Hawaii Recap // Christmas 2012

posted by Amanda // Photography, Travel

Jan 15, 2013

If any of you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’re sick of looking at my Hawaii photos by now. I’m sorry, please indulge me just one more time! I wanted to tell you all about our trip!

Waikiki, Oahu—Shopping, dining, tourist shops and big hotels. We stopped at Waikiki for some shopping and dinner on the beach our first day in Hawaii. We had limited time on Oahu, so visiting Waikiki was a must.

Waimea Canyon—The Grand Canyon of the West, beautiful vistas, hikes and trails. We tried to hike in Waimea Canyon, but unfortunately it was just too muddy and slippery and steep. We got a mile in, and decided we’d had enough and turned around. It was a good laugh, but if I had to do it again I wouldn’t have done that specific hike.

Helicopter Tour—One of my favorite days, and coincidentally my birthday, was the day we did the helicopter tour around the island. Much of Kauai is off limits to most people because it’s such rugged terrain, so the only way to see everything is from above.

Wialua Falls—This falls was really easy to get to. We drove right up and took some pictures.

Wialua River—My favorite experience on Kauai was kayaking and hiking at the Wailua River. This is where the Fern Grotto and the Queen’s Baths are. We rented our kayaks, and took our time exploring the river, getting out and hiking around the beautiful rainforest. We hiked to Secret Falls which was about 1.5 miles, but unlike the other hike in Waimea Canyon, this one was mostly flat—still muddy though!

Hanalei Bay—On Christmas day, we drove north to Hanalei bay and took a long walk on the beach. I think this is the most beautiful spot on the island. They get a lot of rain on the north shore, which makes the whole area feel very magical and mysterious.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu—On our last day in Hawaii, we stopped at the Pearl Harbor memorial. Unfortunately, all the tickets to see the Arizona were sold our by the time we got there (at 10am!) so my advice to you, is get there super early. We still had a good time walking around the exhibits, but we’ll have to come back next time to get the whole experience.

Diamond Head, Oahu—On our way back to the airport, we drove up to Diamond Head, the extinct volcano that formed Oahu. From a far the peak is very impressive, especially when contrasted with all the development in Honolulu. Inside the crater however, I thought I was back in Southern California.

Pretty much every other day we weren’t going on a hike, or sight seeing, we spent on the beach or by the pool. After all, that’s what vacations are all about! It was a wonderful trip, of course made even more special by our engagement. Kauai will now and forever hold a very dear place in my heart.

Have you been to Kauai? What were your favorite places?

All photos taken by me via Instagram

Top from left: Wialua Falls, old coconut palm grove, sand writing in Hanalei Bay

Middle from left: the mountains behind Hanalei Bay, carved tiki in a coconut palm

Bottom from left: shaved ice, Bali Hai at Hanalei Bay, the view from Diamond Head, Ohau

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One Response to “Hawaii Recap // Christmas 2012”

  1. aaaah! i’m planning a trip to kauai in april – would love to hear your recs (esp. places to stay as we are trying to figure that out now)