We spent 7 days on the island of Maui, for the first part of our honeymoon, and it was an absolute dream!  As soon as you step off the plane into the open air airport, you are greeted with green mountaintops, palm trees swaying, and a lovely breeze that seems to follow you with every step.  The islands natural beauty and warm aloha spirit is something that I will never forget.  As far as tropical destinations go, Hawaii is at the top of my favorites list!

In the months leading up to our trip, I was so busy with wedding planning that I really didn’t plan our honeymoon as much as I typically would for other trips.  I am normally a HUGE planner, but Nathan really took over for this trip and I was super grateful.  That leads me to my first recommendation: don’t overbook yourself!  Especially if you are going on a honeymoon right after your wedding, trust me, you’re going to want a break and time to just rest. To start the planning process,  we each made a Top 3 list of things we definitely wanted to see/do while in Maui and went from there.  We actually only ended up pre-booking 2 activities, and filled in the remaining days with pool and ocean days as well as room for self-guided exploration.  After all, exploring on your own is half the adventure when visiting a new place, right?!


We stayed at the Andaz Maui and it was truly amazing.  The entire resort has a peaceful and soothing feeling to it with its neutral color palette and simple design elements.  The open air concept of the main lobby and guest hallways really made me feel connected to the outdoor elements at all times.  I know it sounds strange, but it never really felt like you were indoors, which I loved.  The guests suit also elicited the same calming effect with its natural design, and one of the coolest aspects about the room (besides the daily stocking of Macadamia Nut cookies, Maui style chips, and an assortment of yummy Hawaiin drinks) was the sliding door that opened fully to allow the warm ocean breeze to sweep into the room.   Some of our favorite things to do was watch the sunset and sunrise, whether from our lanai or the lounge chairs overlooking the beach, you can never beat the view of the sun over the vastness of the ocean.  We both just felt at home during our stay at the Andaz, and both said multiple times that we didn’t want to leave because it was so peaceful. 



One of our favorite aspects of traveling is trying new places to eat, and even though we were staying at a resort with some amazing restaurants, we made it a point to get out and try some local spots in Maui.  Here are some of the places we loved!

COCONUTS FISH CAFE:  Coconuts made the list because they boasted to have the “best fish tacos in Maui”…and in my opinion, THEY DID!  Trust me, I had my fair share during our trip!  The tacos are made with 17 different ingredients including coconut cole slaw and a fresh mango salsa.  The restaurant is super low key, you order at the counter and seating is community style both indoors and outdoors.  We had all intentions of grabbing a handmade lemonade at Wow Wow Lemonade next door but unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there.  I’d totally recommend grabbing one to wash down the yummiest fish taco on the island!

CAFE O’LEI: this is a fresh, local, family-owned restaurant that came recommended by a few different people.  I noticed there were locals and visitors alike enjoying meals here, so typically that is a good sign that the food is great!  They offered a really great selection of flatbreads, sushi, seafood and meat dishes.  Before our meal, I enjoyed a yummy coconut mojito and Nathan tried a local craft beer.  We were both impressed with our entree’s as well. I had a seafood special of shrimp tempura and ahi tuna, and Nathan had a seafood bouillabaisse.  I would definitely suggest checking this place out for some local flare if you are staying in Wailea. 

MONKEYPOD: I’m going to be honest, this place lured me in because of their Mai Tai’s …I saw a picture of one while doing some research and I was SOLD!  This spot serves up an upscale bar menu of flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and daily specials.  Nathan and I both started with the Mai Tai which is topped with passionfruit foam and made with homemade macadamia nut syrup.  Its basically Hawaii in a cup, and probably my favorite I had while in Maui.  For dinner I had the fish tacos (shocker) and Nathan had a burger, both were delicious!  They even make homemade pie daily, so we took a piece of banana cream home with us! 


KIHEI CAFFE: Nathan and I ate breakfast here on our last morning in Maui and my only wish is that we would have went here sooner!  Its a total hole in the wall, but I always find these to be the best places! This is another community style restaurant, right off South Kihei and across from Kalama Beach Park, making the location great too.  You order at the counter, find a seat, and the food is brought out to you.  We both ordered the huevos rancheros with chorizo and split an order of the banana macadamia nut French toast.  Both were awesome! Go early (we were there by 8:30) or be prepared to wait in line. 

KA’ANA KITCHEN: like I stated previously, Nathan and I typically avoid eating at resort restaurants because we like to experience local dining options however we enjoyed one of our favorite meals of the entire trip right at the Andaz.  This fresh restaurant serves farm-to-table local cuisine prepared to stimulate your sense of adventure, and they offer both breakfast and dinner daily.  We decided to have dinner here one evening and it was delicious! We started with a pork belly appetizer that was perfectly prepared.  As our main entrees, Nathan had the short rib adobo and I had the scallop risotto and both dishes were incredible.  And you better believe we even indulged in dessert too!  Whether you are staying at the Andaz or not, I think Ka’ana Kitchen is worth adding to your dinner list.

MORIMOTTO MAUI:  this Japanese restaurant, also located at the Andaz, offered a lunch and dinner menu in a laidback, beachfront setting.  Nathan and I enjoyed lunch here on one of our pool days.  They have a curated menu of hand rolled sushi and sashimi from fresh, local fish as well as a variety of other dishes that blends Western and Japanese traditions.  We enjoyed a maki roll as well as chirashi, a rice bowl topped with 10-12 different styles of fish and vegetables.  Both were very tasty!

ULULANI’S: oh Ululani’s….where do I even begin?! Hawaii is synonymous with their famous Shave Ice (not SHAVED ice) and I can officially say I now know what all the fuss is about.  Its a good thing for my waistline that we didn’t try this until later in our Maui trip, or else I’m pretty sure we would have had it every single day.  Now, let me start by saying I am NOT a snow cone fan, never have been.  So foolishly thinking Shave Ice was the same thing, I wasn’t all that excited to try it.  Boy oh boy am I glad Nathan convinced me otherwise.  It was LIFE-CHANGING! First of all, they serve it over ice cream, your choice of Vanilla or Macadamia Nut (go with the Mac Nut).  Next, the ice.  It’s the perfect consistency and just melts in your mouth.  Next comes the flavors!  They have every tropical flavor you can imagine, we went with some of the local favorites!  Last, but certainly not least, is the snow cap (sweetened condensed milk) and toasted coconut.  Viola!  You have yourself a tropical treat perfect for those hot Hawaii nights.  If you go to Hawaii, Ululani’s is a MUST!




Nathan and I started off our Maui trip by watching the sunrise over Haleakala “the House of Sun”.   Haleakala’s summit hits 10,000 feet and there’s a reason its continually one of Maui’s biggest attractions: the views are otherworldly. I actually said to Nathan multiple times that I felt like I was on Mars! Anyways, this adventure is not for the faint of heart because the summit is a good 2-hour drive from most Maui resorts, and you need to be at the lookout before the sunrise to stake out a good spot.  So we left SUPER early in the morning (like 3 AM early) to get to the summit on-time. However, the pro of this for all my east coast people, is that you will likely be up anyway because of the time difference.  We actually did this activity the morning after we initially flew in, and I would recommend you to do the same.  And hey, by the time you get back to your resort after watching the sunrise, you still have your ENTIRE day left and can totally take a nap on the beach!  Here are some recommendations if the sunrise at Haleakala sounds like something you’d like to experience on your Maui adventure:

  • you need to make a reservation for the sunrise 60 days in advance though the National Park. Seriously, create an account and get logged in before spots become available or you may miss out. They also release a hand full of last minute tickets at 4PM (HST) two days in advance.

  • There is a “card only” entrance fee of $25/vehicle at the gates so come prepared. Also, if you plan on doing the road to Hana, keep your receipt because you can use it within 3 days to get into the Seven Sacred Pools….on of the last “must see” sights on the Road to Hana. If not, you’ll have to pay again…unfortunately, we learned this the hard way.

  • Dress WARM. And bring blankets! I know your on the tropical vacation of your dreams, but it gets COLD on the summit so dress accordingly

  • You can do some exploring/hiking around afterwards, so you may want to pack some snacks and drinks. Even if you don’t hike around, the views on the way back down the mountain are just as noteworthy!



Believe it or not, Nathan had never been snorkeling before so you better believe this was at the top of his activity list.  This is one of the activities we pre-planned, and we booked through Kai Kanani, a catamaran charter that offers a sunrise excursion to Molokini. Molokini Crater is the top snorkeling destination for visitors to Maui, with some of the clearest water in Hawaii and over 250 species of fish. We chose this company for a couple different reasons but the most important was that they leave from Makena Beach, which was not only super close to our resort but is the closest point to Molokini.  That meant we got to our snorkel spot super fast, and we were the first boat out there in the morning.  We had an awesome time, and getting to experience all the sea-life and vastness of the ocean first thing in the morning was amazing!  If you’re not up for a charted tour, you can also snorkel at many of the beaches in Maui.  After going for the first time, Nathan was HOOKED, so we actually snorkeled a few times at the beach right in front of the Andaz.  Not only did we see a bunch of exotic fish and coral reefs, but we also got to swim with green sea turtles!  



I could easily write an entirely separate blog post about this one activity alone because it truly was an incredible experience!  I think Nathan and I could both agree, if you do ONE adventure while in Maui, make it the Road to Hana! If you’re not familiar with the Road to Hana, its basically like a driving highlight reel of the raw beauty that encompasses Hawaii.  Think lush rainforest canopies, sweeping ocean vistas, rugged cliffs, and so many waterfalls that you actually lose count. The Road to Hana is over 50 miles along Maui’s rugged north shore and east side with 600+ tight turns and about 50 one-lane bridges. Sound terrifying?!  It kind of is, but it is also the most exhilarating drive you will ever take.  TRUST ME!

The Road to Hana is definelty a FULL day trip, I’m talking sun up to sun down, so you will want to carve out a specific day for this adventure alone. Side note: I would even suggest staying a night or two in Hana so you can explore even more.  We rented a Jeep for our full trip, and it was the perfect way to get around. I’d recommend renting a Jeep, and packing a cooler full of water and plenty of snacks.  You’ll want to dress more for hiking, then swimming ( I wore a sport bikini under my shorts and tank top).  I’d also suggest wearing shoes with good traction that you aren’t afraid to get dirty or wet, and bringing sunscreen and bug spray.   A change of dry clothes might also be a good idea for the drive home. 

Not to sound cliche, but the Road to Hana is more about the journey than the final destination.  However, with that being said, I would definitely suggest mapping out the specific sights you want to see ahead of time.  This will help keep you on track, plus you really don’t want to be making the drive back in the dark.  Thankfully, our resort had a copy of “Maui Revealed” that we were able to use to help us plan our drive.  This book is a great resource for all things Maui, especially the Road to Hana, and I would 100% recommend getting before your trip!

Some of our favorite stops were Keanae Peninsula (plus Aunt Sandys’: hello best banana bread EVER!), Red Sand Beach, and Upper Waikani Falls (Three Bears Falls).  We also decided to drive home via the backside of the Road to Hana, which was a magical experience in itself!  Going home this way, we were able to see the “upcountry” portion of Maui including cattle farms as well as the backside of Haleakala.  At one point, Nathan and I just stopped the Jeep, go out and stared in pure awe of the vastness around us.  The Road to Hana was purely magic!  I will forever cherish the memories of that day: riding around in an open top Jeep with nature at every corner, swimming under a fresh waterfall, hiking up a boulder path that opens to a fresh water pool.  It was truly an unforgettable experience. 



Since Lahaina was kind of out of the way from where we were staying in Wailea, we decided to make a whole “day” of it.  Unfortunately there was a huge traffic jam on our way so we got really delayed, but we were still able to make a few stops in this old historic whaling town before the Luau.  One of the stops I loved in Lahaina was the Mauigrown Coffee Company!  It was such a cute little shop with its plantation design and they had a great selection of Maui grown coffee.  Of course we picked up a bag to bring home with us, as well as getting delicious macadamia nut latte’s to go!  We also walked along the famous Front Street in Lahaina Town.  We were short on time, so we didn’t get to walk the entire street but they had a great variety of restaurants and shops all along the waterfront…very reminiscent of Savanah’s Riverfront.  It was a little touristy for our taste, but may be a fun “day trip” activity if you wanted to explore different areas while in Maui.  


Anyways…back to the OLD LAHAINA LUAU!

I can’t tell you how many people I spoke to that had previously traveled to Maui who asked if we would be attending the Old Lahaina Luau on our honeymoon.  There’s a reason this is widely known as the best luau in Maui, and because it was our first time in Hawaii, we both wanted to attend the most authentic luau we could find.  And this was it!  

Upon arriving, we were greeted with fresh flower Lei’s and yummy Mai Tai’s garnished with sweet pineapple and a beautiful orchid.  After we were shown our table, we enjoyed walking around to visit all the local artisans that were set up with the beautiful ocean vista as a background. A few things that stood out at the Old Lahaina Luau was the exceptional service, the authentic Hawaiian dishes, and the historic luau dance that provided so much background to Hawaii’s rich history.  I wouldn’t necessarily say you have to attend a luau while in Maui, but we really enjoyed our evening!

This is another activity that we pre-booked before our trip.  Well, actually when we originally went to book our tickets they were all sold out for the entire week, and I was SO upset.  But we were put on the waitlist and they actually ended up calling us the night of our rehearsal dinner to say that availability had opened up!  Nathan and I joked that it was an early wedding gift!  Anyway…don’t be like us!  Tickets sell out months in advance (specifically during the busy season) so if you want to go, plan ahead.  


Maui was pure magic. We created so many special memories that will last a lifetime and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our first week of marriage together! Stay tuned for Part II of our honeymoon trip where we share about our 5 days on the gorgeous Garden Isle of Kaua’i!

So when are you planning on going to Maui? Do you have any favorite spots or suggestions that we missed? Share them in the comments below!



Going to Savannah was not part of Nathan’s original plan when putting together our Hilton Head Island getaway trip for my birthday (Read our full travel guide to Hilton Head HERE ). However, when he accidentally spilled the beans about where we were going, I knew we HAD to fit in a trip to Savannah as well!  We both had never been before, but I had heard so many amazing things about this historic city.  At first, we were just going to make a day trip out of it since Savannah is only about 1 hour south of Hilton Head Island but after doing some research we quickly realized we wanted to spend a little more time here. We only had so much time allotted for this trip, but we were able to put together an extra 24 hours to make the trip to Savannah happen!  So we jumped on AirBnB, booked a one bedroom condo, and the plans were set!  

We had no idea how quickly we would fall in love with Savannah.  Its a charming and quaint southern city where huge oak trees filled with Spanish Moss shade the architecturally rich cobblestoned streets.  Walking through the historic district is honestly like taking a step back in time.  We stayed at a cute little AirBnB off E. Gaston Street, right across from Forsyth Park- one of the largest, and most well know city parks in the historic district of Savannah.  It was a great location and we were in walking distance to nearly everything. 

One of our favorite memories was strolling through the enchanting streets of Savannah, stopping at nearly all of the 22 historic squares that are found from E. Gordon St all the way down to the Savannah River.  These squares are surrounded by some of the most beautiful churches (The Cathedral of St.John the Baptist will take your breath away), historic homes, gorgeous inns and rich history that we have ever seen!  It was a truly incredible experience!

We were also blown away by the food scene in Savannah!  We ate some of the best food we’ve ever had on this trip- and trust me, we ate WAY more than necessary, but were trying to squeeze in as many culinary delights as possible in our 24 hours!

Our only wish is that we could have spent more time in Savannah!  Our best advice would be to spend a couple of days here if possible.  We can’t wait to plan our next trip to this incredible city!



TREYLOR PARK - this was our first stop in Savannah. Literally.  Our AirBnB wasn’t quite ready, and we were really hungry so we stopped here for an early lunch.  This hip spot is known for their quirky menu and creative flavor combinations such as the fried chicken waffle fries nachos and PB&J wings, we had both and it was incredible!  And the best part: they have a dog friendly outdoor patio, so Reggie got to hang out with us too!

THE OLDE PINK HOUSE- this is one of Savannah’s most famous restaurants, and came highly recommended by many people, so we definitely wanted to have dinner here!  We knew it would be a bit more on the pricey side, so we choose this restaurant for my actual birthday dinner!  The Olde Pink House is set in Savannah’s only 18th century mansion, and specializes in Lowcountry cuisine.  Nathan and I both had the Crispy Scored Flounder which was served “whole fish” style.  Neither of us had seafood served this way before, but it was absolutely delicious!  We would highly recommend this restaurant for a special occasion or date-night. 

CAFE M- a lovely piece of Paris right in the heart of downtown Savannah.  Great spot for a quick breakfast, coffee, tea or some baked goods! We both had amazing lattes and were able to try a homemade Cronut for the very first time!ROCKS ON THE ROOF-  We both loved the vibe of this edgy, hip rooftop bar located on top of The Bohemian Hotel.  They feature a great mix of handcrafted cocktails which you can enjoy by cozy fire-pits, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Savannah River and all of historic downtown. 

LEOPOLDS ICE CREAM- going to Leopold’s is like taking a step back in time to a classic ice cream soda fountain shop- complete with striped hats and the friendliest staff!  When we arrived, the line was out the door, so we knew all the hype about this Savannah-staple must be true! Nathan and I both had a couple scoops of their seasonal flavors, and it was absolutely delicious!

RIVER STREET SWEETS - this was the most recommended shop on famous River Street, and I can see why!  I swear you could smell the heavenly pralines and fudge from down the street!  They have every type of candy you could ever imagine, but are most well know for their world famous pralines.  Bonus tip: if you walk into the door on the right hand of the store, you’ll be treated with free samples! You can thank me later!

ROCKS ON THE ROOF-  We both loved the vibe of this edgy, hip rooftop bar located on top of The Bohemian Hotel.  They feature a great mix of handcrafted cocktails which you can enjoy by cozy fire-pits, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Savannah River and all of historic downtown. 

*** A few places that were recommended, but we didn’t get a chance to try:

Back in the Day Bakery, Huey’s, Lulu’s Chocolate Bar, Artillery, Top Deck, The Lady and Sons, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room 



FORSYTH PARK - our AirBnb was right across the street from this historic park, so we woke up early the morning we were set to leave, and walked around the park with Reggie.  This park is known for the iconic fountain off the entrance of Bull and Gaston, and is beautifully landscaped with rose gardens and lined by the classic Spanish filled oak trees. 

WALK RIVER STREET - this is by far the most well known street in the city!  Its adjacent to the Savannah River, and has an array of different souvenir shops, restaurants and local vendors and artists !  We walked all up and down the street, but also enjoyed stopping to sit and watch the massive cargo ships sail in and out of the port.

EXPLORE THE HISTORIC DISTRICT - we explored all around the historic streets of Savannah, marveling at the the gorgeous homes and mansions.  This city is full of incredible architecture.  Make sure to check out each of the city’s squares (theres 22 in total) to see all the different statues, sculptures, and rich history.  If you’re short on time, at least check out Jones Street, this had the most beautiful homes in my opinion.   



Shop Local

Trolley Ghost Tour

Wormsloe Plantation

Tybee Island

Check out local museums, such as the Telfair Museum or SCAD Museum of Art

Tour Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

What are some of your favorite places to see and things to do in Savannah? We would love to hear any and ALL of your recommendations, because we are already planning our next trip back! If you haven’t been, and have any specific questions about our trip, let us know in the comments below! Thanks so much for reading and we can’t wait to share our next travel adventure with you all!!




For my 30th birthday, Nathan surprised me with a trip to Hilton Head Island, SC.  I was SUPER excited because I remember going there as a child, and having so much fun!!  We both have been so busy with our jobs, launching the blog, wedding planning, etc that we were both really looking forward to this trip and some much needed rest, relaxation and quality time together! We stayed at Sonesta Resort (read our full review HERE) which was PERFECT because it offered so many amenities, not to mention we could walk right to the beach and its central location made it nice when exploring the island.  Watch our full review on Sonesta Resort HERE.

Some of my favorite memories from this trip were waking up super early to watch the sunrise on the beach, chilling by the pool in our favorite little cabana while sipping on the absolute BEST key lime colada EVER, and going to the beach at night with Reggie…watching the stars and seeing how bright the moon shines over the ocean.  

Hilton Head Island is definitely a very chill vacation spot, you don’t have to worry about getting dressed up when you go out to eat (I’m talking a cute sundress and flip flops) and most places are dog-friendly (which was a HUGE plus for us since we brought Reggie with us!).  They also have some AMAZING seafood restaurants, and so many indiscreet places offering awesome lowcoxntry foods!  Our best advice would be to pick a couple of favorites that you might like to check out, and just go with the flow to see where the day takes you!



JAVA BURRITO- this was by far the most highly recommended breakfast spot, and I can totally understand why!  Think locally sourced fresh food burrito bar meets your favorite trendy organic coffee shop.  Whether you want to stop in for a signature coffee drink, like the honey lavender latte, or put together the freshest breakfast burrito you can imagine, this place is definetly worth checking out for breakfast or lunch!

THE FRENCH BAKERY- we found this place by my friend Maddie’s recommendation, and we had the most lovely breakfast here one dreary morning!  They have a wide variety of homemade baked goods, baked fresh every single morning as well as a small menu of traditional breakfast items.  Nathan and I got a box of assorted pastries (the chocolate filled croissant was my FAVORITE), and two lattes, and ate breakfast in the park across the street which overlooks the bay. 



CHAR BAR COMPANY- vinyl records line the walls of this laid back spot offering gourmet burger, craft beer and homemade shake.  Nathan and I went here for an early dinner one day, but I also think it’d be a great spot for lunch! We sat outside on their dog-friendly patio,  Nathan got the “Dirty South” - a burger topped with pulled pork, red pepper jelly, pimento, bourbon bbq sauce and topped with a fried green tomato.  I went a little more adventurous and did the “Wine Jam”- a wagyu beef burger topped with bone marrow butter, basil, prosciutto, port wine onion jam and Boursin cheese.  Obviously we both left extremely full!! 

SALTY DOG CAFE-  located at South Beach Marina Village in Sea Pines, this is a quitisential Hilton Head favorite.  I hadn’t been here since I was about 8 years old, so of course I had to go back to see if it was as cool as I remembered!  Its a whole tiny village of little shops and spring-off restaurants but the original Salty Dog offers casual bar food, with great views of the bay and often live music on their outdoor patio.  Side note: you actually are not allowed to have your dog on the outdoor dining patio, so you’ll have to leave your fur baby at home ( we learned this the hard way lol)



HUDSONS- one day I was craving a fried shrimp Po-Boy, so we googled where we could find one and this place was the first to pop up, so off we went!  Turns out, it was WAY worth it!!  This place has such a cool history!  The restaurant itself is an old oyster factory started in 1912, and the company still employs one of the two remaining fishing fleets on the Island, which means your seafood is served straight from their docks to your table…it doesn’t get more FRESH than that!!  Nathan and I both got the shrimp po-boys with hushpuppies (which are AMAZING), a couple of tropical drinks, and enjoyed the open-air views of the Port Royal Sound.  Hudson’s is a must in my opinion, even if you just go for a cocktail to watch the sunset!

SKULL CREEK BOATHOUSE/DOCKSIDE- probably the most highly recommended dinner spot, and trust me, it didn’t disappoint!  These side-by-side restaurants both offer incredible views of Skull Creek!  Dockside is the newer restaurant, and offers a gorgeous dining room indoors if needed due to weather.  The Boathouse is the original restaurant and definitely has a more laid-back island feel, offering a HUGE outdoor bar and patio.  If there is a wait-time, they have a common area complete with lawn chairs, yard games, a playground, etc.  We ended up getting a high-top table at the Boathouse right away!  We both got the seafood sampler platter and shared a basket (or maybe 2) of the hushpuppies which were SOOOO good!  We chilled here a good part of the night, enjoyed the amazing sunset over the sound, and listened to the live music! The patio at the Boathouse is dog-friendly!

A LOW COUNTRY BACKYARD- this place has a super unique atmosphere!  The outdoor patio is set under a huge tent with live oak trees and wood chip flooring, making you feel like you are literally in the comfort of your backyard!  This restaurant is known for its homage to low country fare, so we both got the classic Shrimp & Grits and we would highly recommend it!  Live music starts at 6pm, but be prepared for a wait because seating is limited, especially outside!


*A few places that were recommended but we didn’t get the chance to try:

Skillets Cafe, Frosty Frog Cafe, The Old Oyster, Poseidon, Frankie Bones, The Jazz Corner, Coco’s on the Beach


SHELTER COVE- this is a newer area with shopping and restaurants as well as a beautiful new park complete with an amphitheater that houses year round festivals and live events.  

HARBOUR TOWN- another area with boutiques, restaurants and activities.  Also home to the iconic red and white striped Harbor Town lighthouse, which offers an amazing view of the entire marina as well as a museum that you can tour daily. 

COLIGNY PLAZA- full of shops, restaurants and live entertainment.

RENT BIKES- this is a great way to explore the island AND get your exercise!!  Our resort had a bike rental, but there are plenty of companies on the island you can rent from if you are unable to bring your own! 

Have you ever been to Hilton Head Island? If so, we would love to hear about some of your favorite places in the comments below!! As always, thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for our next Travel Diary!




For my 30th birthday in August, Nathan surprised me with a trip to Hilton Head Island.  Well, let me take that back.  He tried to surprise me, but accidentally gave away the secret about 2 weeks prior to us leaving (he can NOT for the life of himself keep a surprise) but I still had no idea where we were staying. So when we finally arrived to our destination and pulled into the drive of Sonesta Resorts, I was blown away with the beauty of our home-away-from-home!  From the Spanish filled oak trees lining your drive in, to the lush landscaping, Sonesta does an impeccable job at making you feel like you just arrived to an exclusive tropical getaway.  So whether you have Hilton Head Island on your radar for your next family vacation or maybe a romantic getaway with your significant other, we thought it would be fun to share with you our favorite aspects of Sonesta Resorts Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Check out a video of our first impressions of Sonesta Resort HERE. 


Ok, so this was a huge PLUS for me!  We love traveling with Reggie, our 4 year old Cocker Spaniel. So it is super important to us that wherever we stay is not only pet-friendly but pet accommodating as well. All guests traveling with pets are given rooms on the first floor, which may not be great for views (our room overlooked the pool which I actually didn’t mind) but is awesome in terms of convenience.  We have stayed in other hotels where the pet-friendly rooms are on the higher level floors which is a pain when it comes to letting your pet outside during the day.  With us being on the first floor, we had easy access to the outdoor space to take Reggie for walks, and it was also super convenient to let him outside multiple times throughout the day when we were just hanging out at the pool!  The grounds of the hotel are also very pet friendly!  There are multiple pet baggie stations next to the walking paths around the hotel property itself, which was nice because of course I forgot mine!  The hotel grounds have a path around the pool and pond area that we would take Reggie around each morning, and Shipyard Plantation itself is full of miles of walking trails! Another aspect I really appreciated was that daily cleaning service of our room was still provided.  Other hotels we have booked with in the past absolutely do not service the room if you are boarding a pet.  Not at Sonesta!  All we had to do was put Reggie in his crate, and call when we were ready to have the room serviced and the cleaning staff showed up right away!  This was a HUGE plus, especially when your going to and from the beach, because you guys know how sand gets EVERYWHERE, and even more so with a pet!  Speaking of the beach, one more perk!  The beach outside of Sonesta is pet friendly except from 10AM-5PM.  We took Reggie to the beach every morning to watch the sunrise, and every evening to watch the sunset!  He even made a few friends!  Overall, Sonesta Resort was extremely pet-friendly and made us feel right at home with our furbaby.



Our rooms were really comfortable, spacious, modern, and clean! The king size bed was super comfy, we had a little seating area with a loveseat, a mini fridge where we kept some basic grocery items and of course we both appreciated the coffee station complete with a Keurig and assortment of K-cups.  The seating area on the patio was spacious, enough room to hang towels and store beach chairs, coolers, etc although perhaps not that private since we were directly off the pool.  The little luxuries made this room one of a kind. When the lights are off and you hop out of the bed, there is ground lighting that lightly dims the floor so you can see where you are going without turning on a light (Nathan personally loved these lights and kept saying we needed to include this feature if we ever build our own home)! The beds were extremely comfortable, and included extra pillows which I personally love.  There was even a nice robe in the closet to use at your leisure, a nice little relaxing touch. 



The pool was definitely our favorite hang out spot!  There are two pools at the resort.  The first, is a large, walk-in, outdoor pool.  It was very spacious,  had plenty of seating (you didn’t have to fight over lawn chairs or struggle finding a spot), and really had a nice luxurious feel to the area.  We always picked a spot closest to the pool bar, because their Key Lime Coladas were out of this world!  We had at least one every single day and they were absolutely delicious!!  A few days we even got extra fancy and snagged one of the cabanas!  Unlike most hotels, the cabanas at Sonesta are FREE and on a first come, first serve basis!  These were great for when we spent the entire day at the pool, the perfect cozy shady spot to lounge, take a break from the sun, and enjoy a nice nap!  The second pool, was a smaller, completely shaded pool with a small hot tub.  We liked this spot in the evenings!  We would grab a couple cocktails, relax in the hot-tub and then just hang out in the airy cabanas and watch the sky turn different shades of pink as the sun began to set!  Very dreamy and relaxing!



Another perk of Sonesta Resort, is that all you have to do is take a short walk down a beautifully lined pathway and you have immediate beach access.  This was super convenient because we could come and go to the beach as we pleased!  Nathan and I brought our own beach chairs, but the resort has chairs and umbrellas that you can rent by the day if you need.  Or you can reserve one through the beach patrol for the day, and they will set up the chair and umbrella for you!  If you are staying for a couple days, though, we would definitely suggest bringing your own beach gear because it can get kinda pricey renting each day.



Upon arrival at Sonesta, I was immediately impressed by the grounds of the entire complex.  They really do an excellent job in making the space feel extremely plush, and beautiful.  From the well-maintained pathways around the facility, to the pristine ponds,  the property itself is nothing less than luxurious!  There are several seating areas around the grounds, whether you want to spend the day reading a book in one of the hammocks or enjoy a cocktail at one of the cozy fire pits, there really is a spot for everyone! I also appreciated the family-friendly aspects they included like corn hole stations, areas where you can watch turtles, and even the cutest little snack shops where they offered tasty little treats and snow cones!



Sonesta Resort offers several restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining options.

HEYWARDS RESTUARANT : serves breakfast daily and also dinner, focusing on the traditional Lowcountry fare.  Don’t forget about their amazing desserts!! 

SEACREST TERRACE & PATIO:  Located directly next door to Heyward’s Restaurant.  This restaurant is open every day for lunch only, and offers a cool and casual indoor/outdoor dining option.  

BAYLEYS BAR: located in the heart of the modern resort lobby, this is the place for a quick coffee in the morning and your favorite tropical cocktail at night!

SWEET CANE BAR & GRILLE: this is the poolside bar that offered Nathan and I’s favorite cocktail of the week: Key Lime Colada!!  They have an array of different tropical drinks, daily happy hour promotions, and lunch items made to order. 

SANDBAR AT MARKER 72:  this is the newest Beach Bar for Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island and Shipyard Plantation.  With a rustic wood covered beach deck setting and tables overlooking the ocean and lagoon this bar instantly gives you that beach vacation feel.  They had live entertainment every day from about 12-3 pm, which you could enjoy at the bar or even while relaxing at the pool!



Arum Spa is one of the newest spas in Hilton Head!  And although I didn’t enjoy a spa experience myself (I definitely wish I would have) it looked like a complete relaxation oasis!  Whether you have an hour, or a full day, they can accommodate all of your needs!  Arum Spa offers an array of different treatments such as massages, full body treatments, facials, or even full day customizable spa packages to give you the best experience possible, and its sure to calm your mind and lift your spirits!



Sonesta Resort offers an array of recreational activities, from bike rentals to paddle boarding, kayaking, tennis or helping you book a round of gold at one of the many courses around the island!  They also have a 24 hour fitness center (which we used a couple times during our stay), complimentary shuttle service around Shipyard Plantation, concierge, and a kids activity program just to name a few!  Honestly, the activity Nathan and I enjoyed the most was taking long walks on the beach with Reggie, enjoying the sounds of the ocean, and catching every sunrise and sunset that we could! 

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is a true tropical oasis, and we felt like we were on a relaxing tropical getaway the moment we stepped into the lobby!  The views, easy beach access, luxurious grounds and accommodating staff make this a truly relaxing stay!  Whether you’ve been looking to plan your first trip to Hilton Head Island, or come here every year, we highly recommend you check out this resort for yourself! You’re sure to have nothing short of a relaxing and magical stay at Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island. 

Thank you so much for reading, and if you have any questions about our stay, let us know!




This past week was HOT.  I’m talking 90+ degrees, humid, can’t breathe kind of hot.  The heat, combined with another long stretch of Nathan and I not seeing one another, sparked an idea. We needed a getaway...ON THE WATER!  So, I hopped on AirBnb, typed in the location search to the nearest lake I could remember hearing about from some co-workers, and booked the first dog-friendly cabin that I could find!  Five days later, we packed our bags, our dog and our cooler and hit the road for a weekend at Lake Cumberland!

Lake Cumberland is located in south-central Kentucky and is one of the largest man-made lakes in the US.  It was constructed in the early 1940’s by damming up a large section of the Cumberland River, which flows through Daniel Boone National Forest.  Read about our first hiking trip to this gorgeous state park HERE.  The lake was finally completed in 1952, and today ranks as the 9th largest man made lake in the US in size.  Fun Fact: Lake Cumberland is famously known as the houseboat capital of the world ( we saw a TON of them while we were there and talked about how fun it would be to rent one for the weekend with a group of friends)! The Lake is also home to two Kentucky State Parks, one of which we visited before checking into our AirBnb!


Our cabin on the lake wasn’t available until around noon on Saturday, so Nathan and I decided to check out Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.  We both heard the Cumberland Falls were a “must see” of central Kentucky (it is known as the Niagra of the South), and that there were great hiking trails!  We arrived to the park by 9 AM which was perfect because we were pretty much the only people there, the visitor center wasn’t even open yet!  After buying a map from the gift shop…yes, they actually make you PAY for a map which was a first for us, we made our way to the main attraction.  And it was pretty incredible!  The waterfall was huge, and it did remind me of a smaller version of Niagra Falls with the mist and gray fog. After checking out all the different overlooks of the falls, we decided to hit the trails.  

The trail of choice for this excursion was the Moonbow Trail, named after the famous moonbow phenomenon of Cumberland Falls. If your not familiar with a moonbow its an ethereal arch of white (or if you catch it just right, colored) light produced by the combination of a full moon and rising mist from the falls.   Its a mystical wonder that you can’t see anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere!  In fact, the only other reported moonbow is located at Victoria Falls in Africa!  Pretty cool, right?  Anyways, the Moonbow Trail was the best trail we have hiked recently.  It was the perfect combination of rugged terrain and scenic views.  And because it runs right along the river, it was perfect for Reggie too because he could have plenty of water breaks!


After a long morning of hiking we set off to check into our AirBnB.  It was starting to get hot outside, and a cold beverage and a cool lake breeze was calling our name.  Our rental was located about 30 minutes north of the park and it was a cozy little AirBnB cabin hidden in the woods.  I kept telling Nathan I felt like we were in a treehouse!  Anyway, it was perfect for a short overnight stay with its own eat-in kitchen, patio, and fire pit.  It even had it’s own private dock which was convienent because our hosts had a whole slew of floats, kayaks, and canoes available for use. Once we got the car unpacked, we took Reggie down to the dock for some much needed time in the water and pretty much hung out there for the remainder of the day.


The next morning Nathan headed out for a coffee run (we all know I’m not pleasant without my morning coffee) before we took another trip down to the dock. We decided to take their canoe out on the water ( watch how we almost got stranded out on the lake HERE ) and ended up finding a nice shady spot on the shore to beach it and just chill for the morning before we needed to hit the road to head back home.  


Overall, it was the perfect weekend getaway.  It was short and sweet, and allowed both of us to just relax, enjoy each others company, and COOL OFF!!

SAM’S HIGHLIGHT:  my favorite part of our little getaway was the morning we decided to take the canoe out for a little adventure!!  It definitely didn’t go exactly as planned (click HERE to find out why) but it ended up being the absolute perfect morning….even if Nathan has some battle scars because of it hahaha. 

NATHAN’S HIGHLIGHT: I'd say my favorite part of our trip was hanging out at the dock, going swimming with Reggie (even though he absolutely HATES the water) and just relaxing by the water.

Have you ever been to Lake Cumberland or Cumberland Falls?  Thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for a new travel post coming SOON!