Family & Maternity Photos in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Family photos in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Hanalei Bay is one of my favorite places. I came here with my family when I was a teenager and have the best memories of searching for shells, swimming in the calm waters, and jumping off the pier with my childhood best friend. When Nick and I were planning a vacation to Kauai, I knew a visit to Hanalei Bay was a must. Since this trip came at a special time—Will was one week away from turning two, and I was well into my second trimester with baby number two—I also thought it would be sweet to capture some family photos while we were there.

Here are some (okay, a lot) of our favorite pictures from our morning at Hanalei Bay, which began with playing around on the pier, strolling along the sand, and then changing into swimsuits and jumping in the water—plus one really big smooch.

Family photo on the Hanalei Bay pier in Kauai

Father-son photo on the pier in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Mother & son (+ baby on the way) on the pier in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Toddler running on the sand in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Toddler running & jumping on the sand in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Family of three on the beach in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Mother-son moment on the beach in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Watching the waves roll in at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Family vacation photos at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Watching the waves in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler / Gap Kids swim trunks

family stroll on the beach at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

mom, dad & toddler on the beach in Kauai mom, dad & toddler plus the beautiful green mountains surrounding Hanalei Bay

morning light on the beach in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

beach hair in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

mother-son smooth (the best!)

sweet father-son hug

barefoot maternity photo on the beach - shot in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

capturing the bump in Kauai

baby bump on the beach in Hanalei Bay, Kauai

sweet father-son moment on the beach at Hanalei Bay, Kauai
father-son smooth in beautiful Hanalei Bay, Kauai

father-son laughs on the beach in Kauai
family of three, plus another on the way, in the water at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

family & maternity photos in the ocean

blonde-haired beach baby in Kauai

blonde-haired baby boy

Toddler playing on a pineapple float at the beach
mother-son b&w shot
Toddler took my shades!

These photos were taken by Kauai photographer Erin Gregerson, who was just lovely to work with. I highly recommend her for family photos if you're into capturing candid moments and find yourself in Kauai!

If you're interested, I wore this off-the-shoulder top with distressed denim maternity shorts, plus an off-the-shoulder maternity dress as a coverup. Will's shorts, striped t-shirt, and shark-print swim trunks are all from GAP. Nick doubts anyone cares about what he's wearing, but so as not to leave him out, he's got on Patagonia board shorts and a Lululemon t-shirt (because he loves Lululemon). And here's where we found our amazing pineapple float

Here are more details on our stay in Kauai's north shore and south shore.

Family Vacation to Kauai: South Shore

Family Vacation to Kauai: South Shore
After a beautiful time in the north shore of Kauai, we headed south to sunny Poipu Beach. We knew the north—with its lush greens and overall Jurassic Park vibe—would be hard to beat, but Poipu was just as perfect. We stayed at the Kiahuna Plantation, the same spot where my family spent some wonderful vacations when I was a teenager. It was a bit surreal to come back two decades later with my own family this time! We lucked out with a bungalow just steps from the beach, but it was the plantation's expansive lawns—complete with hills and bridges—that were a toddler's paradise. Here's how we spent our time in the south.

Toddler taking in the scene at Poipu Beach, Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai
Perfect beach set-up: sand toys, shades & a colorful striped Las Bayadas blanket

The perfect beach set-up: shades, sand boys, and a colorful striped blanket.

Toddler taking in the sunset at Poipu Beach, Kiahuna Plantation (+ fave Patagonia hat)
Patagonia kids' hat
Every night, Will loved announcing, "Sun going down!" Since we had our own kitchen—a big plus!—we'd then head back to our bungalow to make dinner or hit up the shared grills on the lawn.

Visit to the Kauai Plantation Railway - perfect toddler activity for Kauai family vacations
all aboard the Kauai Plantation Railway!
Feeding pigs along the Kauai Plantation Railway

The Kauai Plantation Railway, aka "plantation choo choo," was a huge highlight for our little train lover. We even got to stop and feed some pigs along the way! This off-the-shoulder dress was perfect for throwing on over a swimsuit and heading from beach to train and everywhere in between (other favorite stops included Bubba’s for burgers and shakes and Lappert’s for ice cream).

Plenty of lawn to play Frisbee at the Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai

Toddler taking over the lawn at the Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai
Toddler learning how to throw a Frisbee

Will must have logged at least three miles one night running all over the lawn playing Frisbee. He showed off his new counting skills, shouting to ten (occasionally leaving out a number or two), and then demanding that we throw the Frisbee "way up high!" It was actually more like fetch.

mother-son love captured at sunset at Poipu Beach, Kauai
mother-son photos at sunset at Poipu Beach, Kauai
playing in the waves at sunset at Poipu Beach, Kauai

getting soaked by the waves at sunset

Our last night of vacation was magical. The plan was to take a few family photos on the beach, but there wasn't much beach left! Will and I waded into the water and after a few bigger-than-expected waves, we were soaked. I figured that would be it for our mother-son photos, but Will was loving it. So we stayed and played in the waves—in our clothes—until the sun set.

Mother-son moment at Poipu Beach, Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai
playing in the waves at sunset - a magical moment from our family vacation to Kauai
toddler braving the waves with mommy - Poipu Beach, Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai
mother-son love
family of three (and another on the way!) - Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai

The rare family shot! Thank you, kind person, for offering to take this for us.

father-son moment and beautiful blue-green waters at Poipu Beach, Kauai
father-toddler holding hands on the beach
father & son running on the beach - Kauai
toddler sprints on the sand at Poipu Beach, Kauai

Running on the sand while holding hands with dad was another favorite beach activity for Will.

Toddler loving the outdoor showers at Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai
Washing the sand off of little toes - Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai

Washing off the sand one last time...for now! I can't wait to come back someday as a family of four.

Aloha for now, Kauai!