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Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Chicago, IL
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Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Greetings Kauai forum readers and posters!!

I'm a long-time forum reader, first time poster. I'm getting married in two weeks and my wife and I will be visiting Kauai for our honeymoon immediately afterwards. We’ll be staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.

We have a whole list of things we’d like to do in that time, but my Google map of Kauai only allows me to plan so much. Would someone mind commenting on how to best organize some of our hopeful activities?

We’re also foodies and would love to live large and hit some of the restaurants garnering rave reviews from posters here.

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

Day 1 – arrive 7:30 pm, check into Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Day 2 - Jack Harter Helicopter Tour AM, ? PM

Day 3 - Waimea Canyon AM, ? PM

Day 4 – North Shore Day #1 – Princeville Zip n’ Dip or Jungle Valley adventure, Dinner at Mediterranean Gourmet

Day 5 – ? AM, ? PM

Day 6 – North Shore Day #2 (Limahuli Botanic Garden and/or Kilauea Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge, 5:30 dinner at Café Hanalei)

Day 7 – Spend day at resort (?), fly out at 9:30 pm

Must do things:

Fern Grotto

Sunset Cruise

Other things we’d love to do:

Kayak (might do the Jungle Valley Adventure to combine zip-lining or do the Secret Falls Wailua Kayak adventure).

Sunset Cruise

Smith’s Luau

Dinner places we'd LOVE to visit:

The Beach House

Duke’s

Gaylord’s

Dondero’s

Can this be done in 6 days? Is there something here I should pass on? Are there things that can be done on the same day? Any suggestions, criticisms or comments are most welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Billy Baloney

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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304 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

The Hyatt is beautiful so you may want to spend Day 5 hanging out there. The hike beginning at Shipwreck Beach is very beautiful and easy. It meanders alond sandstone cliffs up to the Poipu Bay Golf Course. Surf lessons from Nuikomo's is a possiblility which is 90 minutes long.

Comments on other days:

-We went to Waimea Canyon in the AM and had a lot of clouds/fog at the Kalalau Lookout. We waited for an hour but never had a clear view. Finally left. I heard it's clearer in the PM.

-Ke'e beach, on the north shore, should not be missed. If you're a hiker, you should at least hike to the first lookout of the Kalalau Trail(strenuous hike about 1/2 mile round trip)then snorkel at Ke'e.

- Hanalei Bay is the most picturesque beach I have ever seen. To catch a sunset at Hanalei pier would not be forgotten,

- Remember on your last day that swimming at Poipu is smart as you can use there facilites to clean up befor leaving the south shore for the airport.

- Our Last Supper is at Duke's each time we vist as it's close to the airport. If you have extra time after dinner you can shop in the nearby shops or take one last beach walk on Kalapaki Bay.

Have a great honeymoon!

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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20,371 posts
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2. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

I'd probably go to the north shore on day 3 and day 6, so that you are not driving that distance, so close together.

You could drive Waimea Canyon after an early helicopter flight out of Port Allen on Inter-Island.

Spend day 5 at the resort in the morning, and go on the sunset cruise in the afternoon. Make spa appointments at Anara Spa.

You'll probably hear/see the Hyatt's luau from your balcony. If you are checking in or a Sunday or Thursday you could have room service and watch it from your balcony like many people do.

Dondero's is wonderful. Reserve an outdoor table for your dining experience. If you've been reading this board, then you know to make your sunset seating at the Beach House way in advance too. I'd really recommend Plantation Gardens over Gaylords.

You will have a wonderful honeymoon at the Hyatt.

Ann Arbor, MI
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151 posts
23 reviews
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3. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Well I'll do my best to help! Just got back from Kauai on Thursday. If you want to see the Canyon get there early, early, on a clear day. We made a few friends that went after 11am even and the clouds were rolling in by noon. If ya can get there by 7am and its a nice day you should be fine. We saw the clouds roll in mid-morning again while taking a boat tour of the Napoli Coast...(which I would highly recommend)

We stayed at the Princeville and wanted to see the entire island and really never left the North Shore. I would definelty go to the "end of the road"...If you can do the 2 mile hike to the "private" beach. If not the beach at the end of the road take some time there for sure...it's awesome!

Hanalei Beach and the town are as magical as it gets for me...The Hanalei Gourmet in the "Old School" has great food.

Enjoy the drive and take your time when visiting the north shore....To me it truly is Kauai.

California
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37,031 posts
120 reviews
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4. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

You will love the Hyatt and will want to spend more time just hanging around there, first of all.

I wouldn't bother with the Fern Grotto. I would do the helicopter for sure the second day,one day at the North Shore, and do make reservations for Beach House. Skip Gaylords. Smith's Luau will give you the scenery you would miss by skipping the Grotto.

As far as your NS day I think you can pack more into that day. The Lighthouse won't take long. I might skip the gardens and spend more time at Hanalei Beach and then do the afternoon zipline. You might not feel like a fancy place to eat after that activity but if you can find a good place to clean up go for it. You have a long drive back to the Hyatt. I might go back east and try Hukilau or go to Dukes. If you are a foodie try Roys.

Just enjoy the resort and all it has to offer.

Have a great trip.

Princeville, Hawaii
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7,081 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

You are going to be awake because of the time change so do the helicopter in the AM. Waimea Canyon is supposed to be better in the AM but look toward the mountains before you get too far an if they are cloudy try another day. If you are leaving in two weeks, I would try to get reservations for the helicopter ride and zips etc, now. I would also suggest you try Plantation Garden for a dinner.

Georgia
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601 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Not sure why the Fern Grotto is a "Must Do" for you. I'd definately skip that.

My advice is to try not to plan things too much. When you're on the island you may just stumble upon something amazing. I'd hate to have to leave it because it's not on the "schedule". Make a reservation for things needed and try to leave the rest open if you can.

Lexington, KY
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218 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

I agree with 'doggy' just relax and go with the flow. enjoy your honeymoon!

Oxnard, California
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8. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

All of us are tempted to pack in as much as possible when we visit Kaua'i. We think we might not make it back, so we just try to do everything we possible can while we're there. This is an easy trap to fall into. Granted, some are not as low maintenance as others and don't mind being on the go frantically their entire visit. My advice for you, however, is to definitely take the advice of the previous posters as to dinner reservations and other activities (helicopter, zipline), but don't try to plan every single day of your visit beyond that. I find myself at times trying to make a mental list of places I'll want to visit on each day of my visit, and almost always end up doing other things. This is very easy to do once you're there and you see all the different things you can do and places you can go. I'm not a betting person, but if I were I would bet that you will love Kaua'i. If that's the case, you will be back to see whatever you missed on this visit...your honeymoon!

Chicago, IL
2 posts
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9. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Thanks for the advice, folks. My soon-to-be-wife wants to see the Fern Grotto, so I put that as a must-do item . I admit having fallen into the pack-it-all-in trap, but I'm aware of it. Is that the first sign - acceptance that I have a problem? :)

In any case, thanks for all the posts; they were very helpful (and feel free to keep posting, readers in the background!)

Thanks,

B.B.

Santa Rosa...
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16,902 posts
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10. Re: Itinerary Crisis - please help!

Going to be frank here but my opinion is your only itinerary crisis is that you are shooting for too much of an itinerary. I know you've already heard but have to add my vote for that and encourage you to enjoy more downtime and the beauty of the Hyatt and your local environs. After all, you are choosing to stay and pay for a place that many people have a hard time tearing themselves away from at all. I'd shoot for more of a compromise personally. I note you don't show downtime at the resort until the 5th day.

Coming all the way from the Midwest, landing in the evening and scheduling a helicopter ride first thing in the morning is pushing it maybe. How about settling in on your first morning and enjoying the Hyatt and maybe doing the copter ride later in the afternoon even? And I agree with others on the Fern Grotto, sorry to say. Maybe your wife will become distracted by the real beauty of the island and you'll get out of that one. hehe. How about your trip to the north shore being somethjing simple versus another organized thing (ziplining). Two days on the north shore is not enough to sample all the beautiful beaches and just take in the scenery and the atmosphere of Hanalei Town.

To combine things better, I'd do Smith's on the way back from one of your two days on the north shore.

This would be a lot of organized paid activities, for my tastes, but whatever rocks your boat. Since you'll be at the Hyatt make sure you make time to drive over to Mahaulepu Beach, try some snorkeling at Poipu or Lawai Beach, try to get to Polihale or Kekaha Beach for a sunset too. Check out the towns of Hanapepe and Waimea on the west side. Some great little finds there in eateries and shops. (especially art shops in Hanapepe).