Go to Kauai to enjoy the island life as the locals do. Many consider it the best Hawaiian island. Spend your time on the many beautiful beaches swimming and watching surfers.
Explore a sunken ship or coral reef. Enjoy snorkeling in a blue lagoon. End your days by witnessing one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. If you’re up for it, you can casually hike to the many waterfalls on the island or drive through canyons or head to the sea to watch the wildlife.On the weekend, drive to the local markets and enjoy buying fresh fruits and veggies. If you’re a foodie, you can choose from the local food trucks or the many world-class restaurants. What are you waiting for?
Unwind at the beach
You will start your journey in sunny Honolulu and catch a short flight to the island of Kauai. Once you arrive, you need to readjust your batteries to match the island life. Check in to your hotel or Airbnb lodging and head to the beach. The beach is the best way to deal with jet lag!
Head to Hanalei beach and relax on the beautiful white sand while swimming in the ocean and watching the surfers and paddle boarders do their thing. Hanalei Bay is filled with coral reefs and there is even a sunken ship so it is perfect for diving. Don’t leave before sunset. It is one of the most colorful sunsets in the world. Take it all in. For dinner head to Postcards Cafe.
I recommend the Mount Meru Hale studio on Airbnb to stay during your time in Kauai.
Scenic views of the Pacific
Spend your second day further exploring the north shore and its beautiful beaches. Start the day by going to Hanalei town and grabbing breakfast at Art Cafe Hemingway. Then head to Limahili Gardens. Explore three distinct ecological zones overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Makana Mountain provides a scenic backdrop to the gardens. The garden offers both guided and self-guided tours for their less than a mile long trail.
From there you can visit some of the most amazing beaches including Lumahai, Wainiha, Kepuhi and Tunnels beach. If you feel like exploring, you can head to Ha’ena State Park and stop at Ke’e beach and spend your day there. Have an upscale dinner at Bar Acuda where your food will be prepared by world famous chef, Jim Moffat.
See the Grand Canyon of Hawaii
Make breakfast at home with goods from the local farmer’s market (Hanalei Farmer’s Market is on Saturday Mornings) and head to the western shore of Kauai to explore Waimea Canyon. Two roads lead here, I would suggest taking one road there and another coming back so you can take advantage of all the viewpoints. Be sure to stop at the Waimea Canyon Lookout, the Pu’u Ka Pele Lookout with its excellent views of Waipo’o Falls and the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout.
The road ends at two lookouts for Kalalau Valley, one of the spectacular valleys along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. Head to Island tacos for lunch and have the amazing Mahi Mahi. Try JoJo’s shaved ice for a nice and cold refreshment!
Spend the rest of your day at Poipu Beach relaxing and snorkeling. Turtles also love this reef-protected beach. Head to Red Salts for dinner and let them know you want a table with a view.
Day at the Southshore
Explore the south shore today and drive past Koloa Landing to Spouting Horn where you can see one of Hawaiis most famous blowholes. Observe this natural phenomenon and then head to beautiful Allerton Garden for their tour. Take your time exploring, this is a truly breathtaking place. The gardens are also the only way to access Lawa’I Bay. This beach can get crowded so you there is no need to stay if you don’t feel like dealing with the crowds.
The Koloa Rum Company is nearby and produces authentic Hawaiian rum. If you are interested, pop in for a tasting.
Visit historic Koloa Town next which was once a major plantation town. The centerpiece of Kilohana Plantation is the historic Gaylord Wilcox mansion. Explore the house and have lunch at Gaylords at Kilohana while you are there.
In Nawiliwili, Kalapaki Beach is the hub of water sports. You can take pick your pick from canoe riding, catamaran sailing, surfing, swimming, and wave riding. Kayakers can explore the glassy Hule’ia River nearby and gaze at the koloa duck and other birds from a wildlife refuge on the river.
Tonight, have a casual dinner at the Kauai Food Truck.
Wildlife on the northshore
The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge offers amazing views overlooking the Pacific and also provides a chance to visit the historic Kilauea Lighthouse. It is the home of red-footed boobies, Laysan albatrosses, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and other seabirds and you will be able to view them in their natural habitat. Once you are done admiring the birds, head to Pat’s Taqueria for lunch.
A drive along the North Shore takes you to several beautiful locations including Secret Beach, ‘Anini Beach, and the Hanalei Valley Overlook. Choose one of these and relax for the day by the ocean.
End your evening at Lu’au Kalamaku which is the state’s only lu’au show performed “in-the-round,” offering great views from every seat in the house. The show includes a cast of approximately 50 dancers and musicians including an award-winning fire knife dancer.
Waterfalls and Massages
Start your day bright and early and head to one of the prettiest waterfalls on the island, Wailua Falls. It is big on the tourist circuit so beat the crowds by coming before breakfast. The falls are easily accessible and do not require an arduous hike. For a delicious breakfast, treat yourself at Eggbert’s.
Spend the rest of the day at Nukolii Beach working on your tan. Hukilau is great for a lunch break and is nearby so you can head back to the beach after a quick bite.
Schedule a couple’s massage with Happy Body and treat yourself to an hour of relaxation, it is your honeymoon after all.
For dinner, try something different at Mediterranean Gourmet.
Use today to relax at your favorite beach from the week before heading back to Honolulu. If you have time in the capital, take a taxi to Pearl Harbor for a tour of this historic sight.
Transportation There is a bus near the Airbnb suggested lodging. It runs pretty regularly and goes all around the island
Thumb profile photo A tip by Sabeen Perwaiz
Farmers Markets I just mentioned the Hananlei’s but there are tons and you can check out the schedule here- http://realkauai.com/FarmersMarkets/
Art Walk Hanapepe holds an art walk every Friday night and there is a lot of food vendors and live music.