Kauai, once known mostly as a quiet romantic island is quickly becoming a hot spot for adventurous and luxurious girlfriend getaways. With almost endless options for fun and sun, it’s nearly impossible not to have a perfect day with the girls.
For this perfect girlfriend getaway—start by checking into the beautiful Kauai Marriot Resort and Beach Club. One glimpse at the Romanesque pool adorned with pillars and the private coved beach you may never want to leave the hotel. But, you’ll have to save poolside lounging for later—you’ve got a full day of adventure exploring on land, water and in the air.
What? Did you think this was going to be a day of spa treatments and yoga? Why be cliché! There is way too much to explore on Kauai to limit it to a day spa.
Plan for an early breakfast at the hotel. An outdoor food kiosk on the walkway by the pool offers fresh fruits such as papaya and pineapple as well as granola, hard boiled eggs, bagels, juices, teas and coffee.
Gather the girls and drive just a few minutes to the Kayak Shack at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor for an 8:15am check-in for a Kipu Zipline Safari with Outfitters Kauai. This all day tour begins with kayaking on a jungle river. Once you gear up and review kayak paddling techniques with the guide you’ll be ready to pair up and launch a tandem kayak into the Huleia River. As the two mile kayak trip winds its way up the beautiful and lush river stay close to the guide so you can hear all the information they share about the history of the river and island.
The tour guide leads the group to the riverbank to begin a hike into the jungle. The area is beautiful but can be a bit muddy, so watch your step as you make your way to the first rope swing. Hang on tight to the rope as you take a running start and swing across the pool of water. Let go half way back and plunge into the water.
After the group has each had a turn playing Tarzan or Jane, the hike continues to Kipu Ranch—made famous in films like Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark—for a tractor pulled covered wagon tour. Highlights are the wild pigs, peacocks and of course spotting the famous movie locations.
Afterwards, a bit of a hike back into the jungle for lunch and then a climb up a treehouse like structure to the starting point of the zip line. There are two lines set up so you can soar across the top of the jungle with a friend. Here the guides will secure you and your friends in a harness and helmet and then clip you onto the rope while offering the big choice of falling backward off the platform or jumping forward to begin your zip across the river and through the woods.
The initial moment before the leap prepare for a bit of nervousness. Afterwards—it’s pure adrenalin and smiles. As you unhook at the landing platform, it’s a quick walk across the swinging wooden walkway and back up the stairs for zip #2.
After the zip you’ll have a second opportunity to swim in a second beautiful large pool of water surrounded by waterfalls. You may even see cliff divers showing off their latest technique as they leap from atop the falls.
The tour concludes by heading back to the river bank for a ride up the river by motorized canoe around 3pm. After a full day of adventure, head back to the hotel and relax poolside. Reminisce about your exciting day, swim in the massive pool or enjoy your well earned umbrella adorned lava flow frozen drink.
For dinner splurge with a visit to Gaylords at Kilohana. After a day of exploring jungle style, a high end meal in a relaxed setting is a treat. The restaurant is located on the 35-acre historic Kilohana Plantation and was once the home to a sugar plantation executive. Outdoor tables encircle a beautiful and lush courtyard with exotic tropical gardens and mountain views in the distance.
Begin your meal with an appetizer such as the ahi kampachi poke, a Hawaiian Yellowfin and Kona Kampachi with fresh ogo, ginger and onions, finished with wasabi sauce, furikake and malolo caviar. For the next course enjoy a Hoioi and Hearts of Palm Salad that includes Hawaiian fiddlehead fern from Lawai Valley, hearts of palm from the Big Island, Kilauea tomato and Maui onion tossed in a light rice vinegar shoyu dressing, topped with Kalua pork cracklings.
For the main course try one of the house specialties such as Chicken Kauai; a breast of chicken sautéed with papaya and pineapple served in a macadamia nut cream sauce, accompanied by coconut Jasmine rice and bok choy. If you are in the mood for seafood, the fresh island caught grilled ono is a delicious choice.
After dinner, head back to the hotel, put on your bathing suit, order a cocktail and enjoy the tropical night breeze. Head for one of the five Jacuzzi’s encircled by Roman columns. It’s time for you and your girlfriends to sink into the warm water and look out over the pool and toward the ocean. It’s the perfect place to embrace your inner goddess. You have just created a day you and your friends will never forget.
What & Where:
Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club (3610 Rice St, Lihue; 808-245-5050; www.marriott.com/)
Outfitters Kauai (2827A Poipu Rd, Poipu Beach, 808-742-9667)
Gaylords at Kilohana (3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Kilohana Estate, Lihue; 808-245-9593; http://gaylordskauai.com/)
What to wear and bring on the Kipu Zipline Safari:
Wear a swimsuit under short and t-shirt, Teva type sandals or aqua shoes with tread. Bring a windbreaker or light rain jacket, sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, camera