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3 days in Kauai

Queenstown, New...
Level Contributor
29 posts
51 reviews
3 days in Kauai

Hi Everyone

My Partner and I arrive in Honolulu on 14th October and fly out again on the 23rd. Originally we were planning to stay the whole time on Oahu - we are now questioning whether its worth flying to Kauai for 3 days during this time. I was also looking at Maui but Kauai seems smaller and I'm hoping a contrast from Oahu.

I'd like to see nice beaches, do some snorkelling/paddleboarding, the canyons - anything else? Alternatively is there a day trip from Oahu that would be better (although I imagine a lot more expensive)?

If you can give me any advise on how we can spend 3 days in Kauai (or should we stay on Oahu) that would be great

Thank You

Jasmine

Big Island, Hawaii
Level Contributor
31,164 posts
1. Re: 3 days in Kauai

So you have nine nights? I would actually look at doing a 5/4 split. Three days is a little short. If it were me I would actually spend four nights on Oahu and five on Kauai, but you could reverse it. There's tons to do on Kauai. Kayaking, hiking, a boat tour of the Na Pali coast, helicopter tours, botanical gardens, beaches...I recommend reading through some trip reports on that forum to get an idea of activities.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
Level Contributor
25,783 posts
59 reviews
2. Re: 3 days in Kauai

I agree with at least a 5/4 split O`ahu/Kaua`i, especially if you plan to do major shopping in Honolulu, as do many visitors from NZ. If not, I'd press on to Kaua`i upon arrival at HNL and spend 5 nights there. Make O`ahu the last part of your stay, as you're likely going to fly home from there.

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
19,091 posts
1 review
3. Re: 3 days in Kauai

Yes, Kauai would be the better contrast to Maui. I also don't believe 3 days is enough and you should split it more evenly but that's just my perspective. What is it about Oahu that made you think to spend your whole time there? Kauai is quite different but maybe it's not the "different" that YOU want more than 3 days of.

Queenstown, New...
Level Contributor
29 posts
51 reviews
4. Re: 3 days in Kauai

I originally thought we would just stay on Oahu so did a lot of research and now there are plenty of things we want to do there. How does this sound as an itinerary:

Day one (Weds) - land at 8.30pm - check in hotel (Waikiki Marina Resort at the Ilikai) and head out for dinner

Day Two (Thurs) - beach/pool/ wander around the city and get our bearings - any evening activities you recommend?

Day 3 (Fri) - Rent car - Wet'n'Wild - my partner loves waterparks and we don't live anywhere near any so thought we'd do this on a weekday when maybe a bit quieter. Fireworks and dinner

Day 4 (Sat) - hanauma bay snorkelling, nearby beaches, Diamond Head Hike - evening in Waikiki

Day 5 (sunday) early flight to Kauai - Free day to explore beaches and area around hotel (no hotel booked)

Day 6 - (Mon) Morning Helicopter Flight to Waimea, coffee plantation,

Day 7 - (tues) Possible boat trip Na Pali Coast

Day 8 - (Wed) any suggestions - maybe tubing or bike ride. Late flight back to Oahu

Day 9 - (thurs) Free day in Waikiki

Day 10 (fri) - last day - shopping

Very keen to hear thoughts on what we might be missing? I'm not too bothered about pearl harbour / historic sights. Also recommendations on best place for laua?

Thanks

Jasmine

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
Level Contributor
25,783 posts
59 reviews
5. Re: 3 days in Kauai

Day 6 - I'm assuming you're taking a helo from Lihu`e. It will land back there, so you're going to have a drive out to the coffee plantation. Unless you're planning to drive the canyon, you might want to combine this with Salt Pond Beach, Lawai Beach for snorkeling, Po`ipu Beach - any of those.

Day 7 - I'd drive up to the north shore, all the way to Ke`e Beach at the end of the road. There are lots of places to stop along the way.

Edited: 8:21 am, September 03, 2015
California
Level Contributor
41,633 posts
130 reviews
6. Re: 3 days in Kauai

If you only have 3 days on Kauai just stay centrally located. I usually am not a fan of staying on the eastside, but for what you want to do it might work. If its in the budget I suggest The Marriott at Kalapaki Beach. You are 5 minutes from the airport but it feels like worlds away. Its easy to get on the highway and head to Pt Allen for a boat trip (Holo Holo or Capt Andys Southern Star are two examples). The tubing adventure is probably 15 minutes from the hotel. Its fun (my kids just did it and loved it) but would that be what I do on the island with 3 days? Nope! Bike riding would be great on the Kapaa bike path. I would take one day and head to the North Shore. If you want something different from being on Oahu, that is the place to visit.

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
19,091 posts
1 review
7. Re: 3 days in Kauai

So you want to explore beaches and that around your hotel on our first day but no hotel booked. I agree with Jebett on the Marriott Kauai Beach Resort in Lihue. It's really the only east shore resort that sits on a swimming beach. Largest pool in Hawaii, plenty of restaurants right in walking distance. Might be a nice place to head back to after running around the island. It would be the most convenient to the helicopter tours which are out of the airport, just 10 minutes away. You can try stand up paddleboarding right there at the Marriott. There is a beach kiosk to rent the equipment. No snorkeling here though.

If you take the helicopter tour and get your fill of Waimea Canyon that way I wouldn't advise driving all the way back west just for Kauai Coffee. You can make it part of a trip to Poipu and the Mahaulepu coastline or the places pzp mentioned but don't spend a lot of time of your short stay just to go to Kauai Coffee. Make the drive more worthwhile. You could snorkel at Poipu Beach Park , freshen up there as much as possible and have dinner at one of the great restaurants in Poipu at Kukuiula Village.

You DO have to set one day aside for the north shore.

8. Re: 3 days in Kauai

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