I recently turned 30 and when we were in search of someplace warm and sunny to celebrate - Key West was calling our names! Key West is part of the Florida Keys archipelago and is also Florida's southernmost point located roughly 90 miles north of Cuba which means lots of sunshine (it was in the 80s when we went in March). We flew direct from Chicago to Key West but many people also access the island from the mainland via the Overseas Highway. We didn't rent a car during our stay and found everything to be very walkable (aside from our Uber to and from the airport). Scooters, golf carts, and bike rentals can also be found on nearly every street corner. Keep reading to find out how we spent five days in the Conch Republic!
Disclaimer: We were hosted for our stay at Best Western and on several of our activity tours. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Having been to three of the four major Hawaiian islands, I can see why Kauai is called the garden isle. The entire island is so lush and green which is mainly a result of all the rain the island gets. In fact, Kauai is one of the wettest places on earth. But like any of the islands, the weather can vary dramatically depending on which side you're on. This was a major factor for us when deciding which area to call our home base for the week. Since we were going in the winter which is during the rainy season we decided to avoid the north shore and opted for the east side which positioned us well to access all sides of the island in decent time.
We ended up staying at Kauai Shores which we booked through Costco (another travel hack to save $$!). The resort had recently been updated and offered a lot of amenities for guests including bike rentals, a pool and hot tub, and direct access to the beach. The hotel is also home to Lava Lava Beach Club which is the only toes-in-the-sand dining experience on the island. My only real complaint was the parking. The spaces were very tight and it was a hassle to find a spot when we would arrive back later at night. They do offer free valet with the resort fee so keep that in mind.
Below I've included a breakdown of how we spent each day of our trip. I will be writing more detailed guides about our time in each area of the island but I hope this post helps you plan out your days and must see sites!
One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog is because I LOVE creating travel itineraries for my trips. And when I'm planning my vacations I find myself spending hours on Pinterest reading about how other people were spending their time in the places I was going and what things I simply had to see. But honestly, I found a lot of general guides highlighting cool places and very few that broke down how travelers spent their time each day.
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a minute-by-minute list of where you need to be (it's still a vacation after all) but more of a list of the things I want to make sure we see and when it makes sense to see them which is mainly determined by location. If you've never been to Hawaii, all of the islands are pretty much divided into sections (north, south, east, and west) and it can take an hour or more to get to the other side. So instead of wasting a bunch of time driving, I typically plan our days based on which section we will be in and go from there. This strategy has helped us to see and experience SO much of the islands (other than just the beautiful beaches) in a relatively short amount of time. This was also our second time visiting Maui and we wanted to experience some different things than our last trip. Read more about that here.
I plan to write more detailed posts on each of our days and break down my complete reviews of our excursions and activities but I hope this will give you an idea of what activities you may want to add to your trip and how to plan your time on the islands.
The next stop on our honeymoon adventure was the island of Maui. This island had a totally different vibe than the bustling city of Honolulu. It was almost like everything was happening in slow motion..the true definition of island life. After much consideration (and research) we decided to stay at Lahania Shores Beach Resort - the only beachside hotel in the area. Lahania is an old whaling village and serves as the island's "downtown" with an abundance of shops and restaurants, all within walking distance. An added bonus we didn't have to worry about finding a parking spot - which can be a real challenge in this small town. The rooms are condo style so we had access to a full kitchen which allowed us to save some money by purchasing breakfast foods and snacks and eating in our room.
Don't get me wrong Maui has some of the most beautiful resorts in the country *cough I'm looking at you Ritz Carlton* check out my spa adventure on Day 4 if you don't believe me. But we really enjoyed the boutique feel of Lahania Shores and like I mentioned in my Oahu travel guide - we aren't big pool people and never seem to spend a lot of time at our resort. We're usually out and about. Totally a personal preference!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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