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Hawaii is Open. #Booking

Hawaii welcomed more than 8,000 travelers on Thursday Oct. 15th, as the state kicked off its pre-travel testing program designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and allow the reopening of one of the state’s largest industries.

Hawaii has signed up more than a dozen partners to administer the PCR tests, including CVS, Walgreens, Kaiser Permanente and airlines like Hawaiian, Alaska and United. Green said there are 20 additional partners waiting to sign up, which will make the required tests available for even more people.

Most everyone that has been in-store talking travel has heard me exclaim my love of Kauai. One of the rare places on this globe I feel truly at home, Kauai is my favorite destination with my ohana (Lily 8, Luna 5). I love being able to wander barefoot, journey the trails that lead to epic lookouts or secret beaches (barefoot hiking!), and snorkeling off-shore to swim alongside honu (sea turtles) and sea lions. If you have not gone, watch google/flight prices as I have seen MSP to LIH under $500 roundtrip in the upcoming months! #meetmethere

The first time I set foot on the Na Pali coast, I cried. It was a cool kind of crying... complete awe and peace rolled over me when I looked out at the cliffs meeting the sea. Your at the edge of the world, yet I had never felt more free. I think I turned to my husband and told him he could leave me right there... but he mentioned it was to rain that evening and my daughter (6 months at the time) needed her mommy. The next day we put baby in the carrier and hiked it again. During our stays, I frequently drive down to Keé beach and just sit and contemplate how lucky we are to see this part of the earth.

We always stay in Princeville for affordability and accessibility. We have splurged a few times, and also stretched our dollars a few times. I can not say I had a bad stay yet. I recommend PURE KAUAI for luxury rentals or PARRISH KAUAI for condo rentals. The many hotels in the area are fantastic and you really can not go wrong so it depends solely on your budget. Just remember, you spend 98% of your time outside in Kauai. You do need a car in order to drive around the island, and you will want to drive! There is so much to see...

We have done countless hikes in Waimea Canyon, even staying a night in a little wooden cabin so we could get an early start on a trail. I have been here countless times, and it always amazes me. When visiting pack a sweater, its amazing how far the temperature drops when you reach the top of the canyon. At the end of the road is my favorite hike in Kauai, which leads into Na Pali from a hunters trail.

An often skipped destination on the south side of the island is the Polihale beach. It's the last beach before the land rises into the cliffs of Na Pali. It is secluded and absolutely worth the drive. The waves can be massive with a crazy rip, so it's less a swimming beach and more a "I can not believe this sunset" beach. The shore break does pool in the sand and my keiki's loved to play and splash safety there. Pack a lunch and supper picnic and go for the day.

Our most often visited beach is Anini, mainly do to its subtle waves and easy to enter water. We always see honu when we snorkel, and the tree canopy provides shade on Hawaii's sunniest days. From morning to night, we spend entire days in the sand and sea at Anini beach. You can go for days in a row and not get tired of the perfectly clear water.

If you visit in Summer (my favorite time to visit) I highly recommend ensuring you attend the Mango Festival. Held every August in Waipa, across the street from the Waipa Foundation and past the Halulu fishpond. Lounge under tents and in the shade of the trees throughout the property as you enjoyed mango-themed treats, drinks, and other delights while listening to live music. Our girls love this festival and the keiki theater parades!

Next time we visit, and there will be a next time... we plan on once again fully embracing the aloha sprit and connection with the Aina (land). This is just a small bit of some of my favorites, feel free to reach out if you want help planning your Kauai vacation or if you need flavor recommendations at Wishing Well Shave Ice. Aloha.

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