Beach Getaway Essentials

dreaming of sun and sand...

Thanks for all your comments and emails following last week’s post. As a brief update, a couple of you got me thinking about acupuncture and a few other treatments, and I actually went in to my doctor’s office to see an integrative specialist. After a week of taking it easy, starting Whole30, and taking mucho supplements, I’m feeling a lot better and my skin started clearing up! I’m practicing as much self-care as I can, and my energy has slowly started to return, too. Fingers crossed!

Maybe this will sound funny, but part of my self-care routine has been daydreaming slash loosely planning a beach getaway with Joe for later in the summer. We’re not totally sure when we’ll be able to go, but that hasn’t stopped us from planning. I mentioned it briefly here, but we’re thinking about going to Hawaii. I’ve actually never been, and the last time Joe was there, he was a teenager. (On that note: any recommendations? We’re debating between doing something really easy like hitting up a resort on the big island, versus going more off the beaten path to a place like Lanai. Thoughts, stories, experiences welcomed!) Is it just me, or is planning a vacation half the fun of it? Something about planning out where to go, what you want to do, and how you want to look and feel while doing it is so refreshing and puts a pep in my step. Anyway, once we started talking about doing a beach getaway, I found myself randomly bookmarking pretty accessories and dresses I’d definitely want to pack. Feels like I’m already there!

Of note in my imaginary suitcase: Everlane just launched new striped dresses that would work great as an easy cover up, or to throw on while sightseeing. Bonus: they’re all under $40. I also keep coming back to these slides they debuted earlier in the summer — something about this tan color, I haven’t been able to find any quite like them, especially under $100. I bookmarked this striped tote a while back, and though it’s definitely a summer-specific purchase, it’s the kind of tote I’d be happy to carry season after season. Finally, I stopped into local shop Anomie on Union this past weekend, and was excited to see their huge selection of Herbivore goodies (I stocked up on my fave jasmine body oil, and picked up a bar of this pink clay soap which has been super soothing for my skin). I also tried out their Coco Rose Lip Color — it’s a gorgeous, warm, rosy shade that would look great on lips or cheeks. I’m trying to work my way through a few other lip/cheek pots I already have at home, but once gone, this one’s on the list.

Let me know if you have any Hawaii advice, or if you have another hidden beach spot you think we should check out. At this point, put me on a plane with a carryon filled with dresses and bathing suits, and I don’t really care where I end up!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far! AMA answers coming up, so get your questions in if you haven’t already commented or emailed!

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Image and graphics by Victoria McGinley Studio


  1. 6.14.16
    Emily said:

    I’ve been very fortunate to travel to Hawaii several times and I’ve been to the Big Island, Oahu, Maui and Kauai. My favorite, hands down, is Kauai. The Waimea Canyon is considered the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” with gorgeous views and you can’t beat the Na Pali Coastline. It’s known as the “Green Island” and is so lush and tropical with natural beauty and side waterfalls we’re constantly discovering driving around the island. Kauai has tons of adventurous activities (zip-lining, hiking, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling) plus beautiful and relaxing beaches so there’s a little bit of everything.

    My one warning is Kauai isn’t like the other islands with lots of destination shopping or a great nightlife. They joke that the national island bedtime is 9:30 p.m. and I believe it! But also could be exactly what you’re looking for. :)

    • 6.14.16

      Thanks, Emily! Yes, a 9:30 bedtime sounds just about right for this trip :) One question though — someone told me that Kauai’s beaches weren’t as “nice,” given how rocky and mountainous much of the island is. How did you find them, and the terrain along the coastlines?

      • 6.14.16
        shannon said:

        The beaches are gorgeous. The island isn’t actually rocky and/or mountainous. It’s the oldest island and the lushest – but not rocky. Look up Lumahai Beach, Tunnels Beach, Ke’e Beach and Secret Beach. All sandy with amazing snorkeling. And almost always empty.

        • 6.14.16

          Good to know! I can’t remember who told me that or why, but I’ve had the canyon in my head for so long, and associated with someone telling me the beaches weren’t as sandy, got it in my head that everything would be rocky! Tunnels Beach looks gorgeous!

  2. 6.14.16
    shannon said:

    I’ve heard there isn’t much to do on Lanai. It’s owned by Larry Ellison now anyway. Kauai is the best. Emily is right – there isn’t much nightlife, but what is missing from the nightlife, the day-life makes up for in spades. Waimea, Na Pali, deserted beaches, taco trucks, hiking, scuba diving, shaved ice, you name it, you can do it there. It’s very slow-paced but it doesn’t have the “vegas on the beach” of Oahu and the “oh my god there are so many tourists here” feel of maui. I love staying on the north shore in the summer (check out condos in princeville or the St Regis if you’re feeling posh).

    • 6.14.16

      In truth, that’s sort of why we were interested in Lanai — this would def be a vacation for lounging, reading, and napping! :) It’s good to hear the sentiments about Oahu and Maui confirmed. That’s sort of what I had gathered based on travel reviews, and yeah, no thank you.

  3. 6.14.16

    So glad you are feeling better! You will feel even better when you get back from the beach! Love those slides! I took these (see link below)on a recent beach trip and loved them in case you need another option. Super comfy and on sale!

    • 6.14.16

      Those are very cute! Old Navy had a similar pair that a friend told me were also great. The price points on both are amazing, but something about the warm tan shade of Everlane’s — I dunno, it felt so unique and pretty to me!

  4. 6.14.16
    Jessie said:

    Yes, I know what you mean! I’ve been dreaming of a beach vacation for a while now (and working on my beach packing list and pinterest board…well before anything has been planned). I’ve been stalking some all-inclusive deals because it’s just so convenient. has some insane deals. I’m personally looking at Costa Rica myself, those I know who have been are obsessed and ready to move there. I’ve heard everyone is so friendly, and if you feel like leaving your lounge chair one day there’s wildlife preserves, volcanoes, and ziplining! I’ve had that Mar y Sol bag on my wishlist for a bit (trying to decide between that or a Clare V Kenya tote).

    • 6.14.16

      I’d love to go to Costa Rica! Being back on the west cost, Joe kinda ruled out the Caribbean and Central America, just because we can get to Hawaii or Mexico more easily now. I’m always kicking myself that while we were in NY, we didn’t travel down to the Caribbean more — it’s a fave! My mom has spent quite a bit of time in Costa Rica, and absolutely adores it. We also took a trip to Nicaragua a number of years ago (we went to San Juan del Sur — just north of the CR border) and really loved it.

  5. 6.15.16
    Sarah said:

    We’re heading to Hawaii in September – going to do Maui and Lanai – 4 nights at the four seasons on Maui and 4 nights at the four seasons on Lanai (they’re running a 4th night free special!). I was able to coordinate a guaranteed upgrade upon booking for staying at both Four Seasons properties and booking together – just a thought :) We’re really looking forward to it! It will be my first time in Hawaii also. I’m sure wherever you choose will be lovely, but we’re particularly excited to relax on Lanai!

    • 6.15.16

      Sounds like a fab vacation! We were considering the FS in Lanai too — it looks so peaceful and quiet, and the recent reno there is gorgeous (those bathrooms!). Yeah, I saw that special they’re running and AmEx had a similar deal too. What gave us pause was that it was a 5 or 5.5 hour flight from SF to the big island, whereas with layovers and what not, our travel time to Lanai was 10.5 hours. Ouch.

      • 6.15.16
        Sarah said:

        We also live in SF – we’re flying into Maui for the first 4 nights, and then taking the Ferry to Lanai. It’s only about a 45 minute ferry ride from Maui to Lanai – I’ve heard it’s not worth trying to fly to Lanai because the Ferry is so easy and a beautiful ride! You should look into it, even if you don’t want to stay in Maui – you just need to fly in to OGG and then get to the Ferry terminal via cab or shuttle. Flights to Maui are cheap right now too from OAK and SFO :)

        • 6.15.16

          Can you please be my travel agent? That’s great advice and sounds way better than a multi-hour layover!

          • 6.16.16
            Sarah said:

            Absolutely! I love planning vacations :)

  6. 6.15.16
    Joyce said:

    Kauai is absolutely amazing! I have been to Kauai, Maui and the Big Island and while all are beautiful and unique (I mean, I don’t think you can really go wrong in Hawaii) my favorite by far is Kauai – I would love to return many more times! The beaches are stunning, there is such a variety of landscapes (the canyon; jungle/napalii coast; the various beaches; etc), its not extremely touristy (especially compared to other islands) and its small enough that you can see quite a lot in a week or so. One note – it really works best to have a car so you can explore and visit different beaches and hikes and areas of the island – going to Kauai and never leaving the resort would mean missing out on a lot. I would recommend staying in a rental with a kitchen for part of the trip, somewhere in the more southern part of the island such as the Kaapa area (a great smallish town with a cool blend of local/hippie/hipster/tourist vibes) or Poipu (though this is the most touristy area of the island) and then spend another few days in Hanalei or Princeville on the North Shore. If you’re looking for a relaxing destination with lots of choices for things to do in the day, and less to do at night, Kauai is perfect :) If you do go to Kauai, check out Java Kai in Kaapa (and the boutique attached to it) and Sushi Girl on the North Shore! Oh and Lapperts for ice cream, coffee and cinnamon rolls! Have fun wherever you decide to go :)

  7. 6.16.16
    Nan said:

    I have been working with a naturopathic doctor for about 6 months and I swear I am not exaggerating when I say it has been life changing. From supplements, to building a different morning and night routine, to changing my diet – my energy and stress levels have changed completely! Originally, I never thought integrated/natural wellness was really my thing, but now I am a totally convert! Hope it goes well for you!
    Whole 30 – yay! I am in the middle of the Whole 30 right now, day 16!
    xo Nan // Simply Elegant Blog

  8. 6.17.16
    Diana said:

    You can’t go wrong with Hawaii but I’d recommend Kona. It’s so relaxing but you can also spend a few days checking out a coffee farm and the volcano.

  9. 6.20.16
    Sofia said:

    Hi Victoria! I’m curious what other cream blushes you’ve been using lately. I’ve been on the search for awhile and am hoping you have some winners you can share. Thanks!

  10. 6.21.16
    Mary said:

    The Grand Hyatt on Kauai is hands down one of the most stunning places I have ever stayed. I have had many friends and family stay there after going to different islands/different resorts and they all agree. Kauai is such a stunning island in and of itself with so many fun activities to do, and while nightlife isn’t huge, there are so many yummy restaurants to try that it doesn’t even matter! 10/10 recommend!

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