Kauai, known as the Garden Island because of its lush tropical climate, is a playground for DINKs who want to get off the beaten path.
Because Kauai is the least traveled island, you can easily live like a local, by staying in a condo or rental from AirBNB or VRBO. We stayed here and it was great! (http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/45...) You can also save a lot of money this way with a ton of advantages like washer/dryer, full kitchen, and local advice on what to do and where to go from the owner or neighbors.
We had an amazing time in Kauai and hope you enjoy this itinerary as it has been fully tested by us DINKs. Aloha!
A great itinerary in Kauai for 5 Days looks like this:
Day 1: A drive through the canyon
1. Daytime Drive: As long as it is daylight a great place to start is a drive up to Waimea Canyon. http://www.gohawaii.com/kauai/... There are amazing overlooks between mile marker 10 and 11, then 13 and 14. Keep going all the way to the end of the road for more amazing views.
2. Side Activity: On the way, you can veer off and hit Kauai Coffee company http://18.104.22.168/index.php..., with a 20 minute self-guided tour and coffee tasting. You will see the signs for it off of the main road Hwy 50.
3. For Dinner, check out the Hukilau Lanai http://www.hukilaukauai.com/, they have amazing Pupus, traditional Island fare and drinks, the mixed grill was delish.
Day 2: Hiking - Wear Yourselves out before the rest of the relaxing week.
1. Breakfast: Passion bakery and Café http://www.kinipopovillage.com... in Wailua Bay – fantastic croscones and eggwhiches. They will also make sandwiches for you to take on your hike.
2. Hike: The hike to Hanakapi`ai beach and falls http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/h.... There are two hikes, 2 miles each. The first hike takes you to a beautiful beach and the second takes you to an amazing falls with a massive swimming hole inside of a 400 foot cave. It is exhausting but worth the hike. It takes at least 7 hours to complete, and when you get back, you will be exhausted, ready for the fresh coconut water from the local that awaits at the end.
3. Dinner: On the way back down the coast, check out Dolphin Sushi Restaurant http://www.hanaleidolphin.com/... (we know, that sounds odd) but they have amazing drinks and fresh catch with nice outdoor seating.
Day 3: Sail the Na Pali Coast
1. Sail Away: Check out Holo Holo Charters, http://www.holoholokauaiboatto... they have a few different options for cruises with snorkel combos and a trip to the forbidden Island of Nehau. The staff is extremely hospitable and they serve breakfast, lunch and all you can drink. When you get to the pier on the way back, you will see Kauai Chocolate company and Red Dirt Shirt store for some fun.
2. Side activity: On the way back to your place from the sail, check out Kauai Kookie Company http://www.kauaikookie.com/ outlet store and bakery. This is where the cookies are made, and tasted. While not too impressed with the place, we later found out the cookies we paid $1.99 for were over $3 a box at the stores. The novelty and the “kookie of the island” made it worth it.
3. Dinner: Josselins Tapas Bar and Grill http://josselins.com/ in Poipu, great island flavor tapas style for sharing multiple flavors.
Day 4: Poipu – Rated One of the Most Beautiful beaches in the US
1. Beachin’ around: Check out Poipu Beach Park http://www.poipubeach.org/, there will be some kids and families there, but it is a nice spot, the beach is divided into two sections, one side for snorkeling and the other for enjoying some waves.
2. Lunchtime: The Beach House http://www.the-beach-house.com/ has one of the most incredible views, and lunch here is less expensive than the sunset dinner, besides, dinner tonight should consist of a Luau! On the way back from lunch, check out the Sprouting Horn http://www.hawaiiweb.com/kauai..., and go offroad a bit to Malehapu beach http://www.poipubeach.org/beac....
3. Dinner & Hula: The Smith Family Luau http://www.smithskauai.com/lua... has been happening for over a century, and the family runs the whole thing, with a very well planned tour, dinner and a show. There will be families there with kiddos, but you have to go for the experience. Sit towards the front and you will not even notice.
Day 5: Catching up on the last day
1. Breakfast: For an amazing island breakfast, check out the Kountry Kitchen http://www.yelp.com/biz/kountr..., the name covers the large portions, but not the island flare of the meals. Enjoy macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup. No calorie counting here.
2. Side activity 1: Drive up to Wailua falls http://www.hawaiiweb.com/kauai..., it is another majestic beauty, a nice drive, and a pretty easy one.
3. Side Activity 2: Go visit the Smiths again, for $20 you can take an hour riverboat tour into the fern grotto. It is a quick relaxing ride.
4. Lunch: Mermaids Café http://www.mermaidskauai.com/M... is a walk up taco stand serving delicious organic fish tacos and rice dishes. It is located in Kapaa, a quaint town with fun shopping and galleries to walk around and check out.
5. Evening: Before dinner go check out a couple other beaches that you missed along the road before enjoying dinner at Café Coco http://www.restauranteur.com/c.... It is a cute outdoor place serving local organic meals. (reminder BYOB)
We only included the special things that we loved about our trip, any couple can take this entire itinerary from day to day and you will be thrilled with all of these exciting adventures! We hope you enjoy your trip – Aloha!
A few reminders about Kauai:
•Most places close at 9 pm. Don’t get stuck trying to do a late dinner or you will be left with no options.
•There is some rush hour traffic. With one lane around the island, this is to be expected. Make sure you leave for flights and excursions on time.
•The sun is extra hot, SPF 50 is recommended for all skin types. Don’t worry, you will still get a tan.
•You will need a rental car to get around, when you do, make sure to turn the tunes to the “Surf 95.9 station” where you will hear island hits while on your drive for some extra local culture.
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