I have to admit, I was skeptical about going to Hawaii on my honeymoon. I was convinced the best honeymoon destination was somewhere more private, more exotic, and more obscure. A classic Hawaii Honeymoon just felt too cookie-cutter, like I had fallen for society’s vanilla-version of the status-quo, yet again. BUT — I did want to explore these islands in the middle of the pacific — AND my two week vacation/honeymoon seemed like the perfect amount of time to check them out (with my new husband, of course!) — SO, we booked our flights to Kauai.
Choosing the best honeymoon destination is a challenge. We chose Kauai because it is “less built up” than the other Hawaiian islands. While there are still strip malls, mega-resorts, and the usual tourist attractions, you wont find dense urban sprawl like there on some of the other islands. Kauai is largely made up of untouched jungle, which makes for excellent hiking and excursions such as kayaking and ATV-ing.
There are also tons (TONS!) of gorgeous beaches, cute beach towns, and surf shops. You’ll never be bored — and you wont feel like you’re stuck in a giant tourist trap.
When to go to Kauai
The second-best decision I made during my wedding planning was to delay the honeymoon until the fall. We were married in June, enjoyed the summer on the beaches of the Cape and Newport, RI, and then jetted off to the tropics in September. We love the beach and just can’t get enough of its calm energy, so extending our beach time well into the fall was an obvious decision.
September is the perfect time to go to Hawaii – after all the little kids are back in school and summer vacations are over. We only had to share the waterslides with a few locals. 🙂
Also, there weren’t any bugs! And trade winds hadn’t yet started blowing, so the waves were manageable. (In the wintertime, the waves can make swimming much too dangerous.)
The 12+ hour flight was well worth the trip to the jagged coastline of Kauai and the stay at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu (maybe the fanciest hotel I may have ever stayed in). If flying isn’t your thing, you could keep it closer to home with a trip to New Jersey. Some may say that the best beach vacation rentals at the shore are in Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ, but I’d hop on a plane to Kauai any day.
You can also get to the best honeymoon destination using frequent flier miles to boost you and your new partner into first class, and get your Kauai honeymoon started early! My husband surprised me with the upgrade – what an awesome wedding present! Free champagne, anyone?
Don’t forget to pack….
>> Packable Cotton Towel: You never know when you’ll stumble upon a beach! Sandcloud towels are perfectly packable (even into a purse!) and come in great patterns and colors. Their website even gives you advice on how to help preserve our shores! Plus, they donate 10% of their proceeds to protecting marine life.
>> Bugspray: While it wasn’t buggy when we were there, a few of my friends have had very buggy experiences on Kauai. Be prepared!
>> Sunblock + Hat: We bought SPF 50+ sunblock four times on Kauai. The sun is strong on the islands since you are so much closer to the equator than on the east coast, and you’re going to be outside A LOT. Shield yourself from the strong rays, even if you don’t usually burn easily. A packable panama hat is a must to keep you hair in-check and the sun off your face. I wore mine everyday.
>> Sleeveless Cotton Dresses + Comfy FLAT sandals: This is all I wore the entire time, except when I was hiking. Heels would have been extremely out of place. Casual comfort is key! For guys the uniform is: shorts, tshirt, baseball hat, and flippy-floppys.
>> Dry-fit shirts + Athletic shorts + Hiking shoes + Hydration: Prepare for REAL hiking in Kauai with a Camelback hydration pack and full hiking attire. The Kalalau trail is unforgiving and very very hot, but absolutely worth the hike!
Once you’re there, you won’t have a shortage of amazing things to do. We barely spent anytime relaxing on the beaches because there was so many fun things to explore! Take a look at my post about the top ten things to do on your Kauai Honeymoon for the details on what to do.
If you want ALL the tips and tricks and details to make your honeymoon completely spectacular, enter your email below to download the complete 47-page Kauai Honeymoon Guide eBook.
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