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First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Brea, California
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First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Hello!

We'll be visiting Kauai for the first time next week but we'll only be staying for 4 days (& 3 nights).

I haven't had a whole lot of time to research & plan the activities and am desperate for some advise so we will see the best of Kauai during our short stay.

We have 3 teenage kids (15,17 & 19) and was thinking of going to Poipu beach for snorkeling, visit Waimea Caynon, do ziplining, and maybe schedule helicopter tour.

Are there any "must do or must see" items that I can squeeze in our short stay?

When will be good time to these activities? Any advise will greatly be appreciated!

Thank you in advance!!!

California
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1. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Next week and you don't know what you are doing? Oh my!

Have you purchased a guidebook? That would be smart so you can be smart in your planning. Where are you staying?

1. Ziplining will be lots of fun for the kids. Book it now. Depending on where you are staying will dictate which company to use. Outfitters if in Poipu and Princeville Ranch Adventure if on the North Shore.

2. A helicopter tour is nice but $$$$. I would consider Wings Over Kauai. Your entire family could rent their larger airplane and have the entire thing to yourselves and its a lot less expensive than 5 people taking a copter and you see the same thing, just not quite as upfront. Book that the first day of your trip so if the weather is crappy, you can reschedule and you also get an overview of the island. If you do this, you might not need a visit to the canyon. If you had an extra day I would do it, but you don't and the chance it will be cloudy are pretty great.

3. I would take a drive to the North Shore, check out the gorgeous views and maybe have the kids take a surf lesson in Hanalei Bay. Not seeing this area of the island would be a shame. Have lunch at Tahiti Nui or Mediterreanean Gourmet.

4. The only snorkeling will be on the South side.

For such a short stay you need to be very organized and keep the driving to a minimum. No late sleepers for this fast and furious trip.

Have fun.

LA
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2. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Fast and furious is right.

Take a deep breath and allow yourself to enjoy.

Life is not one paid activity after another.

It is time spend together doing the little things.

Santa Rosa...
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3. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Agree with Pareo. There are many "activities" to enjoy that aren't the high-priced and reservations ones. YOu only have 3 days so I'd limit it to one expensive paid activity and I'd make that either a helicopter tour or a Napali boat cruise . You can't leave without seeing the pali and in my opinion a boat cruise is the best way. Catch the early a.m. tour and you still have time after that to visit Waimea Canyon. Stop in Hanapepe on the way back and pick up a print or two at the wonderful galleries there.

So there you go, that's one of your 3 days right there. That leaves you only 2 days. I'd take one of those days and hit the road to the north shore. Lots to see along the way. Visit Hanalei, go to the end of the road at Ke'e Beach for some snorkeling. Weather permitting, stop at another beach along the way. Maybe hit up Hanalei Bay and visit the part of the beach where the pier is with beautiful scenes of Bali Hai beyond it. Have lunch or do some shopping in Hanalei. . Check out the waterfalls on the east shore while driving north. The key is picking up a good guidebook and looking at all of your options for things to see and do on the north shore . And all of these things are free and un-scheduled activities, do at your own pace activities.

That gives you one day only left. Sounds like you're staying in Poipu? If so, stick around there and check out Poipu Beach , snorkel at Lawai Beach (the best), visit the beautiful Mahaulepu coastline with Gillin's Beach (just a 20 minute bumpy drive past the Hyatt). End up the day with dining at one of the great restaurants in Poipu.

Expensive tours aren't the only way to see Kauai and they're not even the best. There once was a time when these "activities" didn't exist but that didn't deter anyone (other than helicpter and boat cruises). Don't load up your very short stay with tour commitments.

California
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4. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

I doubt there will be any snorkeling at Ke'e Beach next week. For your North Shore day, how about dropping the kiddos off at ziplining at Princeville Ranch Adventures (call and make a resv for the 11 o clock tour, mom and dad can keep driving to the end of the road, stopping at various beaches and having lunch while the teens enjoy the zip adventure. Its maybe 4 hours? It will save you two zipline tickets.

Brea, California
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5. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Thank you so much for all your valuable advise!

We're staying at Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort in Kapaa.

I bought the "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed" and have been reading, but there's just so much information! :-) I also read that there's "traffic" around Kapaa where we're staying.

I usually don't like to "not plan ahead", but this was a last minute decision. We're arriving around noon on Sunday and will be taking a red-eye flight Wednesday night.

I will keep studying more.

California
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6. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

WBR is in the middle of the island in a town called Kapaa. Yes it is busy with traffic and sometimes it takes 20 minutes to get 1 mile. Your teens should enjoy the pool, but please be very careful out in the ocean behind the hotel. It is seriously dangerous, especially this time of the year. Its a nice place to stay when you only have a few days on the island.

Santa Rosa...
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7. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

You're right, jebett. Probably no snorkeling at Ke'e at this time. I still say it's a drive that shouldn't be missed though. I'm sure you'd agree the drive from Hanalei on to the end is unique and the likes of which is nowhere else on the island.

Hannah, so you're staying in Kapaa. So figure a half hour to Hanalei and at least an hour to Poipu. Since most of what you'll probably want to see and do, beaches too, is out of this area you could easily find yourself spending a lot of time in the car. So it's important to consolidate your sightseeing by dedicating entire days to either north shore or the south/ west shores. Avoid duplicating your driving.

Edited: 17 December 2013, 22:47
California
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8. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

Kapaa to Hanalei will be more than a half hour but yes it shouldn't be missed.

9. Re: First time visiting Kauai but only staying for 4 days

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