Second stop: Kauai
A sneak peek into what the Wanderable experts think are the top 5 experiences not to miss while honeymooning in Kauai!
Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is commonly known as the “Garden Isle.” The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, it’s known for its tropical rainforests, forking rivers, and cascading waterfalls. It’s definitely an island well suited for couples that love outdoor excursions and adventure.
Visit the Beach: Once you have checked in and gotten situated in your hotel room, visit one of the nearby beaches. Kick off your flip-flops and enjoy the view! Two of our favorite beaches are the sacred and picturesque Maha’ulepu Beach, which is known for it’s stunning views both in the water and out, and Kalapaki Beach, which is frequented by local surfers and is known as a great place to swim. There are many other beaches to explore, each with their own unique features and a wide-range of activities including snorkeling, swimming, lounging, and luaus; there is something for every couple. Make the memory even more special by packing a romantic picnic to enjoy while you’re there.
Kayaking: One of Kauai’s greatest and most unique draws is that it’s home to the only navigable rivers in Hawaii, which makes kayaking an extremely popular activity. There are many rivers to paddle down, but we recommend the Wailua River for its diverse and breathtaking views. In a single trip, you can see Opaekaa Falls, the famous Sleeping Giant in the Nounou Mountains, and the romantic Fern Grotto… just to name a few. If you are lucky, they might even be playing traditional Hawaiian music in the Grotto.
Waimea Canyon: Spend at least a full day exploring Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park. Waimea Canyon will intoxicate the senses; known as the Grand Canyon of the pacific, this stretch of valley is a smaller and much greener version of the landlocked state park. With breathtaking views and incredible trails, this adventure definitely ranks high on our list. The canyon is protected by the Koke’e State Park, which encompasses 4,345 acres of land and has 45 miles of trails that run through the canyon and the nearby Alakai Swamp. It’s definitely a great stop for adventurists. Frommer’s has a wonderful guide with info about the area and how to best plan your day there.
Helicopter Tour: No trip to Kauai would be complete without a helicopter tour! There are so many gorgeous sites to see and many are only accessible by air. Ninety percent of Kauai’s beautiful waterfalls cannot be seen any other way. Highlights of the most common helicopter tours include Nawlliwili Harbor, the Menehune Fish Pond, Jurassic Park Falls, the Hanapepe Valley, Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, the Hanalei Valley, Mt. Waialeale, and Wailua Falls. It is an experience you will never forget.
Zip-lining: There’s nothing quite like gliding above a jungle-canopy 50-80 feet above the ground. For a rush of adrenaline and some more unforgettable views, go on a zip-lining excursion. Zip-lining tours are both informative and fun. Your guides will teach you about the history of the area and the diverse ecosystems that make this island such a unique place.
Don’t forget: Sunscreen! And sports sandals like Keens or Chacos, they might not be cute, but they’re great for any adventure sport you might choose to do.
When to go: Frommer’s has a great guide to find the cheapest times to travel to Kauai. Weather doesn’t change too much, so it’s not as important of a variable.
Where to eat: Enjoy a hearty breakfast and some of the best coffee in the area at Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company.
For lunch, check out the Shrimp Station, if you are in the mood for seafood. Word has it that they serve “The Best Coconut Shrimp on the Planet.”
Finish a perfect day with dinner at Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill.
Common souvenirs: Chocolate covered macadamia nuts, coffee, jewelry, and clothing.
Have you been to Kauai? What are your tips for other Wanderers?
The first Hawaiian Island we featured was Maui… find that post here.