Top Things to do in Kauai, According to my Friends

The Significant Other and I loved Kauai. We had grand plans to do ALL THE THINGS, but (partially due to mudslides and partially due to our own exhaustion) we wound up doing nothing. And, you know what? It was AMAZING.

I’d highly recommend doing nothing. Maybe snorkel at Lawaii Beach or take a short hike to Secret Beach to watch the sunrise. Definitely eat Mexican food at Da Crack, Thai food at Craving Thai and grab some Kombucha at Kauai Juice Company (recycle your bottles for 50 cents off!). For coffee, check out Lappert’s. For açaí bowls and poke, go to Kukuiula Market. Other than that, relax, and enjoy the Garden Island.

What to Pack for Kauai

  • Hiking boots
  • Lightweight, quickdry pants
  • Poncho
  • >= 2 bathing suits
  • Mosquito spray
  • Shorts/T-shirts
  • Waterproof windbreaker
  • Rx scuba mask (you don’t need to bring a snorkel/fins because they’re so inexpensive to rent)
  • Mosquito spray
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Rx scuba mask (you don’t need snorkel/fins because they’re so cheap to rent)
  • Sunscreen/aloe vera (or just buy it there… it’s decently priced)

What and Where to Eat in Kauai


Casey Scheld: Tidepools is an amazing restaurant—definitely check it out if you get the chance!

Lily Steenblick Hwang: 

Shave Ice Paradise—this is our preferred shave ice place, but there are several to choose from!

Postcards Cafe: Nice place for dinner

The restaurant formerly known as Bouchon (on the second floor of Ching Young Village in Hanalei): Go here if it rained earlier, and only for a drink or an app or maybe the fish tacos which are usually ok. But the best thing about this place is the mountain view, and the most fun thing is sitting at the window and seeing how many waterfalls you can count after a good rain.

St. Regis – MakanaTerrace (this is a great place for fancy dinner and sunset over Hanalei Bay, my parents said it should be baby friendly)

Charles Q. Choi:

In terms of food, Monico’s Taqueria was great—we went again and again. Definitely get poke—you don’t need to stop at expensive restaurants, the locals go to Foodland and they are right. We also liked Pink’s Creamery for delicious ice cream.

Meena Ganesan

Order the honeycomb at Bar Acuda. Get poke at Pono Market.

Sana Uddin

If you like shrimp, check out this place, I loved it: https://theshrimpstation.net/menu

Restaurants with Gluten-free Options in Kauai




Things to do

Check out these sites: here and here

Kauai glass beach: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/kauai-glass-beach

Do NOT go skydiving in Kauai. Some of the reviews are scary. Source TripAdvisor 

Mountain tubing: here and here

Waterfall rappelling: http://adventureinhawaii.com/kauai/kauai-waterfall-rappelling/

Hiking: here and here 

“By and far the most popular attraction on the island is the one-of-a-kind Napali Coast, which is best seen on foot hiking the infamous Kalalau Trail or trekking the edges of Koke’e State Park. If you’re looking for a little less adventure, consider visiting the lower-impact Wailua River State Park or taking a dip in the calm waters of Po’ipu or Kalapaki Beach. Those more interested in the underwater scenery will be in awe of the views from Hanalei Bay, Ke’e Beach or Tunnels Beach, the latter of which is considered one of the top spots for snorkeling on the island.” Source US News

“Visiting Waimea Canyon is one of the top ten things to do on Kaua‘i and is a must for anyone that has a rental car and the time to visit this Westside gem. …easily accessible waterfalls like ‘Opaeka‘a Falls in Wailua to divine seascapes that don’t even require you to get out of the car.” Source Hawaii.com


Charles Q. Choi:

“Kayaking down the Wailua River is great. We went with Kayak Wailua https://kayakwailua.combe forewarned, it’s *not* the same as Wailua Kayak and Canoe!

Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park are fantastic. Would recommend Waimea Canyon State Park’s Awa’awapuhi Trail in the morning and Koke’e State Park’s Cliff and Canyon Trails in the afternoon. **This is contingent on there not being rain.** If there is rain, either of these trails can be a slog—we only did Awa’awapuhi Trail, but wished we could’ve also done Cliff and Canyon Trails. When going, arrive before 9, and don’t stop on any of the scenic overlooks until you drive back—it’s the best way to avoid crowds.

Na Pali Coast State Park is okay. It gets a lot of rave reviews, but after Awa’awapuhi Trail, it seemed like a letdown. The nearby Tunnels Beach is absolutely beautiful, though, and a must-do on a sunny day. The Hanalei Bay beaches were a letdown to me afterward.

Lily Steenblik Hwang:

Ultimate Kauai Guidebook. I’m not sure how recently it’s been updated but for things like beaches, trails, natural wonders it’s great. On the way to Waimea you can see Spouting Horn. 

Check out Queen’s Bath (on a day with low wave activity). The Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge is gorgeous and full of birds. You’ll see Red-footed booby), Mōlī (Laysan albatross), ‘Ua ‘u kani (Wedge-tailed shearwater) and sometimes monk seals. You can drive down to the end of the road and see the birds even when the refuge is closed for the day.

Princeville scenic outlook: make sure to stop here on the way down to Hanalei to take in one of the most iconic views on the island. You’ll be looking down into Hanalei valley and the taro fields.

There is another turn off down the road from here looking over Hanalei Bay, and the river but this turn off is more a large safety lane than an actual turn off – use your best judgment about how safe it is to pull over. Depends on traffic and road conditions. :)

Don’t miss Hanalei! I recommend going to the pier, hanging out on the beach and seeing at least one sunset here. Hanalei Bay is beautiful and Hanalei is an adorable tourist trap. It’s an easy place to spend an afternoon, or a full day. This is a good place for paddle boarding when it’s not too windy.

If you get a chance I recommend going to see Limahuli Garden and Preserve. It is a gorgeous place and highlights lots of native plants and biocultural conservation.

Jordan Davidson

And snorkeling. Poipu (I think that’s how it’s spelled) has a lot of fish.

Jackie Ching

Hike or kayak along Na Pali Coast!


7 Reasons Job Hunting is Wonderful (with GIFs)

Job hunting is insuperably splendiferous.

There are lots of articles along the lines of “how to make job hunting suck less” and “how to not go crazy while searching for work,” but I haven’t seen any “silver lining” stories pop up on the world wide web. While I certainly understand the downside of looking for gigs, there are plenty of reasons why job hunting is oh-so wonderful:

Meet new people

It’s all about who you know. The more people who have your name at the forefront of their brains, the more successful you’ll be with your job hunt. Even if you don’t land the gig, you have the potential to get a freelancing assignment out of it. Plus, everyone in the journalism biz hops around all.the.time. You might not work for the company now, but there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up on a future team with someone from the organization.

Scope out the field

When else do you get to chit chat with the Editor in Chief? ask about the publication’s biggest successes—and failures? When will you have another opportunity to discuss the company’s editorial direction? the short-term and long-term goals?

Job hunting is a perfect time to scope out the field and learn more about your industry.

Learn about yourself

Nobody likes introspection, but everybody needs a healthy dose of it. You can’t apply for everysinglejobopportunityever so you have to pick and choose. Job hunting forces you to think deeply (and realistically) about your dreams and goals. What makes you tick? What makes you happy? What qualities do you consider important? What is a work-life balance, anyway? How will you reconcile the need for money with the need for workplace satisfaction? What are your long-term goals?

Searching for gainful employment also gives you the opportunity to learn how you can improve. Maybe there’s a coding class you need to take. Perhaps a time-management workshop would be helpful. Or, it’s possible that you just need to up your self-confidence and improve your self-promotion skills. Whatever the case, job hunting gives you the perfect excuse to tackle that self-improvement project.

Find your friends

Notice how I didn’t title this “Why Job Hunting is Fun.” Looking for work isn’t exactly high up on the list of ways I’d like to spend my time. And, let’s be honest here, sometimes it just suckslikeawholebunch. But when the chips are down, your true friends will come out of the woodwork.

There’s the friend who will listen to your rants about howawfulthejobmarketisrightnow and whyamIeveninthisindustryanway and provide the necessary support. Friends who will buy beers after a particularly stressful interview. Friends who will send you job openings, articles on how to perfect your resume and little words of encouragement every once in a while. And then there are those saints who will offer to edit your cover letter.

These people are golden. Make sure to return the favor when they’re in the same boat.




Job Hunting Across the U.S.

Job hunting engenders a fascinating array of emotions—fear, surprise, sadness, embarrassment, excitement, joy, etc. It’s amazing how the pursuit of gainful employment holds so much power over our lives. Looking for work can be exhilarating and uplifting as well as totally and completely soul-crushing.

I’m on a cross-country road trip with the Significant Other, traveling from D.C. to San Francisco and back. Throughout the trip, I’ve been applying for jobs: typing follow-up emails in the car, practicing for interviews in 7-11 bathroom mirrors and penning cover letters in tents. But I don’t just want a job, I want the job. When you’re spending the majority of your life moving heaven and earth on a boss’s whim, it better damn well be worth it.

So how do I go about finding that elusive gig? You know, the one that makes working late nights and weekends oddly satisfying? I did what any journo would do when seeking answers—I interviewed people across America.


Give Back

Rena Bob, a Grand Canyon National Park Interpretive Park Ranger, on the importance of giving back with your work:parkrangerI’m a park ranger. I have a cultural background as a Navajo. That’s what’s unique about me and any native working in the park. I have knowledge about the plants and the earth. I am a liaison between the native people and visitors. I educate the public about what is special to us as native people so these histories can be passed on to new generations and respected.
We educate kids to protect these places. It’s such a good feeling that the kids are interested in the history of the park, in the history of the Navajo. There’s hope for the future.
This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.


Don’t Sell Out

Here’s advice from Kat Flanigan, a cannabis property acquisitions specialist:

cannabis, marijuana, portland, oregon

PORTLAND—I’m a commercial broker, and I help people lease property to be used for medicinal and recreational marijuana. I got into it by accident. I was in real estate for years, and the market crashed. Then I found people who needed help. My job is a job—it segued into activism.

Don’t live to work. If you’re starting out and looking for the surest thing, it’s find your passion. I used to be an artist. Don’t sell out because I did.

This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.


Prevent Brain Mush

Timshel Purdum, director of education and lifelong learning at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, on the importance of a career that challenges and intrigues:

dinosaur dig, women in science, science education, science educators, wyoming

WYOMING—I was doing research on heat shock proteins in water, which is really important but didn’t involve humans. I like talking to people about science. So I went back to school for science education and went to work at the academy. My job is helping people understand the world and their place in it.

The fun thing about being a science educator is I get to read ALL about science. Doesn’t your brain turn to mush if you don’t use it? Isn’t that a thing? I get to keep learning. There’s always something crazy going on. You’re never bored.

This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.


Love What You Do

Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs director for the Cheyenne River Youth Project on the importance of love over money:

nonprofit, indian reservation, native american, youth project, rapid city, south dakota

RAPID CITY, SD—I’m not an artist. I work for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. We have a graffiti art park that we just opened.

It’s a non-profit so you don’t get paid very much, but I wouldn’t trade it because of the positive feelings. I wanted to help my community. I wanted to help the kids in my community.

I’m very happy. I couldn’t do anything else because of how much I love what I do. There’s so much in the world that’s unhappy and awful, and if you don’t have to be unhappy, why would you?

This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.


Don’t Back Down

Kara Napule is a grad student studying elementary education, but she was formerly in the finance world. Here’s her advice on negotiating salaries:

how to negotiate, education, elementary educationSt. Paul,  MN—People go into interviews, and they’re not prepared. Do your research. Look up how to negotiate. Look through LinkedIn, and find someone in the company. If you hear a number and feel that there’s more that they can give you, don’t back down.

This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.


Go for It

Erin Ulrich on opening your own business and being your own boss:

Telsaan, Mt. Horeb, Erin, Wisconsin

Mt. Horeb, WI—There’s only so much planning you can do. At some point you have to be willing to jump off the ledge, and go for it. And that’s really scary. I’m afraid of failure. I critique myself all the time. With something like this I have to realize that I’m not perfect, and I’m never going to be perfect. And that’s tough, but it’s worth it. It’s the best job ever.

This interview has been lightly edited and paraphrased.