). Fortunately, the solar made its method again from behind the clouds on my method again down. I made one final cease within the canyon the place I used to be met with a wide ranging double rainbow and mountain view.

It was actually a magical second that made the afternoon of driving and rain price it.

Cacao Bliss & Conscious Snorkeling Tour

I’ve been loving Airbnb Experiences these days. These are first-hand, one-of-a-kind actions hosted by native specialists. I knew I wished to do no less than one badass expertise throughout my keep in Kauai, so I signed up for the Cacao Bliss & Mindful Snorkeling Tour. My information took me on a brief morning hike right down to a small secluded seashore that’s usually solely frequented by locals. He then led me in a meditation, served me a heat cup of ceremonial cacao elixir whereas sharing its varied therapeutic advantages, and joined me within the ocean for a swim. Sadly, the water was too tough for the snorkeling portion of the tour, but it surely was definitely a morning to recollect.

This mindfulness expertise was the proper solution to begin the day, because it inspired me to get in contact with nature, apply gratitude, and confide in the countless magnificence that surrounds me — tacky, I do know, however… it’s true!

Test Out Wailua Falls

Kauai travel guide
Chloe Caldwell

There isn’t a scarcity of attractive waterfalls in Kauai. If you wish to rise up shut and private with one, head to Wailua Falls, a 173-foot fall on the Wailua River close to Lihue. Not solely is it unimaginable to see, but it surely’s additionally handy. You possibly can drive straight as much as the principle viewpoint to take a look at the scene and take images. This spot is nice in the event you’re on a time crunch however nonetheless wish to slot in seeing the island’s surroundings between meals or actions.

In case you’re feeling adventurous and don’t thoughts getting a little bit moist, you’ll be able to even hike down to the bottom of Wailua Falls. The trek down is a brief distance, but it surely’s usually muddy and subsequently slippery so it’s a good suggestion to make use of warning and take your time strolling down. As all the time, particularly when touring solo, it’s a good suggestion to textual content somebody the place you’re climbing and what time you’ll be achieved.

Chill on the Seaside

I imply, duh. You clearly can’t spend time in Kauai with out hitting the seashore every day, even when meaning you don’t enterprise from the sand at your resort. There are a plethora of public seashores on the island, and every one appears to have its personal character and appeal. In case you’re on the North Shore of the island, a couple of notable seashores to take a look at are Hanalei Bay and Anini Seaside. Each of those supply tranquil vibes and scenic ocean views with a jungle backdrop to match. Hanalei is extra excellent for households and swimming, whereas Anini Seaside is a superb spot to relax out and luxuriate in a picnic by the water.

For days on the South Shore, try Poipu Seaside, certainly one of Kauai’s hottest seashores. That is one other good seashore for taking a dip within the waves, as there are lifeguards, picnic tables, and showers close by. There are additionally nice spots to eat proper by the principle seashore space so you’ll be able to get pleasure from your lunch when you sunbathe.

Tour the Kauai Espresso Property

Have you ever ever puzzled precisely how espresso is made? It’s extra intricate than you may assume, and the Kauai Coffee Estate provides you a first-hand look (and style) of all the course of. With over 4 million espresso timber grown on 3,100 acres, Kauai Coffee Company is the biggest espresso grower within the U.S.

The farm in Kalaheo affords personalised, guided strolling excursions the place you’ll study how the farm’s espresso is grown, harvested, and roasted. You can even go for a free self-guided tour and stroll via the grounds at your personal leisure. After the espresso property tour, you’ll be able to relax on the property’s customer middle for espresso taste-testing and panoramic views of the fields and ocean.

I spent a day touring the Kauai Espresso Property, and it was definitely the tutorial spotlight of my journey.

PART II — The place to Eat

South Shore Eating places & Quick Informal:

Kauai travel guide
Chloe Caldwell

Yow will discover every part from beachside resort eating places to hole-in-the-wall small companies all through Kauai. As you’ll be able to think about, seafood is likely one of the main delicacies of the island. In case you’re craving contemporary sashimi and sushi, head to Sushi Bushido. Tucked within the far nook of the Coconut Marketplace, an enthralling purchasing middle filled with reward retailers and eateries, Sushi Bushido is a locally-owned sushi bar with each distinctive specialty rolls and conventional favorites.

Order the Lava Roll and Uni for a mouthwatering meal. As an LA sushi aficionado, I undoubtedly vouch for this spot.

For a extra informal chunk to eat by the seashore that doesn’t skimp on style, head to Puka Dog. Positioned subsequent to Poipu Seaside, Puka Canine serves Hawaiian-style scorching canine (or veggie canine) slathered in a multitude of tangy sauce and flavors of your selecting. A standard Hawaiian-style hotdog is made with a freshly-baked bun wrapped utterly across the canine. It’s then doused with garlic lemon secret sauce, a tropical-fruit relish, and locally-made mustard.

It simply is likely to be the perfect wiener expertise of your life.

For a nicer sit-down outing and energetic atmosphere, I like to recommend Duke’s. I ended up right here two nights in a row as a result of I loved all the eating expertise, from the ambiance to the meals and fruity cocktails. Between the rainforest-like decor (together with a waterfall fountain in the midst of the eating space), the dwell music, laidback vibes, and good grub, it’s a must-visit restaurant. I ordered the fish tacos and fish ‘n’ chips, and each supplied a big portion that didn’t disappoint. To drink, I ordered the Lava Stream, a blended concoction of pineapple, coconut, and light-weight rum erupting with strawberry. It was the last word island drink to rejoice my time in Kauai. Candy however undoubtedly tasty.

North Shore Eating places & Quick Informal:

Kauai travel guide
Chloe Caldwell

I didn’t spend as a lot time on the North Shore, however I did get a style of the native eats whereas I used to be there. If you wish to do some purchasing and style the native fare, head to the middle of Hanalei the place you’ll discover boutique retailers, outfitters, native bars, and eateries. One other must-visit spot for sushi lovers is Hanalei Dolphin’s Fish Market. Right here, you’ll discover specialties like teriyaki shrimp, sushi rolls and contemporary sashimi, poke salad, ceviche, seafood chowder, natural salad mixes, and The Dolphin’s selfmade salad dressings. It’s principally your one-stop-shop for all issues fish.

There are sit-down dining and takeout choices obtainable. I obtained mine to go for lunch on the seashore.

One other Hanalei hotspot is Tahiti Nui, a family-run and operated institution that serves every part from specialty pizzas to coconut shrimp, child again ribs, and macadamia-crusted hen. It’s an awesome restaurant for a post-beach pick-me-up when you might want to refuel from a protracted day within the solar. The menu additionally affords a collection of specialty cocktails and wine. Go for the Over the Rainbow Martini for a powerful kick of Gray Goose Poire, ardour fruit, lime, lemonade, and membership soda.

PART III — The place to Keep

Kauai Coast Resort on the Beachboy

Kauai travel guide
Chloe Caldwell

There actually isn’t a nasty place to remain on the island. You’re in freakin’ Kauai, in any case! The North Shore is the place you’ll discover lush jungle views and a serene ambiance because of its extra frequent wet climate and untouched pure atmosphere. The South Shore is dryer and nearer to the airport, and it’s additionally a extra handy entry level to standard journey spots like Waimea Canyon. The excellent news is that it doesn’t matter what facet of the island you keep on, it’s a fast drive to and from every shore.

I stayed in Kapa’a on the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy, and it turned out to be the proper location for me. It was almost equidistant to either side of the island, making the drive to each tour a breeze. As for the resort itself, Kauai Coast Resort on the Beachboy made me really feel proper at dwelling. The rooms themselves aren’t essentially the most extravagant, however the apartment-style structure was snug and good to come back again to on the finish of the day. The resort is correct on the seashore, so I spent each morning strolling within the sand watching the dawn. There’s additionally a central pool space, a well-liked restaurant (make a reservation!), and hammocks unfold out all through the property for the mid-afternoon nap of your goals. The resort can also be throughout the road from the Coconut Market talked about above, so that you’ll all the time have purchasing and a chunk to eat close by.


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