How to Spend 3 Days on Kauai
With three days on Kauai, there’s plenty of time to explore both sides of the island, including Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast, while also relaxing on the beach and enjoying the island’s laid-back coastal towns. Here are few ways to make the most of your three days on Kauai.
Day 1: Exploring the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
Spend your first day on Kauai getting acquainted with island life. Get the lay of the land with a scenic helicopter flight or small plane tour, and soar over the lush green valleys and the dramatic cliffs of the famous Na Pali coastline. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, take a leisurely tour of Waimea Canyon State Park, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and admire landmarks like the Spouting Horn and the historic Koloa Sugar Mill. You can also cruise down the scenic Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, a lush, fern-covered lava cave.
In the evening, dive into traditional Hawaiian culture with a beach luau. Enjoy Hawaiian favorites like roast pig, deep fried mahi mahi, and poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish made from boiled taro root, then enjoy a show of traditional music and dances performed by local artists.
Day 2: Hidden Waterfalls and Tropical Treasures
On your second day, head out for a tropical adventure from Kauai’s South Shore: Book an off-road vehicle tour, and venture deep into Kauai’s tropical interior to see hidden waterfalls and beautiful flora. Tours often include lunch and plenty of time to swim; some will take you to the locations where classic movies like Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed.
In the afternoon, relax at Poipu Beach—the most popular beach on the South Shore—or head to the more remote Polihale Beach. Alternatively, if you want to stay active, opt for a thrilling zipline tour in Poipu, a hike along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, or a visit to the Kauai Coffee Company, the largest producer of coffee beans in the United States.
Day 3: Hanalei Bay and the Na Pali Coast
Spend your final day in Kauai exploring the Na Pali Coast and soaking up the sun at Hanalei Bay and Tunnel Beach. There are several options for exploring the Na Pali Coast, including guided hikes, kayaking adventures, sailing trips, and snorkeling tours. Hanalei Bay is a great place to learn how to surf, and there are also paddle-boarding and kayak tours that set out from the bay and head up the Hanalei River. For snorkeling and scuba tours, head to Tunnel Beach; the nearby Haena Beach Park is ideal for those who just want to swim.
Celebrate your final night in Kauai with a sunset dinner cruise. You’ll enjoy a dinner of traditional Hawaiian specialties while enjoying stunning views of the Na Pali Coast and the sunset over the Pacific.