After our honeymoon, we agreed that every year we would try to plan a trip for our anniversary. For our 1st and 2nd anniversaries we went to South Lake Tahoe to my company cabin. On our 3rd anniversary this past August, we had saved up enough Hawaiian Miles and money to make a return to trip Hawaii to spend one week in Kauai. We had honeymooned on Maui, but always longed to visit the rugged coastline of Hawaii’s oldest island, Kauai.
Kauai is known for it’s lush tropical landscape and has been coined the garden isle. It has dramatic coastlines of the Na Pali coast, the winding Wailua River, the impressive Waimea Canyon, and many beautiful beaches like Poipu Beach. Kauai is more secluded, natural, and quiet than some of the other Hawaiian islands, and my absolute favorite island. Here is how we spent our 1 week on Kauai. Hope you enjoy our Kauai itinerary!
Started with a morning flight out of SMF to HNL then a connecting flight to LIH. Upon arrival we grabbed our bags and a rental car to head out to Poipu. After picking up a few necessities and settling into our condo at Poipu Kapili, it was time for a sunset stroll and dinner at Keoki’s Paradise just down the street. Check out our review of Poipu Kapili.
We wanted to start our trip with a grand tour covering the entire island, so we booked a doors off helicopter tour of Kauai with Mauna Loa Helicopters. So amazing and a must do! After the tour we grabbed a quick lunch and drove a short distance to check out Wailua Falls. Then it was off to Lydgate Park for a swim with the fishes before going to see another waterfall, Opaekaa Falls. I just love how easy it is in Hawaii to see such beautiful waterfalls! Finally we grabbed some shave ice at Ono Ono Shave Ice and back to the condo for a couple of drinks and dinner.
We spent our third day in Kauai checking out the north shore of the island. Starting the day we drove out to the furthest point, Ke’e Beach. Unfortunately parking was already too full so we backtracked a little to snorkle and explore Tunnels Beach instead. After that we worked our way back along the coast stopping at Hanalei for lunch at Bubba Burgers. From there we drove to Princeville and found the hike down to Secret Beach. Finally we stopped at the Kilauea Lighthouse before making our way back around for another swim at Lydgate Park then headed back home for the night.
Next on our Kauai itinerary, we stayed on the south shore to explore near our condo and Poipu Beach. There was a marathon right on the street in front of us, so moving the car was out. It was nice to have a more relaxing day with less on our agenda. We walked along the beach starting at the condo and ending at Brennecke’s Beach. After that we walked over to Puka Dog for lunch, enjoyed some time at our pool, watched the sunset and had a great dinner at Josselin’s Tapas Bar.
On day 5, we headed to the West Side of Kauai, with the first stop at Waimea Canyon. It was fun to see the canyon from the air on the helicopter tour and then again from the ground. After soaking in the epic beauty, we drove along the coast to view the gorgeous beaches of the Polihale State Park. It was the warmest day of the year and we were already sun beat from the last few days. So instead of lounging on the beaches all afternoon, we went to explore the tiny town of Hanapepe and take a walk on the Swinging Bridge. Finally it was time to take our late afternoon boat tour of the Na Pali Coast with Na Pali Experience. This was one of the major highlights of our trip, seeing the rugged coastline up close, spotting dolphins and enjoying an intimate boat tour with only 2 other couples and the boat captain. After returning to the dock we grabbed a bite at the Kauai Island Brewery & Grill before heading back home.
For our last full day in Kauai we booked a kayak excursion on the Wailua River with the Kayak Wailua group. It was an amazing experience, kayaking along the river, taking a fun little hike through the tropical forest that ends at a waterfall to take a dip under. Then hiking back out and paddling along to the river to the drop in spot. On our way back from the excursion we made a detour to see the Mennehune Fish Pond and then hopped over to the Nani Moon Meadery in Kapaa to try out the honey wine. After enjoying our last sunset of the trip, had a delicious dinner at Merriman’s Gormet Pizza & Burgers and packed up for our departure the following day.
After an amazing trip and a packed one week itinerary for Kauai, it was time to leave mid morning to fly home and return to the real world. Kauai, we hope to see you again soon!