From: Jess Moss
To: Friend asking what to do with four days on Kauai. (She’s staying at the Marriott in Lihue.)
Date: July 3, 2017
Subject: Hawaiiiiiiiiiii 🐳🌺🌈🌴🏄
So jealous!!! And I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Here are some of my fave things:
(You’re renting a car, right? You need one)
-North Shore: Absolutely beautiful. Spend a day here (or more)! Hanalei Bay is my favorite beach in the world. You can do surfing lessons or stand up paddling here. Makena/Tunnels beach is known for snorkeling.
-By your hotel: the Marriott’s on a little bay that is a good place for stand up paddling. It’s in Lihue so is close to the helicopter trips.
-Helicopter: Def do this – schedule it early in your trip so you can scout out the island and find places you want to go back to – also if weather is bad you have time to resched. If you aren’t too freaked out by heights, do the “doors off” heli – you won’t get reflections in your photos that way. If you do a doors on one, wear dark colors so you don’t reflect in the glass.
-Waimea Canyon: sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the pacific. Really cool and lots of hiking options.
Here’s roughly what I would recommend:
helicopter ride, then check out Poipu on the south shore. Good beach there, you can often see monk seals! Also have some surf schools in the area I think. You drive through a cool tree tunnel to get there. There are a bunch of restaurants at the resorts, and some in Koloa. For nice meals, Beach House is always a top pick for romantic sunset dinners. One of my personal faves is Puka Dog, a Hawaiian hotdog spot that fills your hot dog bun with local fruit relishes and toppings. Soooo good!
Head up to the North Shore for the day. Stop for a pic at Waimea Falls, Kilauea Lighthouse, and the taro fields in Princeville. Head to the end of the road at Kee Beach and hike the first part of the Kalalau Trail (the epic hike you mentioned). I did the 2 mi trek in and back in like 3 hours, I think? It was tough, bring water and a snack. Then you can spend the afternoon in Hanalei or at Hanalei Bay. Hang out on the pier for sunset or head up to the St Regis for a drink at their incredible bar. Lots of cute local spots for dinner, I haven’t been there in a while though so you’re better off asking locally for recos 🙂
(I think this would be Friday). Head out to the west side of the island. Drive up to the Kalalau Lookout in Kokee State Park (where all those famous Hawaii photos are shot). If it’s cloudy be patient, they’ll usually blow through. Then check out Waimea Canyon for a hike. Also out there are some great empty beaches. Polihale is one, kinda tough to get to but it’s huge and deserted. Head into Hanapepe in the evening, they have a Friday night art walk. Alternatively you can go to Port Allen and hop on a sunset sail.
Either go back to a spot on the island you want to spend more time in, relax at the hotel, or check out Kapaa and Wailua on the east side.