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Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Los Angeles...
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Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

My wife and I will be arriving at noon on 10/26 and leaving at 6pm on 10/29. Never been to Kauai. We are both active and in our 30's. The only thing I think we're set on is the 2 mile hike from kee beach (forgot the name of the trail). Other than that, everything is still up in the air. Obviously we do not have a lot of time as we're splitting a week between 2 islands. What would you do if you were us?

Thanks!

California
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1. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Where are you staying?

You really have less than 3 days.

You are interested in hiking the Kalalua Trail. In October you need to be concerned with rain. Keep an eye on the forecast and don't go if its been raining really hard or theres flash flood warnings.

I would take a day and visit Waimea Canyon. I would also consider a helicopter ride.

Kayak the Wailua River is fun.

Denver
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for Poipu
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2. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

First I would buy a guidebook. Then I would read it and highlight four or five activities that look good to me.

I can't plan your trip for you because I don't know what kind of activities you like, how much you have budgeted to spend, what part of the island you're staying on, whether you prefer to eat in, try local spots or go high end, etc.

You can read back through recent trip reports to see what others have done and if any of that looks like how you would plan your trip. You can also do a search for "must-sees" or "top 10 list" or what have you.

Plot out your own itinerary and then come back and ask us if it's doable or if we would add/subtract/change.

Oregon
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3. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Where are you staying? I would look at driving to Waimea Canyon, maybe Kayak on Wailua, my wife enjoyed stand-up paddleboards at Hanale. when do you plan beach time. Poipu good place.

California
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4. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Where are you staying? You have lots of choices. Do you want to do excursions like zipping, ATV, horseback riding, tubing, kayaking, etc. Or do you want beach activities--snorkeling, surfing, SUP, or just relaxing on a great beach, etc. Do you have a guidebook?

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Sorry, should have mentioned we're staying in kappa. We're average hard working american so average budget.

California
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6. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Ok then...Kapaa it is!

Day one you get in, rent a car, maybe have lunch at Duke's Barefoot Bar in Kalapaki Bay, walk around the bay, rent a surfboard or SUP and smell the Kauai air, go check into your condo/hotel around 4 and have a nice dinner at Hukilau Lanai that night. If you are up for it, have a few drinks at Trees Lounge and hit the hay early.

Day two you could either drive to the canyon EARLY or go to the trail on the North Shore EARLY depending on weather. To the right of your question is a top question on hiking. Find anything written by Kauaihiker. After a morning at the canyon(if that's the direction you go) drive and check out Poipu Beach. Go snorkeling at Lawaii Beach and bring a change of clothes for dinner down that way. Nice dinner would be Beach House, medium dinner would be Plantation Garden or Keokis.

Day three you can see the part of the island you didn't see before or kayak to Secret Falls along the Wailua River. Head to the airport and come back again when you can do the island justice.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

Kayak up the river and hike to the falls sounds fun! Should we use a tour guide or go on our own?

California
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8. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

http://www.kayakwailua.com/

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60616-d1570…

Edited: 04 September 2013, 05:02
Fort Worth, Texas
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9. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

We're an average family of three with an average income that just completed a one-week stay. Here's what I'd recommend for someone trying to stay on a reasonable budget, yet willing to splurge. You won't be able to do everything, but these'll be some highlights, and a good introduction to the island:

1) You've already indicated a desire to do the Kalalau Trail as far as Hanakapiai Beach. Good call. We didn't do it this time, but we did on an excursion similar in duration to yours about 20 years ago. If you want to extend the trip, it's another two miles inland to Hanakapai Falls. Back a lunch, bring a lot of water, and make it a day.

2) Pack a lunch, take lots of water, and take another day and explore Waimea Canyon. We did the Canyon Trail to and from Waipoo Falls in less than four hours. The view from the falls is spectacular. There are plenty of other trails in the Canyon and Koke'e State Park. The Honopu Ridge Trail mentioned in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook affords a great view of the Honopu Valley at trail's end, but it's not well-maintained, there's a 1,500-foot elevation change (according to a guy I met on the trail with a GPS), the footing is very precarious on the downslopes, and there's no shady place to enjoy the view at the end. Ultimately, I didn't think the payoff was worth the effort, though others may disagree. There are several other ridge trails, but I have no personal knowledge of any of them. WARNING: The lodge at Koke'e State Park closes at 4. If you emerge from a hike afterwards and have run out of water, your only recourse will be to give a $1 per bottle donation to the nice lady at the museum, or wait until you get back down to Waimea and find a place to get something to drink.

3) In addition to hiking the Na Pali Coast and looking down on it from the end of the Waimea Canyon road,, I'd recommend a cruise. Seeing the coast from a boat is truly awe-inspiring. We chose Na Pali Sea Breeze and were happy with our cruise.

4) Much of Kauai can only be seen from the air, and helicopter tours are very popular. We did not take one so I offer no comments on whom to choose. What my son and I did instead was opt for a one-hour flight over Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, and the west and south shores in a powered hang glider. The outfitter is called Birds in Paradise, and it operates out of Port Allen. It was by far the coolest thing we did on the island. You see more in a helicopter because it moves faster, but the cockpit of a hang-glider is so much more intimate.

Places for meals that won't bust a budget: Korean Barbecue on the main road in Kapaa; Garden Island Barbecue in Lihue; and Lihue Barbecue Inn and Hamura's Saimin, within a block of each other in Lihue. On your way to Waimea Canyon, a good breakfast can be had at the Kalaheo Coffe Co. (apologies if I've not gotten the names exactly right; I'm working from memory).

Two fairly low-cost places you absolutely must try: Puka Dogs in Poipu and Chicken in a Barrel in Kapa'a (stick with the chicken; don't bother with the ribs). And the UKG wasn't wrong when it said that the ice cream at Tropical Dreams in Kapa'a was the best.

This will get you started. Look all these up in the UKG and read about them here on Tripadvisor for more dvoice.

Soddy Daisy...
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10. Re: Kauai gurus, how would you plan our trip?

I would consider the Na Pali coast a must do. Three possibilities exist: helicopter or fixed wing (Wings Over Kauai) over flight or boat tour. Your time is short. You probably don't have a half day on a boat. Take Wings Over Kauai. Half the price of a helicopter and very, very good. Try to do this on landing before you leave the airport. This will orient you to the island and make you wish you were staying much longer. Try to spend days 2 & 3 (your full days) on the North shore including your Kalalau Trail hike to Hanakapiai Beach. Day 4 (departure day) get up early and check out Waimea Canyon and return taking in South Shore sights, Spouting Horn, Poipu Beach, and Shipwreck Beach. Best food options from Kapaa are Hukilau Lanai and Roy's at the Princeville Golf Course.