Hanalei Food Trucks
Hanalei will always have my heart. I fell deeper and deeper in love with this town with every passing moment that I was there. If you are looking for true island vibes this is the place to be. Everyone in this quaint beach town was so laidback. The chill atmosphere instantly puts you at ease and you can really feel yourself slip into island time. I wish I could have had another week or two just to relax and get to know this town on a deeper level. I could see myself buying a house and really enjoying life here. The only thing holding me back is the houses in Hanalei cost a pretty sum of 1 million plus for a small beach house. You are really paying for the location on the island of Kauai.
I am sharing all of my favorite discoveries in Hanalei and the surrounding areas so you will have some idea of things to do in Hanalei. This list is some of the best things to do on the North Shore of Kauai. Of course, there is always so much more to see and never enough time. But this post will give you a good jumping off point for your trip to Kauai.
When I am planning a trip to Kauai I often plan it around food spots that I have to try. I often look at all the restaurant menus and photos on yelp to determine what looks like a good spot. The best of Kauai’s food can be found in food trucks they are everywhere. Hanalei has some of the best food trucks. The one you cannot be missed is Holy Grail donuts. A vegan donut shop that makes their donuts out of Taro (grown right in Hanalei), then they are fried in coconut oil and their flavors are always artisanally created with locally grown and seasonal flavors. We bought one of each flavor when we stopped here. There was a maple coconut bacon one, and cacao nib one, a kumquat poppyseed (my favorite) and a strawberry jalapeno one. Make sure you plan your trip around this stand because they are only open on Sundays and you will regret if you sleep in and miss these guys.
Happy Talk & Kalypso’s
My parents love a good happy hour and I have to say that Happy Talk has the best in Hanalei. Their food is not your typical bar food and they have a lot of healthier options. They also have a great beer and a cocktail list that is on special. Get there early so you can get a table looking over the amazing tropical view. If you are there for appetizers I recommend it all but we especially loved the baked queso, summer rolls, mac nut hummus and coconut shrimp.
Kayak Hanalei River
We wanted this Kauai trip to be more about relaxing than anything this go round. There is a lot to see on the island like driving to Waimea Canyon or Poipu Beach but since we did that the last time we visited Kaui we had a chance to take it easy and enjoy the little things on the North Shore. The biggest adventure we did was rent kayaks on the Hanalei River. I felt like Pocahontas and really enjoyed my time on the water taking in the amazing views, even if it was a little rainy. But for being on the rainy side of the island you kind of have to get used to being a little wet.
JoJo’s Shave Ice
After our long trek down the river, we had to stop for shave ice and nobody does in better than Jojo’s. My favorite flavor is the tropical breeze with mango, guava, and lilikoi, and of course you have to have the macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom, otherwise, you are missing out on the real shave ice experience.
The famous Hanalei Bay, the place where all your worries wash away. This is such a beautiful beach with waterfall covered mountains all around you. It is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It is also the most ideal place for surf lessons, boogie boarding, and body surfing. I also highly recommend grabbing a fresh juice from the farmers market or juice joints in town and enjoying every ray of sunshine.
The Taro Fields Lookout is located right off the highway. So naturally like all tourist do we had to stop and take in the amazing view and of course get some shots for the gram. It is really a view you could get lost in.
One day we decided to ride bikes not really knowing where we were going. Then we stumbled upon something really spectacular. Hideaway Beach. The best discoveries are always unplanned and this hidden gem was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in all the Hawaiian Islands. It is a bit of a treck down, but there is a rope to hang onto when you are climbing down and the climb is really worth it. The water here is so crystal clear, you can see all the amazing coral reefs. A snorkelers paradise, just wish I would have known so I could have brought some gear.
Hanalei Farmers Market
If you have been following me I think you know by now that the farmers market is my happy place. I would rather spend all my money here than going out to eat. I love cooking with all the fresh ingredients and trying new things. Hanalei has such an amazing market. The vendors have a really large variety of tropical fruit and veggies. You are bound to find something you have never seen before. Make sure you plan to go at the beginning of your stay so you have time to let all the amazing fruit ripen. I was able to find an egg fruit (taste like sweet potato pie) and strawberry guava (one of my favorite tropical fruit. We also made some fresh pineapple salsa and guacamole for fish tacos. And I loved making veggie
Hanalei Bay Pizzeria
If your looking for a pie, Hanalei Bay Pizzeria is your best option. They have so many creative ideas on pizza topping combinations you will be able to try something new or find whatever you are craving. We got the Hanalei Dragon with basil, jalapeno, pineapple, red onion, sriracha drizzle,
The Cliffs at Princeville
The Cliffs at Princeville was a 10- minute drive from Hanalei and is where we were staying the majority of the time. It is a beautiful property where you can get lost in the ocean view, especially during whale season. We spent every morning outside drinking our coffee and looking for whales. We saw a lot of sprays, a few breaches, and even got a shot of a tail. I highly recommend staying here if you are ever in Princeville.
That is all of my Kauai content for now! I hope you enjoyed all of my posts featuring the beautiful island of Kauai. And I hope you feel inspired to visit! These islands cannot be put off, just book the flight and go. It is worth every sacrifice, I promise.