As I was writing a list of our favorite on island activities, beaches and eateries for a guest, I realized that it might be fun to share our favorites with everyone. When you book with us, we send you a comprehensive list of our favorite on-island spots but this is a great place to start planning.
First off, if you are planning a trip to Kauai, I recommend coming for at least a week. Second, you should know that I’m a beach lover so my recommendations are filled with days relaxing in the sand. If that’s not your thing, there is still plenty to do.
Also, you should always ALWAYS start your day with a coffee or tea on the lanai and a short walk across the street to put your feet in the sand (Check out our Instagram highlight titled ‘152 Steps’.).
Here’s what I would do after …
Day 1: Head to Aloha’n Paradise in Waimea for a coffee and Avocado toast before driving up to Waimea Canyon. Make a stop at the Canyon lookout to take in the view and then head to mile 14, the start of the Waipo’o Falls Hike. (Be sure to research your starting point. There are two, one easier than the other.) Enjoy the 1.5 mile hike, check out the swimming hole and take in some true Kauai feels. After you’ve hiked back out, continue to Koke’e State Park where you can get lunch and eat in the huge lawn area.
Day 2: Relax, read a book, hang out enjoying the lanai and outdoor lounge chairs in the morning. Then grab Porky’s Kauai for lunch and head to Kekeaha Beach (minutes from the Nene Nest) with chairs, an umbrella and cold drinks for the day. Don’t forget to rinse off in the outdoor shower when you get home!
Day 3: Start your morning at Midnight Bear Breads in Hanapepe. We promise, the pastries will be worth it! Walk across the street and check out the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. It’s fun for kids (and adults) to walk across just to check out the view! Then head to Salt Pond Beach where you can spend the rest of the day. There is a perfect inlet for kids to play and, generally, plenty of room to sit without being crowded! Grab fresh poke from Ishihara Market on your way home for a mid-afternoon snack.
Day 4: Take a break from beaching and adventure instead! Our number one recommendation is Kipu Ranch Adventures. It will take you about 20 minutes to drive here so get up early, drink your coffee and prep for what is always one of our favorite days! If you’re looking for something different, give Hawaii Adventure Center a call. We have taken Napali Coast Tours, gone zip lining and tubing with bookings through them and they have all been a blast.
Day 5: Pack a lunch, a beach umbrella, the boogie boards and head to Polihale Beach. Now, this is a little tricky because Polihale requires some off roading and we aren’t saying we recommend taking your rental car down the rocky, unpaved road (because you probably signed a contract stating that you would not off-road) but we are saying the beach is a sight to behold if you can make it.
Day 6: Spend the day on the South side. Generally, this day turns into a food tour for us so get ready! First, stop at Little Fish for coffee or smoothies, then head to Anake’s Juice Bar for an açaí bowl. Pack those up and either walk McBryde Garden or head to Poipu Beach for the day. On your way home, grab a fresh juice from Kauai Juice Co or a shave ice from The Fresh Shave (our favorite!) then make a stop at Warehouse 3540 for some amazing food trucks and local businesses to shop at. We LOVE the art from Robin McCoy! And, this might be enough, but if not, head to the Shops at Kukui’ula for a great atmosphere and a dinner out.
Day 7: OK, so if you have just one more day on island, I can’t decide if I would road trip or relax for the day. If you decided to road trip, there is so much left to explore. There is nothing like driving in the sun with the wind coming through the windows, right? You could head to Kapa’a (about an hour drive) and rent bikes to do the bike path then shop around town or go all the way to Hanalei (about an hour and a half drive) and check out the beach/pier as well as the cute town and stop to mini golf on the way.
No matter what you choose to do, you can’t wrong in this lush island paradise.