Our Kauai Family Vacation

We love a good family adventure! It had been five years since our last trip to Hawaii. Not only do we have fun memories of being in Hawaii but it is a place I visited often as a child. When we would go we would go for six weeks at a time. So a trip to Kauai isn’t just a vacation, it’s a little like coming home.

We have always stayed on the North Shore in Princeville. We rent condos at Alii Kai. It is less touristy and has the most wonderful views. The condos have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a washer and dryer. Our condo had an air mattress that we pulled out every evening and the kids literally fought over who was sleeping on it. Most of the condos have a collection of beach toys, chairs and coolers that are stored in the unit. It is minutes from a golf course, park and has a wonderful trail to walk/run along.


We become different people in Hawaii and love taking our kids on adventures. Here are a few of our favorite hikes: 

Sea Turtle Cave

This is really close to our condo in Princeville. It is a steep climb down but puts you right to the mouth of the turtle cave. We were lucky enough to see a turtle and found some fun shells at the beach.

Queens Bath

This is a pretty steady/easy hike down. Once you arrive at the bottom, you have to walk along volcanic rocks to get to the bath. All of our kids did it and loved it. We spent half a day swimming, snorkeling and jumping off the rocks into the bath.

It’s also pretty fun to jump in the water, but it’s not super deep. So I wouldn’t recommend diving in, but the rocks do make it fun to jump in. Also, it depends on the time of year that you can go down there. I wouldn’t recommend winter time because the water can be really crazy, but every time we have gone in the summer it has been fine.

Napali Coast

We didn’t hike it this time but have the last two times and loved it. You will not find a better view than from the cliffs of the Napali Coast trail. Make sure you check the policy on hiking and get a permit if needed. There is a shuttle that takes you to the starting point that you have to schedule ahead. 

Farmers Markets

There are several throughout the island and are some of our favorite things to do. There is nothing better than fresh fruit and supporting local vendors.

Our favorite things to buy were mangoes, sugar loaf pineapples, and avocados. I probably ate a fresh mango every single day and they were worth every single penny. The cool thing about the sugar loaf is if you have any kind of pineapple allergy, you won’t get those kind of reactions with this. Just know, they are be a little on the pricier side.


You can’t go wrong at the beach! We have a couple of favorite places to hang out and love when we can find a calm, secluded place to hang out for the day.


There isn’t much parking at this beach but it is our favorite spot. It is a little walk down to the beach but there are spots with shade and the ocean is pretty calm too. There is a fun rock to snorkel around and we love to jump off the rocks into the ocean.


Close to Princeville. Anini is a fun beach, easy to get to and has lots of beach to hang out on. There are shady areas away from the beach but this spot is less secluded than others. There are showers for cleaning off.

Hanelai Bay

Has beautiful ocean views and a nice bay to swim in. They also have showers for cleaning off.

Favorite places to eat

Bubba Burgers

You can’t go wrong with the classic Bubba Burger and Fringes (onion rings and fries). This is a place we eat at multiple times.

Funny story, one time we were here and I was helping some kids get their ketchup and get a table. Well, as luck would have it, their dad came to get them and when I saw him…it was Pierce Brosnan. Soooo be nice and help anyone because you never know who might come around the corner.


We loved the HULA pie more than the food. So if you’re looking for a sweet, treat, Stop by and get yourself a hula pie!

The food was fine, but the Hula pie was absolutely worth every single bite. They’re the perfect size to share with the family, or eat an entire one yourself. I won’t judge you either way.


One of our favorite spots to eat in Poipu is Brenneckes. It has wonderful fish and is the perfect location for an evening meal by the beach.

Puka Dogs

This is also in Poipu and they are a Hawaiian take on the hotdog. A delicious dog in a soft bun with mango or pineapple sauce. The kids ate them but would have preferred them plain. 

I on the other hand absolutely loved ever single bite. They’re different, but not in a way that’s going to disgust you. You might want to stop multiple times if you can. Also, we went at 11:30 am, so we missed the lunch crowd and didn’t have any wait, but the crowd showed up as we were sitting and eating.

Nourish Hanelai

We were recommended this by so many people and it did not disappoint. Delicious acai bowls and gourmet bagels were the perfect morning treat.

If you are in the area, I absolutely recommend going and grabbing any item on their menu. You will NOT be disappointed.


Looking for shaved ice? Jojos has the most delicious flavors and has several locations throughout the island. Their keiki size is perfect for anyone.

Tropical Dreams

We love ice cream and have been coming to this place for years! It’s the perfect stop when you’re out and about. My favorite flavor is the Salted Carmel.

Pinks Ice  Cream Shop

Another place we loved that we had never been to before was Pink’s in Hanalei. Check the hours they are open, because they are not normal hours, but the ice cream is absolutely worth every bite.

Favorite Activities

Bike Rides

We love renting bikes in Kapaa. There is a beach trail that is 4 miles out and 4 miles back. We rented a trailer and tag along and the kids rode the whole way. It is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the ocean breeze at the same time.

Lydgate Park

This is an awesome place because it has beaches but also they created some smaller pools for kids and families. Plus there is an amazing park for the kids to play on if they get sick of the beach or the car.

Tubing Adventure

In all my visits to Kauai, I have never done this until this trip. It was the highlight for our kids! Three hour guided tour where you float through tunnels/caves. It was such a blast and we will definitely be doing it again. It was just totally different than the other beach activities.

What should you expect? Well, expect to have a blast! You ride in tubes through the canals, but also go through some tunnels where it is really like nothing else I have ever done before. This is a great adventure to take kids and the kids wanted to do it again the second we finished. There is an age/height restriction, but our guide said that people bring their little kids and it’s never been a problem….soooo take that and do what you want with it. I think Alice would have loved it, but we are rule followers and decided not to have her come.

May it be known, I am not a Teva fan. They just aren’t my style. That being said, I was absolutely sold on their function and got some for the tubing adventure. I grabbed these ones and they were perfect for not only this tubing adventure, but also a few of our hikes where it was great to have a shoe I could wear in the water.

Helicopter Tour

Hands down, the most magical adventure we’ve ever done! The sites of Hawaii are indescribable and totally hard to capture on pictures but flying over and around the island was the coolest experience!

Zip lining

We have done zip lining several times and love it! There are multiple towers and you spend several hours flying through the jungles of Hawaii.

Smith’s Family Luau

It’s hard to go to Hawaii and not go to a Luau! This one is the best for families. They greet you with a lei, take family pictures and then leave you to fill up at the open bar. We loved unlimited Diet Coke and the kids loved getting Shirley Temples. The food is buffet style and you will fill up fast! Then the show is beyond incredible sharing the history of Hawaii through dance.

Waimea Canyon

You may have heard of it but the Waimea Canyon is nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” It is located on the Southside of the island and is a fun day trip. There are lots of lookout spots to stop and see and every view will take your breath away!

At the end of the day, there is a lot of things to do on Kauai and everyone has their favorite things. These are our favorites and things we have either done every time we go and still love doing it or we tried and and loved it so much that we want everyone to go there if they’re on Kauai too.

Really, Kauai is absolute beautiful and you are going to love it no matter what you do. Just go, enjoy, and if you have a favorite thing you enjoy let us know. We always love a good suggestion.