Getting ready to spend memorial day weekend on Kauai and looking for some must see/do/eat Ideas. I will have about 2.5 days there which isn't a lot. It'll be my first trip to the island! Plus I'm going solo. Anything is appreciated.
Kaua'i is definitely my favourite island and 2.5 days is not really much to enjoy the island. But the size of island is manageable and will allow you to do and enjoy various things. The Island has many beaches and every and each is somehow different and has its magic. When it comes to ocean, north shore tends to be more calm in summer, south shore in winter. So adjust your activities accordingly.
I don't really know what you like and prefer to do, but here is a list of some cool stuff you might enjoy in a relatively short time you have:
Hope that helps, enjoy your trip!
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With only 2.5 days, you'll end up with so many ideas and not near enough time to do them all. So I'd recommend planning for blocks of time and doing a few things that will really introduce you to Kauai. If you can, split your stay between the west side of the island and the east (or north) so you can minimize your driving times.
Recommend staying near Kekaha the first night. If you're getting there in the afternoon, head out to Polihale Beach and spend an hour or so walking along this incredible place. You can watch a great sunset there, or my recommendation is to leave before sunset and go to Kekaha Beach. There's something about the angle of the beach at Kekaha Beach. Here's a pic that took on one of my solo stays in kauai.Kekaha and the ocean spray that creates some really incredible sunsets
Then go into Waimea and have dinner at the Wrangler's Steakhouse. Nice way to end the evening. Go to sleep early and get up early and to to Waimea Canyon. On the way up the canyon, there are 2-3 places where you can pull off to see the canyon. At the end of the road, there's a that leads to the Kalalau lookout. Its a short walk to the look out - amazing view.
I'd plan to leave the West Side before noon. It'll take about 60-90 minutes to get to the East side or North Side around. If you consider yourself a hiker, I'd go straight to Ke' Beach and do the first 2-mile hike of the Kalalau Trail. It'll take a few hours to do the round trip, plus you'll want to spend time on the beach. If you're really not a hiker, there are several places along the north shore worth exploring, like Queen's Bath, Tunnels Beach (snorkeling) and other beaches. Get a guidebook for the location.
In the afternoon, I'd head to Hanalei Bay and do some swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding. You can watch another really nice sunset here, or for something really change of pace, drive to the St. Regis Hotel in Princeville. It's a beautiful hotel and the custom is for the crowd to gather on the patio before sunset for drinks. A different perspective of the sunset, really nice.
For dinner, either Hanalei or Kapaa, depending on where you are staying. I'd recommend at least stopping off at the Tahiti Nui in Hanalei for a drink just to see one of the oldest bars in Kauai (may be the oldest). They have people still doing native dances there. Great place to visit.
On your last morning, get up before the sunrises and to to Kapaa for the sunrise. best if you find the coconut trees that really frame the sun when it rises. If you have time, rent a bike and ride along the east side bike trail until you have to leave.
Hope this helps. Have fun, you will totally enjoy Kauai!
I cant disagree with any of the previous posts but would like to quickly add one thing:
Kauai Eco Sporting Clays is a must see and do. The owner Ben is a very entertaining and patient host that really took time to teach my kids and I proper gun safety and skills. I think he is genuinely more excited than you are when you hit a target
The picture and the end of the lesson is hanging on my wall.
before seeing Ben make sure to hit Small Town Coffee Co. for a Bulletproof coffee that'll keep you going all day.
Beautiful! Loved Kauai!
Make sure to drive up to the Waimea Canyon. There are several look-outs and the views are absolutely breath-taking. There are also 2 really lovely waterfalls, that you can drive up to the viewing areas: Wailua (featured in Fantasy Island) and Opaeka'a Falls. Both are very close to each other, near Lihue or Kapaa. There is also a lovely river here (Wailua River) that you can rent kayaks or paddle boards.
If you are staying on the south side, make sure to check out Puka Dog Hawaiian Style Hot Dogs. If you are near Kapaa or the north shore, try Chicken in a Barrel (2 locations). In Kapaa, there are several food trucks-we really enjoyed BE Food Truck Café! Make sure to try to cornbread and jalpeno waffles and chicken. Also loved Olympic Cafe-huge menu, good food and an excellent bloody mary bar.
On the north shore, we had an excellent meal and really enjoyed the people/décor/drinks at Tahiti Nui!
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