Nearly five years since my last trip home, June brought me back to Kaua’i for the anticipated (or dreaded for some…most?) high school reunion. My friends and I took our short visit to return to some of our favorite spots. Here, part two in a three-part series on my Garden Island’s must dos.

For the first-time visitor, I imagine the popular internet phrase, “Is this real life?” will caption itself to the endless photos you’ll take when you arrive.

Descend the trail that leads to Queen’s Bath, through the trees and past a small waterfall – a precursor to an even bigger treat at the end of your journey. Hear the waves collide with the jumble of lava rocks that wind you around the perimeter of the island. If you think you’ve arrived, keep going until you get to this:


Queen’s Bath, North Shore


On clear days, the heat from the boulders (because, you’re not wearing water shoes, right?!) may force you to play hopscotch as you make your way barefoot down to the enclosed pool. Some people like to lay out their towels on one of the flatter rock and sun themselves, but the best way to enjoy Queen’s Bath is to jump into, well, the bath.

Standing carefully on the wet rocks that circled the bath, I remember the last time I was here and didn’t go in for fear of the fish nibbling my toes (absurd yes, though everyone has her quirks ok?). This time, hesitation aside, I waited for the set of waves that rushed in to subside before plopping myself in. I let the last bit of the set slosh me around before coaxing my friend Liz in so we could take a few pics before the next set rolled in. Because Instagram. But, they turned out highly unflattering so you get this one instead:

North Shore excursion to Queen's Bath in June.

North Shore excursion to Queen’s Bath in June.

In the distance, Hanalei Bay, mountains. In nature’s swimming pool and just beyond the circle of rock, the Pacific Ocean.
Editor’s note: If you’re traveling during the summer, you’ll be visiting during Lychee season. Since the entrance to Queen’s Bath is in the middle of a residential community, you may be able to catch some of the kids selling the sweet stuff; perfectly refreshing after hiking back up to the parking area on your way out.

Looking for more things to do on Kauai? How about Polihale beach.