CHARLESTON, SC

Charleston, SC.. Where do I even begin.. This place is every photographers dream. Every corner has a cute driveway, walls, windows, I mean... This place is so beautiful. The old feel and history that the town keeps. The cobble stone and horse carriages (I'm totally not pro those as the horses sometimes never get a break and are over worked). But point being.. There's a reason why this city is the #1 wedding destination in the states. BEAUTY & HISTORY...

So, as I mentioned in my last Kauai post, I wish I had some awesome guides myself as to where to eat etc when I go to a new place, so that's what I decided to create for YOU. ( I usually give you guys a heads up as to which state/city I'm going and totally appreciate your suggestions and input). I din't find many places that blew my mind here in Charleston and we actually ate out quite a few times but unfortunately those places just didn't cut it and therefore are NOT making it on the list. I wish there were more 'WINS' to add to this list but I figured I would at least add the ones that were good. 

 

WHERE TO EAT?

// BEST PAD THAI IN TOWN - BASIL

The first place on the list has to be Basil. This place has THE BEST PAD THAI EVER!! Ohhh my goodness.. This place is soooo good and I think I've eaten here 5 times already. Their Pad See Ew is good as well but I have to recommend the pad thai above all.. Whatever you do, go to this place and order it...

Source: Basil, 460 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Source: Basil, 460 King St, Charleston, SC 29403


// Best PHO and 2nd best Pad Thai - CO

This place has to be number 2 on the list as they have the BEST PHO in town... I dare to say it might be the best I've had in the states so far. I could eat pho every day! Seriously... I have to mention that I don't care for the atmosphere here. I actually dare to say that I dislike like it but if you get the one small seat right in front of the window on a sunny afternoon, well, then it's a different talk..but heck, you might like the scene in there. The food makes up for it.. Amazing dumplings, pho and pad thai, everything I've had from there was a win, at least food wise.

Source: CO,  340 King Street - Charleston, SC 29412

Source: CO,  340 King Street - Charleston, SC 29412

// GOING FOR GLUTEN? CHECK OUT MONZA

I wouldn't say it's the best pizza I've ever had but I might also have a really high standard :)
This is good pizza though and probably the best in town - I obviously haven't tried every place but when and if I go, I've gotten the Nazzaro or Count Louise which are amazing.

 

// GOING FOR DAIRY? CHECK OUT JENI'S ICE CREAM

I don't always do dairy but when I do.. First time I went in this shop I was thinking it was typical dairy which I usually say no to but then later saw that they are using whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows. Ice cream tends to have a long list of bad stabilizers and preservatives which is why I usually stay away from these. In California I usually go for Strauss Ice cream but this seems to be the gourmet east coast version of that.  


THINGS TO DO


// OLD SHELDON CHURCH RUINS

It's an old church build in the 1740s and so many wedding pictures are taken here and with good reason. Whether you're visiting for a wedding or not, I highly recommend taking a trip to see this place. Chances are you'll get a good photo at least :) Type it in your GPS and Siri should find it for you :)


// 1500 YEAR OLD ANGEL OAK

This beautiful Oak Tree is estimated to be around 1500 years old. This picture obviously doesn't do it justice but it is such a beautiful piece of mother earths creation that I highly recommend checking out. 

With Love , Diana

MAUI, HI

Heeey Lovelies..
When I started putting this blog together we had stayed in Maui for 5 weeks. We had started our trip by hosting a 5 day retreat and then decided to stay for another 4 weeks.. This paradise wasn't easy to leave. We ended up going to Kauai for a month and then came back here. By now we've been here for another 5 weeks and there's a good reason why. I'd definitely say that this island is the most livable of the ones I've been to. It has everything you could ask for.

As I mentioned in the Kauai Travel Guide, each island relates to a different chakra and Maui = the sacral chakra. It's the mother island and relates to fertility, emotions & creativity. If you're into the spiritual side, stay tuned, if not, now is the time to tune out. It's said that each island has a different energy and depending on what you need to 'work through' or be aware of, well.. these islands will make sure to reveal it to you. Some have been said to have ben 'kicked off' the island. Sometimes things happen that force people to leave but this is not meant to scare anyone away :) Just be conscious and aware and treat the islands with respect. Mother maui is gentle and loving but she has a way of showing you her presence. I think I earned my spot on the island by now So let's get to all the amazingness that this island has to offer you.

 

COFFEE SHOPS 


'SIP ME'

Let's start with the mornings.. Our typical day started at 'Sip Me' Coffee shop in Makawao.
This place is the IDEAL place to hang out with good coffee (and they make Bulletproof - just ask for it), juices, GF pastries and good Wi-Fi along with an awesome vibe of even more awesome people. Make sure to check out this spot as it's my favorite coffee shop on this island!
 

HANA RANCH PROVISION 

I kid you not when I say this is the BEST damn cinnamon bun I've EVER had!! Amazing coffee is to be found here but there's no hang out spot and unfortunately they don't make BulletProof coffee. I made my request to add it to the menu though. I don't always consume gluten and dairy, but when I do, it's GOOD! I've been much more conscious about the pasturized dairy lately and usually only consume butter and ghee as well as raw dairy products.
Favorites: 'Ulu Cinnamon Bun

 

Paia Bay Coffee

I Was debating wether or not to put this place on the map. It's a great place to hang out and use fast wifi but don't recommend the food here!

 


LUNCH


Maui Kombucha

This place is amazing. Oddly enough I'm personally not a fan of their kombucha here but I do love all their food and absolutely AMAZING acai bowl that comes with a scoop of coconut cream something (not even really sure what it is but trust me, it's reaaaally GOOD). Everything here is GF and vegan with LOTS of raw options as well. Only good things to say about this place, though it's not much of a hang out spot but more of a 'grab and go' in my opinion. 
Favorites: Acai Bowl,

Mana Foods

Best grocery store in town. Forget about Whole Foods, this place is LEGIT! Amazing prepared foods section with delicious salads and lots of vegan/vegetarian options and their prices are good. They seem to be much cheaper than any other store on the island and they have pretty much everything you could be looking for.

Maka by Mana

This place is an 'offspring' of Mana. They make their food with everything from the above mentioned grocery store Mana. Everything here is GF, vegan and mostly raw & they have good wifi and the BEST vegan cheese cake I've ever had, made from a coconut kefir base. I'm not vegan but I do love me some raw delicious vegan food sometimes except from the heavy nut based desserts and that's why I LOVE their cheesecake. No heavy duty cashew base here.. Their kombucha is AMAZING and the best I've found on the island. They also have an amazing seaweed salad an an 'Open Breakfast Sandwich; which is absolutely incredible.
Favorites: White Chocolate Cherry Pie, Open Breakfast Sandwich, kombucha

The Farmacy

This place makes amazing acai bowls & smoothies! going to Maui I think I hit some sort of acai trance and ate acai bowl pretty much every day for 3 weeks :D Dan had a 'sunset pitaya' smoothie and claimed it was the best smoothie he's ever had.. And that guy has had a lot of smoothies in his life so that says a lot.. Love this little place. Grab and go - not a 'dine in' place!
Favorites: Honolua Acai Bowl



DINNER


Hana Ranch Provision

Everything here is made from a local farm. Menu is super small and changes weekly/with the seasons I believe (at least some of the menu) which is usually a sign of high quality. If you ever walk into a place and see a full 3 page menu with everything you can possibly imagine, run away!! Just a tip.. This place is open for lunch as well but we never made it in that early in the day. I would highly recommend this place. Every $ spent is well worth it.
Favorites: ‘ULU & SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI  & the HĀNA BURGER
 

Flat Bread

Best pizza place in town.. That's it...
Favorites: Pa’ia Bay Ohana

 

Mama's Fish House

Fine dining!! Somewhat expensive place but the food is good.
Proper attire is required and you have to make reservations. We only wen't here once to try it out as we had heard great things about this place. You won't be missing out if you don't go here but for some reason this place is associated with a place to visit when in Maui. Maybe bc it's an old family owned restaurant or something. Who knows..
 

Makawao Steak House

Best steak house in town with good service and a unique feel to it if you choose to sit in the lounge area. Dan loves this place a lot more than I do. What I get the most excited about here are the sweet potato fries.
Favorites: Sweet Potato Fries

 

BONUS: FARMERS MARKETS

There's an amazing farmers market every Saturday in Kula behind Longs Drugs open from 7.30am-11am. We only went here once because we were so blessed to have found our little local farmer that has everything our heart could desire. Local eggs, honey, greens, fruit, fermented foods, you name it, they have it. We basically had our own super fresh little farmers market every day only 10 min away from our house. But.. If you're here for a short visit, you can get everything you need from this market.

 

 

 


play.png

THE ROAD TO HANA

You might have heard about the road to Hana and all I can say about this road is that, the journey really IS the destination on this one.

Waterfall  on the north side

Pitstop taking the south route towards hana

 

BALDWIN BEACH PARK

This is my favorite beach on the island..

 

black sand beach

I didn't get any photos from this beach but all I can say is GO THERE!!!!

 

RED sand beach

Red sand beach right in there to the left.. You have to do a short 'hike'/mile walk to get in there. super easy as long as it hasn't been raining. This place is BEAUTIFUL

 

ho'okipa beach

 I call this beach 'the baby beach' because it's super baby friendly. There are usually lots of people with younger children as they can safely and easily play in these little 'pools' formed by the rocks. That's not to say it's a loud kids filled beach at all, but typically mothers with their new borns kinda thing.. 

 

paia beach

 

BAMBOO FOREST 

There are TWO bamboo forest hikes on this island. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if there are more but one is on the south side towards Hana and a LONG journey and then there's THIS ONE! Right off mile marker 6.5 you'll see a bunch of cars parked and an obvious trail you can follow. Keep track of where you're going though.. It's absolutely beautiful.

 

IAO valley state park

the 'needle' at Iao valley

the 'needle' at Iao valley

 

makena state park
little beach / Big beach

Choosing the right instagram picture is quite important, right ;P The beach you see in the background is 'Big Beach'. The cliff we're standing on is dividing the two beaches making it more of a hidden and private spot as little beach is a nude beach. 

big beach june 2014

big beach june 2014

big beach june 2014

big beach june 2014

sunset at little beach november 2015

sunset at little beach november 2015

 

haleakala

Make sure you bring warm clothes as it is FREEEEZING up there. It's beautiful but COLD and if you stay long enough you'll be able to watch the stars like never before. I never made it for sunrise but Daniel did one morning he couldn't sleep and decided to drive up there.

sunset from above the clouds at haleakala, november 2015

sunset from above the clouds at haleakala, november 2015

may 2014

may 2014

KAUAI, HI

WELCOME TO KAUAI

 The oldest island of them all.. As you can see from the picture, this place is surrounded by the most breath taking beauty and amazing things to see and of course EAT! Ya'll  should know by now that I'm a serious foodie! Back when I lived in Denmark I thought Hawaii was ONE island.. I was wrong.. Hawaii consists of a bunch of small islands and Kauai might be one of the smallest (don't quote me on that one). I do know it's the oldest though and it's where a lot of Jurassic Park was filmed. Other than that, every island has it's own unique energy that corresponds to different chakras. Some say that the Hawaiian islands are the chakra system of the planet and as you arrive, you'll immediately feel the energy. It's sacred land and with sacred land comes responsibility and you'll soon find out if you should be there or not. Many people report that she/mamma earth will find a way to kick you off the island if you're not meant to be there - she might test you. I've always said that Hawaii is not a place for inbetweeners, but once you commit, she could test you to see if you're REALLY ready and if you are...you're welcome to stay.. You'll quickly realize just HOW strong the energy is on these islands.. But as for Kauai, it relates to the 3rd eye chakra and when balanced, clear inspiration and intuition flows through. Be careful what you ask for while you're here.. You might just get it!
Miracles are VERY normal here.

As for the places to eat.. I've listed my ABSOLUTE TOP FAVORITE places on this island and I kid you not, I could totally move here just for the food! Every place below is a MUST VISIT!!!
I often wish that someone else that I trust to have good taste would create a travel guide to all the amazing places to eat sleep and play for every place we go. Going new places and having to discover the good and clean places to eat can be a full time job, so in honor of saving you the trouble & giving what you want to receive, I'm giving you my travel guide to all the places we visit. In the process I found that the hardest part about doing a travel guide is that when we find a good place to eat, we stop eating anywhere else :D Such creatures of habit that when something is good, why keep searching? But, the gift in that experience is that for the sake of doing this travel guide, it's beneficial to explore as many places as possible and so that's exactly what we did. 

 

KAUAI JUICE CO

START YOUR MORNINGs HERE!!!! This place has the best juices and kombucha on the island without a doubt! AND as a bonus, the BEST coconut kefir I've ever had in my life and I kid you not.. THIS stuff is the BEST probiotic shot you'll ever get. The girls working here are always cheerful and super sweet. This place is a MUST VISIT while you're here. I only have good things to say about this place.
Favorites: 'Beauty Tonic' (green juice), coconut kefir, Strawberry Guava Kombucha, 

 

ANAHOLA JUICE HALE

This place has the BEST acai bowl I've ever had in my life! I've had quite a few FYI.. I totally forgot everything about getting a picture of it but if you go, don't miss out on this place.. They have equally as amazing smoothies but I usually just get the acai here. I would easily drive 30min just to get one from this place.
Favorites: King Kong Acai

 

BARACUDA

I kid you not.. I could totally move to Kauai just for the food. Baracuda has the best tapas style dinner you could EVER imagine! The atmosphere is on point and the food is to die for! yes.. seriously.. I HATE olives, I ate olives.. I HATE lamb - I ate LAMB!!!!! I HATE goat cheese - I ate goat cheese!!! That in itself is like a miracle. If I ever taste the slightest goat/lamb anything in my food, my dinner is over! But I ate it all !!! every last piece of it... I would go here every day if I could. I went here with 2 girlfriends one night right before we left so unfortunately I only made it here once. A favorite is hard to pick cuz I literally loved EVERYTHING we got!!

Favorites: Mediterranean olives, Medjool Dates with oranges, Salad lyonnais, Herb Roasted Fingerling potatoes, Banderillas flank steak skewers, Grilled Lamb Riblettes

 

the kauai grill / St REGIS Princeville RESORT

Fine dining at the the Regis. I had my birthday dinner with Dan here. This place is pretty expensive but well worth it all. The price is well reflected on the quality so if you're looking to spend a little extra and experience fine dining, go here.
Favorites: Scallops, bacon wrapped prawns, lobster

 

mermaid cafe

I was debating wether or not to add this place on here as the food is really good but the service was horrible. That is, I get that half the experience is with the face that's serving you but they we're looking for staff and I imagine the girl that was there was just sick of it.. That said, the food really is good. Hopefully they've got some new staff when you visit :)
Favorites: Ahi Nori Wrap

 

GROCERY STORES: Papayas & The Healthy Hut

These are the two healthy grocery stores on the island.. The Healthy Hut is another good place to get an acai bowl but doesn't compare at all to Anahola Juice Bar.


 

Waimea Canyon

Drive all the way up through Waimea canyon and there will be lots of lookouts with incredible views.

And at the end of the road you'll find THIS!!

 

WAILUA FALLS

A beautiful waterfall.. I'll let the picture speak for itself!

 

 

Drive around the island and you can't help but wanna pull over and take a picture everywhere you go
#ClassicDianiel

This was just a random place we pulled off the road and took a picture!

 

Polihale Beach/state park

A remote wild beach on the west side of the island. I didn't get any new pictures from this trip as it was super cloudy when we went and to be honest, I just forgot.. But these are from my first trip back in 2013. It's a beautiful beach and the drive is LONG but totally worth the visit.. 

2013

2013

2013

2013

 

Napali Coast / kalalau Trail

Some people say this is the most beautiful hike in the world. I personally have not done the 11mile hike in but only the first 2. I highly recommend doing this hike where you'll find a beautiful beach at the end of the 2 miles. If the swell is not too big, the beach is safe to be at, otherwise you might not even be able to see it. This year the swell was too big and you couldn't even access the beach so here's a picture from 2013 :)
Drive to the very end of the road at Haena State Park and you'll find a beautiful beach and the beginning of the hike.

2013

2013

boat ride - napali coast line 2013

boat ride - napali coast line 2013

 

Shipwreck Beach

The cliff you see in the picture is a famous cliff jump (that I did NOT do) as you know I'm not really a fan of the water! A lot of people also get hurt here if they don't know what they're doing so I DO NOT recommend this. But this beach is absolutely beautiful and when we were there this time, I saw 4 whales jump out of the water in the distance while a beautiful double rainbow showed up right above me. This is a super magical spot..

picture cred: @aloha_bigmike

picture cred: @aloha_bigmike

 

QUEENS BATH

Drive down Kapiolani Loop to Punahele Rd and you'll see a TINY parking lot that's probably full. There's no where else to park so pray that you make it on a good day and don't have to wait in line forever. This spot can be very dangerous on a day with a big swell so be careful. 
I didn't get the best picture of this place so I borrowed one from Instagram :)

Have fun in Kauai, Aloha ❤ /D