Heading to Kauai and I would love some tips on the best activities, adventures, places to shop, dining and beaches. We really like to try a mix of tourist must-do's and hidden gems. I would love any tips or suggestions. We do have a rental car and we are staying in Poipu.
Kauai is geared more towards planting your butt in the sand with an umbrella drink rather than a lot of activity. It's the chill island of the primary ones to visit. If you're looking for adventure, honestly my recommendation is to island hop to Maui for a day. That said, there's some ok scuba diving in Kauai and no shortage of helicopter tours or hiking excursions
Go for a hike in the big canyon on the dry side of the island. It's really amazing. As is the Na Pali (sp) coast. Kauai is a great place for long rugged hikes. Also a fun place to go wild boar hunting.
We stayed here for a week. We were in Princeville but traveled the entire island while there. We did drinks at the St. Regis- expensive but worth it for the view! We also dined at Roy's original restaurant- it's on a golf course and seems out of place- but amazing- we went twice!
Other destinations- Waimea Canyon, helicopter ride that shows you the waterfalls from Jurassic Park, Kilauea Point Lighthouse, Shrimp Station in Waimea, Na Pali Explorer - tour via life boat to see the famous Napali Coast (included lunch and opportunity to snorkel), Kilauea Fish Market & Spouting Horn!
We noticed a lot of places closed down at 9 or 10pm and there wasn't much night life.
+1 Kristin and things closing down at 9:00. A lot of restaurants close around then so you probably want to plan your meals accordingly. We usually end up getting a place where we can cook since you can get really nice ingredients at the farmers markets and local stores(Costo, Safeway etc.)
Also, the sun drops like a rock around 6:30 which can be a little startling.
Drive along the south shore as far as you can west, through the cane fields and pot holes, and you will find the most wonderful beach at the very end of the Na'Pali Coast. Rental car agencies will tell you not to go there, but f them and go, you won't regret it.
Skip the coffee plantation tour. Apparently, Kauai coffee isn't up to the snuff of what's coming out from the other islands. I've had my share of that bean. Though it beats canned grind, it is still the least of the Island beans.
Definitely Waimea canyon. It's a beautiful hike and you'll be able to hit the Shrimp Station for some lunch on the way back. I'd try either a hike or helicopter tour of the Na'Pali Coast. That's allegedly where they filmed the opening sequence in Jurassic Park. We tried hiking it while we were there, but the trail was washed out because of heavy rains. Do it if you can.
1. Go plantation tubing (its sorta pricey but super fun) kauaibackcountry.com/tub… 2. Eat box lunch from Po's Kitchen 3. Waimea Canyon 4. Rum tasting at Koloa Rum Co. 5. Peruse the soap shops at Poipu 6. Eat malasadas - best place is the dude that sells them in front of the K-mart