I have to admit that last year when we visited Denver on our anniversary weekend, I didn’t really have a ton planned, which is pretty much unheard of for me. Normally I have every day planned out down to the minute so we can see and do as much as possible, but since this was an anniversary trip and we had some bigger trips coming up later on that year (Seattle, Europe, Disney World, and Napa), we just decided to keep it low key. But just because it was a low key trip doesn’t mean that we didn’t have a blast and that I don’t have some recommendations on how you can spend a weekend in Denver!
Eat!- If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love good food and love exploring cities by eating my way through them, so it should be no surprise that this is one of my top recommendations for you during your trip to Denver! Denver is known for being a foodie city and has a wide variety of restaurants for you to try out, and I’m being completely honest when I say that we enjoyed every meal that we had while we were in the Mile High City. Definitely bring some stretchy pants with you during your trip to Denver and be prepared to eat your way through the city!
Visit a brewery or two- Along with being known for a foodie city, Denver is also known for being a brewery city. With a wide range of craft breweries located throughout the city, you and your fellow beer lover will be in heaven with the amount of breweries that you can visit and brewskies you can try! If you’re an avid beer fan, you might consider booking a brewery tour with one of the many that are available around the city. These tours will take you to some of the more famous breweries, give you a tour, and give you a tasting as well! Just be sure to book well enough in advance! We waited too long and missed out on this opportunity!
Visit a winery- I know that it’s ironic to talk about visiting a winery in the state of Colorado, especially when you’re pregnant, but trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get your very own urban wine experience at the Infinite Monkey Theorem! Infinite Monkey Theorem is not only one of the first wineries to grow grapes in Colorado, but they’re also one of the first wineries to can wine as well! I’ll have a whole post about our visit to the winery later on, but trust me you don’t want to miss out on this fun experience!
Go to a sporting event- If you’re an avid sports fan, you definitely don’t want to miss out on your chance to see either the Denver Rockies or the Denver Broncos play while you’re on your trip. Both sports complexes are located right downtown, which makes it perfect to escape for an afternoon or evening of some American classics. Just be sure to buy your tickets in advance!
Go shopping along 16th Street Mall- To some, shopping while on vacation might seem boring or like something that they can do at home, but what makes 16th Street Mall so unique is the fact that it’s located right in the heart of downtown Denver, and that the mall is located completely outdoors. In Texas the weather is too hot to be shopping outdoors for over half the year, so we definitely enjoyed the cooler weather and walking up and down the 16th Street Mall.
Get out of the city and go hiking- While this isn’t truly in Denver, you can’t go to Colorado and not take some time to enjoy the mountains and go hiking! Thankfully, there’s plenty of parks and mountains around, so it creates the perfect opportunity for you to get out of the city and enjoy the great outdoors. Chris and I opted to spend our last day of our trip, which also happened to be our anniversary, hiking in Red Rocks Park, mainly so we could see the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater!
See a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater- Located just 15 miles away from downtown Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheater is probably the most iconic concert venue in the whole of the United States. Not only are you surrounded by these huge and beautiful red rocks that were created naturally by the earth, the amphitheater is supposed to be one of the best places to perform acoustically for performers. I will say that even if it’s somebody that you’ve never heard of before performing the weekend that you’ll be in Denver, make sure that you buy your tickets IN ADVANCE. Chris and I were debating about going to a concert while we were there and just decided to wait until we got there to buy tickets. Big mistake! By the time that we made it over to Red Rocks, the show was already sold out, which means that we had to head back to Denver, concertless. So definitely learn from our mistakes!
And there you have it, my suggestions for how to spend a weekend in Denver! Like I said, most of these items are pretty low key, but isn’t that half the fun sometimes when you’re traveling, just to have a trip that you’re not going at 60MPH the whole time? I’m very happy to be linking back up with these wanderful women for some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you ever visited Denver? Is there anything that I missed for a fun weekend in Denver?
One of the things that Chris and I love the most about traveling is getting to experience the culture of the country or the feel of the city through it’s food. While we definitely will occasionally eat at restaurants that we have at home, our motto on trips is usually that we eat at places that we can’t visit at home.
The only problem with that is if you visit somewhere a little more remote, you might not be able to find those outstanding restaurants that you hoped for. Luckily for us, we ate at some pretty fantastic restaurants while we were visiting Kauai, and today I’ll be breaking them all down for you! For the most part everything was a hit, but there was a miss in the bunch. I’m going to go on ahead and apologize now if you all of a sudden are craving some fish or shaved ice after reading this post!
When I was doing research for Hawaii one of the blog posts that I first stumbled upon was this one from The Brave Little Cheesehead, which was must try food on Kauai. The very first restaurant that they talked about immediately caught my eye because it sounded like another noodle soup dish that I needed try, especially since I was obsessing over Pho at the time. The name of the restaurant was Hamura Saimin, which is known for their Saimin dishes, which is a spin off of ramen. So we made plans to stop by Hamura Saimin the day that we landed on Kauai, since it was located close to the airport in Lihue.
Driving up to Hamura Saimin, you definitely have no idea what in the world to expect because it really does look like a “dodgy” part of town, but we couldn’t say no to a bowl of noodle soup so we went into the restaurant and immediately sat down. We each ordered a bowl of Regular Saimin and were blown away by how delicious it was! It might have been hot and humid outside, but that Saimin was perfect for us. If you’re in the mood for noodle soup, definitely make plans to stop by Hamura Saimin, and don’t let the neighborhood scare you away!
One of the things that I’ve probably talked way too much about during these Hawaii recaps is how much I loved the Na’Pali Coast. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful areas I’ve seen, and I could literally just stare at it for hours! One of the reasons that it’s so beautiful is because of how rugged the mountains are. In fact, the mountains are so rugged that you can only access the Na’Pali Coast by air, by boat, or by foot.
After our amazing helicopter ride, Chris and I tried as hard as we could to make it over to the Na’Pali Coast for a hike, but unfortunately we just didn’t have the time before our luau to make the full hike and appreciate it, so we had to just enjoy our packed lunches and the beautiful beach literally at the end of the road! And that’s where Hanalei Gourmet comes in.
If you have plans to hike the Na’Pali Coast during your stay on Kauai, you’ll want to make sure that you go prepared with lunch for your trip since it’s a long hike. The perfect place to stop before your trip to take a lunch to go is Hanalei Gourmet. They have a great selection of sandwiches, chips and drinks that you can grab before you go, and they’ll even package them up for you for your trip. The best part is that the deli opens up early, so you won’t have any issues with having to delay your hike.
Location: 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Space 5
Hanalei, HI 96714
Price: $10-$15/person for lunch or picnics
$15-$25/person for dinner
After our morning spent checking out Waimea Canyon we were hungry and wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before our zip lining excursion. A place that kept on popping up when I was doing my research was Brennecke’s Beachfront Restaurant, and with it’s close proximity to where we’d be meeting up for zip lining we figured that it’d be our best bet for lunch.
Unfortunately for us, this was our least favorite while we were in Kauai. Maybe we just hit it at the wrong time, but the fish tacos that we ordered didn’t overly impress us, especially after having great fish tacos in Maui. It is a very family friendly restaurant, so there’s that, but I just felt like your money could be better spent elsewhere.
Although the food wasn’t our favorite, the location of this restaurant is perfect, since it’s right on Poipu Beach. We ended up going back there one night to walk around and actually had a sea turtle sighting, which was so incredible! I really wish that I would have been able to take a picture, but because the turtle’s eyes are so sensitive to light I didn’t.
Location: 2100 Hoone Rd, Poipu Beach
Koloa HI 96756
Price: $15-$25/person for lunch
$25-$25/person for dinner
Towards the end of our trip, we were kind of running out of places to try out that had been on my initial list, so we tried another tactic that can sometimes be hit or miss, we asked the locals what they would recommend. Our guide for our kayaking adventure suggested a new restaurant that had just opened up in the shopping center close to our resort in Poipu Beach called Eating House 1849. Since it was close, we decided that we’d give it a try, and we were so happy that we did!
Now two years ago, this was a relatively new restaurant that had opened, so we had to wait for a table, but I think that it’d still be safe to say that you’d probably end up having to wait because of it’s location in the shopping center that’s close to a lot of resorts. If it’s just two of you, I’d try my luck at the bar, which is exactly where Chris and I ended up.
The theme of the restaurant was “plantation cuisine inspired by Hawaii’s past” and pretty much whatever you could want, you will be able to find at Eating House 1849. Hawaii is a melting pot of many Pacific Island and Asian nations, and Eating House 1849 does a good job of highlighting those different countries, and also Hawaii itself. Like I said, we were obsessing over noodle soups at the time, so we had to go for the Spicy Ramen bowl, and Chris couldn’t bypass the fried chicken. Everything was delicious, and I would definitely recommend a stop here, especially if you’re staying in the Poipu Beach area!
Location: 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Road, #A-201
Koloa HI 96756
Our trip to Hawaii was a celebration trip for us because it was our 5 year wedding anniversary, so we knew that we wanted to treat ourselves to some fancier dinners out. When I started researching for our trip, Plantation Gardens was a restaurant that kept popping up, and when I looked into it, I found out that it was right across the street, within walking distance, from our hotel. I obviously immediately booked our reservations!
Like most places in Hawaii, Plantation Gardens is a great mix of indoor and outdoor dining, which makes for a relaxing and beautiful setting for your dinner. To be honest, I can’t remember what exactly we had for dinner that night, but I know that we loved it! I can’t recommend a trip to Plantation Gardens enough, especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion! If you visit for dinner, I would recommend going back sometime during the daytime for a short visit to walk around the gardens. Literally the entire restaurant is surrounded by beautiful flowers, and Chris and I loved getting to play with our cameras while taking in all the beautiful scenery!
Location: 2253 Poipu Road
Koloa HI 96756
Price: $30-$50/person (depending on how many appetizers or drinks are ordered)
Besides trying to see as much as we could during our stay in Hawaii, one of my other main goals was to see as many sunsets as we could, because let’s face it, with the beautiful setting a sunset was just going to make everything more perfect! During my many research settings, one place that kept on popping up as a great restaurant, but also a great place to see a Kauai sunset was The Beach House in Poipu. The day that we arrived on Kauai, we decided that would be the perfect place for us to go for a relaxing dinner, so we left everything at the hotel and drove the quick couple of miles to The Beach House.
The restaurant itself is directly on the water and all of the tables and even the bar area faces out to the ocean so you don’t miss out on those incredible views! Chris and I had arrived a little early for dinner, but not quite in enough time for lunch, so ended up sitting at the bar and having some cocktails before ordering our dinner. Another advantage to us arriving early was that all of the surfers were still out, which means that Chris got some incredible pictures while we were waiting. I’m definitely not one to say no to Lobster Mac & Cheese or Ahi Tuna, so those two items were definitely ordered, along with the Argula & Goat Cheese Salad with Macadamia Nuts.
We enjoyed a quiet evening at The Beach House, ate at our leisure before paying our bill and heading outside to watch the sunset. The area around this restaurant is well known for being a wonderful place to watch the sunsets, so be prepared for crowds of people, although it definitely didn’t feel too overwhelming. The sunset was incredible, needless to say, and we loved it so much that we drove back another night so we could watch another incredible Hawaiian sunset!
Location: 5022 Lawai Rd
Koloa HI 96756
Price: $25-$40/person for lunch
$50-$60/person for dinner
There’s nothing like the heat and humidity of a beautiful tropical island to make you start craving a cool and refreshing dessert like ice cream. Luckily for us, in that shopping center near our hotel, there was a Lappert’s Ice Cream located there so we could cool down with an ice cream cone!
Lappert’s was actually founded in Kauai, when the owners dreamed of one day not just vacationing on the island, but actually living there full time. In all of their ice cream, coffee, and baked goods, they use premium ingredients, so that you receive the best ice cream cone or cup of coffee that you could want. There are a wide variety of flavors to choose from at Lappert’s, from the traditional flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to some more Hawaiian like flavors like Nene Tracks, everybody in your group is sure to find something that they’d enjoy. Definitely don’t pass up the opportunity to try out Lappert’s while you visiting Kauai, especially since they have multiple locations!
Location: Poipu Beach
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, Suite K-160
Koloa, HI 96756
1-3555 Kaumualii Highway
Hanapepe, HI 96716
5-4280A Kuhio Highway
Princeville, HI 96722
Now if you’re looking for a more traditional Hawaiian treat to cool yourself down while in Kauai, look no further than Uncle’s Shaved Ice. We had some amazing shaved ice when we were on Maui, and Uncle’s definitely lived up to those expectations. What made it even better, was that a location was in that same Poipu Beach shopping center, so grabbing a quick dessert after our zip lining adventure was super easy!
Like with most shaved ice locations in Hawaii, you’d better expect to wait in line, but don’t worry the line goes quick, plus it’ll give you more time to decide out of their tons of flavors which flavors you have to try! We loved Uncle’s and definitely recommend that you stop by one of their locations before you leave Kauai!
Location: Poipu Beach
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, K158B
Koloa, HI 96756
4454 Nuhou Street, Ste 419
Lihue HI 96766
And there you have it, all of the places that we tried during our time on Kauai, while we did have a miss, for the most part the food was actually pretty good! Like I said in my Maui post, expect to pay a lot of money for food while you’re on the island. It is an island after all, which means that they’re having to ship all of this in from the mainland, so naturally prices are going to be high.
You might have noticed in this guide and my Maui guide that I didn’t list out any breakfast locations for you to try, and that’s because we didn’t eat out for breakfast during our trip, well except for McDonald’s one time on our way to our helicopter ride.
In my opinion, breakfast is the most expensive meal to eat out, and you really don’t get that much for it. Plus if I’m being completely honest, I’m more of a lunch person anyways, so if I had to choose, I’d always opt for a light breakfast and heavier lunch. Chris and I packed protein bars with us for the trip and would eat that for breakfast before setting out on our adventures for the day. In my opinion, that’s the best option, especially if you’re looking to save some money.
Anyways, I hope that this is helpful if you’re planning a trip to Kauai sometime in the near future. And if you are, I’m definitely jealous of you! Writing these posts has definitely started to give me the itch to make another trip out there soon! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you ever visited Kauai? Are there restaurants on this list that you’d want to check out?
Happy Monday everybody, and I hope that you had a great weekend! Chris and I had a quiet weekend at home getting some things done around the house, including finally getting our gallery wall on the staircase done! But since today is a special day, mine and Chris’s 7th wedding anniversary, I thought that instead of recapping our weekend, I thought that I’d share some of my favorite places that we’ve traveled to since we’ve been married!
Great Britain- Our Europe trip this year was seriously so amazing, not only because we got to announce that we were expecting, but also because it was my first time to visit the amazing area that I’ve always loved for it’s rich history. I loved walking up and down The Royal Mile with Chris and seeing Edinburgh Castle, taking a day out to the beautiful Highlands to see where Jaime and Claire might have been riding around, and of course visiting the bustling city of London that was home to so many kings and queens that I loved reading about in school and in literary fiction. I know that we didn’t get a chance to see everything while we were there, but after we both fell in love I know that we’ll be back again one day, and maybe even with our babies!
Germany– Last year Chris and I got the chance to visit not only Munich, but also several different places around Germany on our very first Europe trip. I loved getting to see all of the beautiful castles in Germany, but learning about the German culture was also so much fun, especially since I’m 1/8th German. While all of that was great, the part that I know that I’ll always remember and want to tell stories about for the rest of my life is the fun that we had at Oktoberfest! We loved getting to dress up, drink German beer, dance on tables, and yell Prost with some great friends, and thousands of other celebrators!
The Pacific Northwest- We went on two separate trips last year to the Pacific Northwest, one to Portland with friends and then one to Seattle right before our Europe trip. These brief trips gave us just a taste of how beautiful the Pacific Northwest is with our trips to Multnomah Falls and Mount Rainier, but also how amazing the food scene is out there with the Portland Food Cart Scene and Pike’s Place Market. I know that we’ll definitely be making a lot more trips out there in our future!
Nashville- We went on a trip with Chris’s brother and his wife to Nashville, and it was seriously one of the most fun trips that we had, and ever since going all we both can think about is how we need another trip back! The live country scene on Broadway was so amazing, the food scene we continue to have dreams about, and of course all of the fun that we had with the Pedal Tavern can’t be beat either! I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have another trip back soon, although this is definitely not a trip that we’d want to take the babies on!
Hawaii- Almost two years later, and I’m finally getting around to finishing up our recap of our amazing 5 year anniversary trip! On this trip we visited Maui and Kauai and got to do bike down a volcano, drove down the Road to Hana, flew in a helicopter over the island of Kauai, and of course did a luau! While we both agreed that Kauai was our favorite, I can see us going back to visit Maui and Kauai again, hopefully when the whales are in season, and I know that we’d love to visit The Big Island and Oahu as well! Hopefully our friends will get stationed there one day, which will give us an even bigger excuse to go back!
Northern California- When I started doing research for our 2014 Northern California trip, I felt like I just continued to add place upon place to our itinerary because everything just sounded like so much fun and so beautiful! We ended up settling on Napa, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Big Sur. I’ll never forget how this trip introduced me to white wine and sparkling wine that I actually enjoyed, how Chris fell in love with red wine, how we celebrated Chris’s birthday with a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and how beautiful and incredible the PCH truly is! Since that trip, we’ve managed to go back for another trip to Napa Valley where we rode in a hot air balloon and drank some really amazing wine, and I foresee a lot more trips back to this part of the country. We have to check out Yosemite one day at least!
Disney World- Before Chris and I got married I had only been to Disney World one time, and that was when I was in Elementary School. They didn’t even have The Animal Kingdom at the point in time! Thankfully Chris agreed to appease my “inner child” and we visited Disney World in December with his parents. Everything was decorated so beautifully for the season, and I loved getting to be a big kid again! One of the things that I knew that I wanted to do before we had kids was to attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival because who doesn’t want to eat and drink their way around the world! We were able to visit last year, and had so much fun, and even met up with Pamela and Kerri while we were there! Needless to say, we’ll definitely be going back to Disney, especially since I know that Chris will be dying to visit once the new Star Wars section is open at Hollywood Studios! Plus I would love to surprise the twins with a trip when they get older!
Since Chris and I have been married we’ve been able to have so many fun trips, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us, especially as we embark on this crazy adventure of parenthood! I love you Chris and I can’t wait to celebrate these past 7 years and the many more to come tonight!