Visiting Kauai, “The Garden Isle”, Pt. 1

My first visit to the Hawaiian Islands was in 2011 onboard the Norwegian Pride. It began on the island of Oahu and sailed to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, with stops in both Kona and Hilo. We have been back to Oahu twice more since that first time, as my cousin lives on the island. But it has been about three years since our last visit. When it was time to pick our destination for our family vacation, my sister suggested we go back. We fought about which island to visit in addition to Oahu and eventually settled on Kauai.

We stayed at the Koloa Landing Resort in Poipu, since we wanted to be close to the beach and not too far from Lihue. Koloa Landing is a relatively new resort – only three years old, according to the bellman that took us to our room. We ended up spending so much more time at the resort than we thought we would because it was so beautiful. They have a gorgeous tranquility pool for adults only. We spent the majority of our time there, just lounging by the pool and occasionally hopping in to cool off.

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The resort is just a 5-10 minute walk via a paved walkway to the beach down by the Sheraton, the Kiahuna Beach. We stopped by to dip our toes in and enjoy some sand on our last day. I was forewarned that the beach wouldn’t be what we were used to on Oahu and it was basically true. The beach was a lot narrower than Waikiki or Lanikai. The waves are also rougher, so I’m not sure inexperienced swimmers would’ve liked it. It was still gorgeous.

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We ate at a couple of places around the resort – the highlight being Anuenue Café at the Poipu Shopping Village. Anuenue Café specializes in breakfast and brunch items and they did not disappoint. My sister and I split two dishes because we both wanted a bit of each – the Loco Moco with grilled Makaweli half-pound burger patty, rice, two eggs, smothered in gravy and the Tow-in with haupia macadamia nut French toast, two eggs, and Portuguese sausage.

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Mom ordered the Kalua Pork Fried Rice.

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We finished every single thing on our places. It was that good!

The Poipu Shopping Village is also home to amazing souvenir stores like Whaler’s General Store and Elephant Landing. They also have a Puka Dog, which if you’ve been to Hawaii and never had one, you’re missing out! A Puka Dog is a Hawaiian-style hot dog that’s jam-packed with sauces – you get their secret garlic-lemon sauce, a choice of tropical relishes, and Aunty Lilikoi’s passion fruit mustard. I personally prefer mine with mango relish.

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