So, I last left you at Salt Pond beach. . .

Next, we headed off to the Wailua River:

Because the land on either side is owned by families, or leased from the owners by tour companies, we drove up to a look out to see it. Although it was beautiful, we opted not to do a canoe tour, because it gets quite congested due to how popular it is.

Instead, we went a less traveled route (more on that later).

From the river, we forged on until we got to the town of Hanalei. This was one of my favorite towns on the island, because instead of a strip mall and a bunch of resorts, this place actually looked like a small town! And, its surroundings are absolutely gorgeous! Be warned though, this is the “rainy” side of the island, drizzly even in August.

The picturesque church in Hanalei

Hanalei also had one of  the longer, least populated beaches on the Island, with homes lining it rather than resorts

For those of you who have seen Descendants, this is the beach that George Clooney goes for a run on ; )

Hollywood aside, this beach is also pretty cool for its Bali Hai quality

This becomes even more apparent from the lookout above the town:

The agricultural side of Hanalei

Next on the agenda was our alternate to kayaking on the Wailua: Paddle boarding down a smaller river, followed by a hike.

I had never paddle boarded before this, but it was surprisingly easy! It probably helped that we were on a pretty calm river with the wind at our backs 🙂

On the hike, we swam in two swimming holes, had a picnic lunch, and tried fruit that our guide found for us.

One of the swimming holes

Apparently, a few scenes from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean were shot there!

Some more pics from the hike:

We did the earliest excursion, so we got back in the early afternoon, and spent the rest of the day at the beach.

We got fancy the next day with a dinner cruise to see the Nepali Coast:

The cruise was one of my favorite parts of the vacation! Beautiful weather, views, calm waters, and very relaxing.

We also drove to the Waimea Canyon:

We finished up our trip with a three-mile hike (unmarked, without a guide) around the Poipu area. The hike boasted gorgeous views, and points of archeological interest:

The “Pinnacles”

The Sinkhole

And that concludes my Kauai vacation!