I am so excited to share all about our Christmas on Kauai. It was so much fun with the kids. We mostly got to visit with family and a few friends. Everyone was crazy busy, so I’m sorry if we missed you on our trip home. If you’re from Kauai then hopefully this will bring back some awesome memories and if you’re planning to visit this is a short list of ideas for your trip that are “must do” items for your Kauai bucket list. I finished this post later than I anticipated, but I got side tracked a little last week with the nuclear missile scare. As always, please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to hear about all your must do Kauai activities too.
Christmas on Kauai
Spending Family Time
The number one thing I recommend on Kauai is getting to the beach. Whether swimming, snorkeling, surfing, diving, kayaking, or stand-up paddling, Kauai has some of the best beaches in the world! The longest stretch of white sand beach is on Kauai’s west side from Kekaha to Polihale. We got to the beach multiple times during our stay and the kids loved digging, swimming, and exploring.
Some of our favorite beaches are Kekaha beach, Polihale, Salt pond, Poipu, and Hanalei bay. The truth is, there are a lot of beaches on Kauai and many of them are kid friendly. Just looking at the crystal clear water without a ton of people in this picture of Salt Pond is making me homesick and wishing I was there right now.
We definitely went to Koke’e. It is one of the things we do every time we get back to Kauai and it is always worth it. The Waimea Canyon is a stunning natural wonder. The views are unbeatable. Over our slightly rainy Christmas on Kauai we still managed to get in hiking, eating some Ono (delicious) food at the Koke’e Lodge, and feeding the chickens. Don’t forget to feed the chickens. My kids are young, so getting to feed the chickens is one of the highlights of our Kauai trips.
Koke’s has world class hiking. We love the Waipo’o falls trail, but did not do it this trip because it was pretty wet and it would’ve been a muddy mess. Instead, we went on a pretty tame nature trail. Over Thanksgiving we picked pinecones and had so much fun doing crafts with them that we grabbed more pinecones right at the huge main park. We used the pinecones to make more crafty ornaments and to use as kindling in the outdoor fire pit my dad made.
We don’t always make a pit stop at Kilohana Plantation, but for first time visitors it’s a nice and easily accessible place to explore. The train was the main reason for our visit. It does a nice tour of the plantation; which boasts having pigs, chickens, horses, and a mule. The train stops so you can feed the pigs. They have a Kama’aina (Hawaii Resident) discount for the train.
Kauai has awesome food. There were MANY restaurants that I didn’t get to visit during this trip that I love. But, we still managed to get to some of my favorites.
Wranglers Steakhouse in Waimea has awesome steaks and my favorite item on the menu is their filet mignon. It was our dinner destination to celebrate my Grandparent’s 89th birthdays. Aside from the steak they have delicious fish and a excellent Japanese Tempura plate that is my grandmother’s favorite. Their dessert menu includes peach cobbler, mud pie, bread pudding, and lava cake; which are all excellent and so hard to choose between that we often get more than one and share.
Brick Oven Pizza
I grew up eating and loving Brick Oven Pizza. Fortunately they actually have 4 Brick Oven Pizza restaurants now here on Oahu, but nothing beats eating at the original. I love the super on whole wheat crust with garlic butter. There are currently locations in Kapolei, Ward, Dillingham, and Kaneohe. Check them out if you’re in the mood for Pizza because they are absolutely delicious.
As mentioned above, whenever we go to Koke’e we enjoy eating at the Koke’e lodge. The location has expanded from when I was a kid and you get to enjoy home cooked food in front of a large fireplace. The ambiance can’t be beat for a cozy and warm cabin feel. I recommend the corn chowder and corn bread. They also boast a large variety of coffees and teas to get your caffeine fix. Visitors may also enjoy a cabin rental to stay the night.
Established in 1934, Ishihara Market technically is not a restaurant, but everyone will tell you how awesome and fresh the seafood is there. It’s listed as having the best Poke on Kauai, some say the best in the world. I didn’t get a picture of the food, probably because it was eaten so quickly, but I found some on Facebook! They have awesome plate lunches and bentos (boxed lunches), and the freshest melt in your mouth sashimi, poke, prawns, and shrimp. They also do catering for large parties and events.
Spending Family Time
The main reason for getting to Kauai over Christmas was spending quality time with my family. My kids had a blast with my parents, sister, and grandparents and they are spoiled rotten by them. They made our Christmas away from home incredibly magical. Aunty Jamie bought them tons of toys, clothes, games, and other gifts. My dad made an outdoor fire pit so we could sit outside and relax under the stars. My mother was her usual crafty self by doing lots of craft activities, including completing the the Kukui nut shell bracelets made with the shells we collected over Thanksgiving. We also got in community service by ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in front of Ishihara Market. I can’t thank them enough for such a wonderful, relaxing, and fun trip.
It’s really important for me to get back to Kauai more often now because my grandparents are getting older. During our stay they celebrated their 89th birthdays! So, hopefully you’ll be seeing me there more often. I know it is many years away from now, but my husband has also promised me that we can retire there. Hopefully you live there or are able to visit there soon too!