Things to do in Kauai

J.Crew strapless dress with mirrored sunglasses in Hawaii
This dolphin pot swam right up to our boat in Kauai

We visited four of the Hawaiian Islands on this trip, and Kauai was by far my favorite. Dan and I drove around the whole island and totally fell for the lush green surroundings around every corner. Plus, there was so much to do and see! 

We split our time in Kauai between the north and the south parts of the island. For the first two nights we stayed in the south at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort in Poipu, which is known for great snorkeling and drier/sunnier weather.

This put us closer to most of the activities I had planned like the helicopter tour of the Na'Pali Coast (see here), hiking Waimea Canyon (see here), a sailing tour of the Na'Pali Coast on a gorgeous catamaran and snorkeling at Poipu Beach displayed in this post.

A friend who travels annually to Kauai highly recommended Captain Andy's Kauai Boat Tours to us. In fact, he insisted that we book their rafting tour! After watching the very helpful orientation video provided after booking, we switched our booking to the more leisurely catamaran sailing trip. The rafting trip looks like so much fun, but it is clear that you get very wet on this tour which would limit my ability to take photos. 

|Outfit Details: J.Crew Dress, J.Crew Seersucker BikiniJ.Crew Baseball Hat, Amazon Mirrored Sunglasses

Kauai Catamaran Sailing Trip | Never Settle Travel
Dolphins in Hawaii | Never Settle Travel
Humpback whale in Hawaii | Never Settle Travel
Southern coast of Kauai | Never Settle Travel
These dolphins in Kauai made my whole trip!

Our luxury catamaran left Port Allen early in the morning with about thirty people on board. The staff immediately set out to make sure we were comfortable complete with a buffet of breakfast and refreshments while the Captain narrated our tour over the speakers. 

The sail started out with clear, sunny skies giving us perfect views of the southern coast. As we headed toward the stunning Polihale Beach, we saw sea turtles and several large dolphin pods who enjoyed swimming in the wake of our catamaran.

I was sooo excited to see the dolphins! In one pod we counted about 20 dolphins and another pod of the smaller spinner dolphins performed jumps and flips for us. It was seriously the best. 

We saw so many dolphins on this boat tour! | Never Settle Travel
Sailing in Kauai
Sailing the Na Pali Coast in Kauai
Na Pali Coast
Sailing the Na Pali Coast in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Na Pali Coast Boat Tour in Kauai | Never Settle Travel

As we came around the coast toward Na'Pali, the weather began to turn with dark clouds turning the jagged coastline into an even more dramatic scene. Once we passed the Kalalau Valley, the Captain turned the ship around and shut off the engine so that we could sail slowly back past the Na'Pali Coast while we enjoyed a delicious BBQ meal cooked on board by Chef. 

We found the sun again as we returned to the southern coast. I would have been happy enough to see the dolphins on this tour, but we were lucky to see a humpback whale and her calf on the way back, as well, swimming with another pod of dolphins.  Both whales waved to us with their tails while the dolphins swam over to enjoy our wake.

This beach in Kauai has the best snorkeling | Never Settle Travel
J.Crew Bikini at Poipu Beach | Never Settle Travel
Poipu Beach in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Poipu Beach Park Kauai | Never Settle Travel

After returning to port, Dan and I drove back to Poipu Beach to snorkel and soak up the sun. We weren't the only ones either. The beach is popular with people, sea turtles and monk seals! We saw a large sea turtle sunning on the beach and a monk seal swam right up on the sand, rolled around, and swam right back out to sea. 

I rented snorkel gear from the beachfront Marriott property for $15. It's probably best to buy your own snorkel gear for the trip once you arrive since there are so many snorkeling opportunities in Hawaii. I did not see much coral while snorkeling but there are plenty of colorful fish. Watch out for the current though! I started snorkeling on the resort side of the beach and was almost swept away. I quickly moved over to calmer reef in front of Poipu Beach Park.

We ended the day with a delicious poke and sushi dinner at The Dolphin Restaurant in Poipu, which I definitely recommend!

Snorkeling in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Snorkeling in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Snorkeling in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Snorkeling in Kauai | Never Settle Travel
Sea Turtle at Poipu Beach | Never Settle Travel
Best Boat Tours in Hawaii | Never Settle Travel
Humpback whale in Hawaii | Never Settle Travel