Our Week in Kauai Itinerary

After spending a few days dancing and catching up with friends in Washington, we jetted on over to Kauai for the first leg of our trip. Kauai is known as the Garden Island, and it was easy to see why. Everything was incredibly lush and green with vividly colored flowers.

There were plenty of remote areas with lovely scenery and beaches, so it was a great place to go to get away from a big city feel and spend time in nature. No skyscrapers, as a law was passed that buildings cannot be larger than a coconut palm tree (although there are a few buildings that were grandfathered in).

We opted to stay in Kapa’a, a town on the East coast, as it was a fairly central location to everywhere we planned on visiting. It rained a fair amount while we were there, but usually only in short bursts. We had a great time in Kauai, and were able to fit a lot of hiking, beaches, and sight seeing into a short amount of time!

Our Week in Kauai Itinerary

Day 1: 

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Spouting Horn – Poipu
  • Breakfast: Java Kai in Kapa’a
  • Orchid Alley
    • We skipped the $5 fee for the butterfly garden, and instead walked through the store and looked at orchids
  • Kapa’a beach park
  • Lunch: Brennecke’s Beachfront Restaurant in Koloa
    • Good Kalua pork sandwich, Ahi tacos, and cocktails
  • The Fresh Shave (amazing Shave Ice place)
  • Spouting Horn
  • Dinner: Dukes
    • Try the Hula Pie!

Day 2: 

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Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge
  • Breakfast: Java Kai in Kapa’a
  • Kela’s Glass Gallery in Kapa’a
  • Kilauea Light House
  • Hanalei Valley Lookout
  • JoJo’s Shave Ice – Hanalei
  • Lunch: Chicken in a Barrel BBQ
    • Great ribs!
  • Found a beautiful hidden beach driving out to Ke’e beach and the Kalalau trail head (Mālaekahana and Kīhewamokuwhile beaches at Makahoa point)
  • Stopped at Hanalei Bay
    • Beautiful view and nice sheltered area of water for swimmers and surfers
  • Ke’e Beach
    • We skipped hiking the Kalalau trail because it was raining fairly hard = super muddy and dangerous (and we’re only mildly adventurous 🙂 )
  • Dinner: Bar Acuda – Hanalei
    • Highly recommend! A bit pricier, but their food was amazing. The bacon wrapped dates and the galette were fantastic. They change their menu frequently, but everything we had was tasty!
  • JoJo’s Shave Ice for dessert

Day 3: 

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Waimea Canyon Lookout
  • Breakfast: Java Kai in Kapa’a (noticing a theme? we had breakfast here every day!)
  • Waimea Canyon Drive – We got up early and headed up the drive to experience Waimea Canyon. These are some of the stops we made along the way up to the top.
    • Nice views and Fried Apple Bananas at the Waimea Canyon lookout
      • Apple Bananas are small, stout bananas that are much more flavorful than Cavendish / larger banana varieties. It was our first time having them and we loved them! Made a nice snack for the drive.
      • This lookout was the first one you can see the canyon from, so it was a bit crowded.
    • Pu’U Ka Pele Picnic area and lookout
      • You can see the Waipo’o falls from this lookout
    • Koke’e Museum – information about Hawaii’s history – Free / Donations welcome
    • Pu’u Hinahina Lookout
      • There’s a small platform that looks out towards Ni’ihau, a privately owned island off the coast of Hawaii. We couldn’t see the island very well since it was pretty foggy.
    • Kalalau Lookout (18 mile marker)
      • This one was worth a stop to catch the view, but keep going up the road a bit further to the last lookout
    • Pu’U o Kila Lookout
      • There were a few more cars up here – for a reason! Absolutely breathtaking view of Kalalau Valley and the edge of the Nā Pali coast. Great spot to snap pictures and gawk at the gorgeous scenery.
  • Lunch: Island Taco – Koloa
    • Stopped here to get tacos after finishing Waimea Canyon. Their pulled pork and fish tacos were tasty!
  • The Fresh Shave – Koloa
  • Beach at Kaua’i Marriott Resort in Lihue
  • Dinner: Dukes – Lihue

Day 4:

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Wailua Falls
  • Breakfast: Java Kai – Kapa’a
  • ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls lookout – Wailua
    • You can drive up to this – no hiking required
  • Nounou / Sleeping Giant Trail Hike
    • We did the East trail (less steep, but greater elevation change)
  • Wailua Shave Ice Truck – Kapa’a
  • Wailua Falls
  • Lunch: Shrimp Station
  • Marriott in Lihue beach hangout time
  • Dinner: Pietro’s Pizza – Lihue
    • Amazing wood fired pizza indoors, and amazing traditional New York Style pizza outdoors.

Day 5: (Rainy!)

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Kauai Mini Golf and Botanical Gardens
  • Breakfast: Java Kai
  • Kauai Miniature Golf and Botanical Gardens – Kilauea
    • Very fun (even with a bit of rain)! The mini golf course winds through a botanical garden. You can pay for admission to just walk through and see the gardens. Our advice is to pay for the golf option, so you can enjoy the course and the gardens while you play!
  • Lunch: Chicken in a Barrel BBQ – Hanalei
  • JoJo’s Shave Ice – Hanalei
  • Browsed some stores and did some shopping since it was still raining – Hanalei / Princeville
    • Crystals and Gems Shop – Hanalei
      • They have some interesting gemstones, agates, unique jewelry, etc.
    • Princeville Shopping Center – very nice, high end shops
  • Anini Beach
  • Dinner: Hemingway Art Café in Kapa’a
    • We agreed that this was our favorite restaurant!

Day 6: 

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Ho’op’i Falls
  • Breakfast: Java Kai
  • Hiked to the Ho’opi’i falls
    • Really neat area. There were a few tricky parts of the trail, and it was a bit muddy, but doable!
  • Wandered around Kapa’a
  • Ono Ono Shave Ice
  • Late Lunch / Early Dinner: Shrimp Station
  • Booked some more Australia New Zealand things for the rest of our trip

Day 7: 

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Saiva Siddhanta Church and Hindu Monastery
  • Breakfast: Java Kai
  • Saiva Siddantha Hindu Monastery
    • Serene and peaceful place with beautiful grounds and views. They are open between 10:45 a.m. and noon for visitors not participating in their worship. There is more information on dress code and what to expect on their website.
  • Lunch: Hamura Saimin
    • Hole in the wall restaurant with great Saimin (noodle soup inspired by Japanese ramen, Chinese mein, and Filipino pancit). They make a mean Lilikoi Chiffon Pie! Cash only.
  • Spouting Horn visit 2 (less impressive spouting this time)
  • The Fresh Shave – I think we tried all of their flavors but the coffee flavors! (Ask them about their secret menu)
  • Explored gardens near the Grand Hyatt – Koloa
  • Dinner: Hemingway Art Café

Day 8: 

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Kapa’a Beach Park
  • Breakfast: Java Kai
  • Packing
  • Walked along the beach and shops in Kapa’a
  • Tested out some Ukuleles
  • Wailua Shave Ice
  • Afternoon flight to Honolulu!

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