Visit The Spouting Horn Blowhole
Spouting Horn Park is worth a quick stop to see the blowhole of water spouting out from the rocks in the ocean. The sound is otherworldly, like an enraged Hawaiian god.
This was my favourite running destination from Kiahuna following the coast and there are toilets and a water fountain at the blowhole.
What Do I Need To Know Before Going To Kauai
Cheap Places To Stay In Kauai Faqs
Whats the cheapest way to visit Kauai?
Its always cheapest to fly to Kauai during shoulder season, which runs mid-April to June in the Spring and September to mid-December in the Fall. Staying in a budget hotel or vacation rental, cooking your own meals, and taking advantage of all the free things to do on Kauai will also save you money. Plus there are tons of cool things to do on Kauai for under $10!
What is the cheapest area of Kauai to stay?
The East Shore is definitely the cheapest side of Kauai and youll have the largest range of budget Kauai hotel options. Plus, its centrally located and you can easily access grocery stores and Costco.
How many days do I need in Kauai?
If you are island hopping, many people choose to spend 4-5 days on Kauai. However, many hotels offer discounts or free nights if you stay at least 5-7 days on Kauai.
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Things To See And Do In Poipu
Spend a day in Poipu Beach park swimming, snorkeling, or having a picnic.
Go sailing, snorkeling or paddleboarding along one of the two beaches in the area.
Get your adrenalin pumping on the Koloa Zipline Adventure.
Check out the areas history at the Koloa Sugar Mill.
Marvel at the views at the Sprouting Horn lookout.
Take lots of photos of the beautiful sandstone sea cliffs of the Makawehi Lithified Cliffs.
South Shore Of Kauai:
Brenneckes Beach Just across from Nihi Kai Villas honu can often be seen from the shore as they feed on greens along the lava shelf.
Poipu Beach Great for kids because even waders can spot sea turtles hanging in the reef shallows while snorkelers can see them swimming in the clearer depths.
Kuhio Shores Though a little rocky at the entrance to the water, the bay just east of Kuhio Shores is a favorite sea turtle hang out. Honu visit this spot year round to snack on the plants growing among the rocks.
Kipu Kai Beach This beautiful crescent-shaped beach boasts clear waters ideal for seeing and swimming near sea turtles. Scenes from the movie The Descendants were filmed here.
Koloa Landing Straight out in front of Koloa Landing Resort is one of the best places to snorkel with sea turtles in Kauai. Guests can even grab snorkel gear from the resort or get hooked up with a local guide.
Lawai Swim with Kauai sea turtles in the turquoise waters off Lawai Beach just next to the Beach House restaurant.
Mahaulepu This remote, more sparsely populated beach at the end of the Heritage hike offers twinkling blue waters ideal for snorkeling with sea turtles. Paradise. . .
Spouting Horn Kauai turtles are often seen congregating just below the lookout to the right of the horn in a little cove filled with rocks and delicious sea grasses.
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What To Be Careful About
While most of the island is super safe and is really easy to travel through like any other island in Hawaii, there are definitely a few things I want to call out as you’re preparing for your trip.
- Try not to get the red sand/mud on your shirt as that stuff is really hard to get off fabric.
- Follow the signage for hike trails. If a trail is closed because of erosion, don’t go around it thinking you’ll be okay.
- Take an abundance of caution into the hike trails of Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Parks. Due to unstable soil and steep drop offs, make sure you’re always in a safe position. If it’s been raining, pay even more attention to this.
- Finding a hiking stick on your hike may come in handy.
- Reservations are required for the Kalalau Trail if you missed that earlier. Make sure you book ahead of schedule. Reservations may be made up to 14 days in advance, and no later than the day before your visit.
- When travelling during rainy season, keep an eye out for heavy rainfall as this may flood the connecting bride on the highway to the town of Hanalei. If heavy rain is projected, make sure you’re on the right side of the bridge so you’re not stuck.
- When looking at the weather forecast, you’ll most likely always see some sort of rain forecasted but don’t worry, the rain is usually scattered and comes in bunches and then disappears. Rain will also sometimes only hit certain parts of the island.
Lihue Where To Stay In Kauai On A Budget
Lihue is the second largest town on the island and the best neighborhood in Kauai to stay in if youre on a tighter budget. Therefore, this is the part of the island we recommend all of the Hawaii backpackers to stay at. It sees fewer tourists than other areas but still contains enough amenities like shops and restaurants to be a convenient place to stay. Lihue is a more local area. It was founded by sugar planters and remains a fairly small, simple place where the residents go about their daily lives.
Its also the county seat of Kauai and contains several government establishments. What this means is that Lihue isnt as picturesque or romantic as other towns, but it is convenient to other areas and offers cheaper accommodation.
Thats not to say that Lihue is completely boring or devoid of charm. You can pick up some amazing, bargain souvenirs in this town as well as cheap but delicious places to have a meal. And one of the islands most beautiful beaches, Kalapaki Beach, is close by as well.
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Where To Stay On Kauai In October
Kauai do you recommend we stay at in October ?
We prefer staying at a condo/cottagea on or near a beach.
Activities we enjoy include: snorkeling, kayaking, hiking. We love the outdoors and prefer quiet areas over crowded places.
North seems very appealing, but will we run into lots of rain at that time of year?
Are there parts of the island that are safest for swimming at that time of year?
Thanks for your help!
I was on the North Shore last October and no rain but cool at night.
Aloha from Kaua’i!
If you want to stay on the North Shore, I wouldn’t avoid it in October due to rain – while rain is a possibility at any time of the year in many parts of Kaua’i – October isn’t the start of the winter season.
I think you would like the north too. Swimming will depend on daily ocean conditions — can vary a lot around the island.
Thanks for all your ideas!
We may split our trip and stay half the time on the north side, half the time on the south.
It’s a great idea to split your stay if coming for over a week and now I can get more specific with you.
Start in Poipu. A nice condo right on the water is Kuhio Shore. Fabulous views and a very relaxing place to stay. It gets great reviews.
You can find condos at KS and HBR on these sites:
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Shop And Eat At Warehouse 3540
Warehouse 3540 is a cool warehouse of artisan stalls selling locally made clothes, jewellery and art with some tasty food trucks outside.
Its a little off the beaten track away from the towns, but its only a 10 minute drive from Poipu and is well worth a stop when youre driving along the south coast.
We enjoyed a vegan tofu poke at Kauai Poke Co and excellent coffee at Dark Roost. They also host a farmers market on Friday mornings .
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Best Areas To Stay In Kauai
Kauai, like the other Hawaiian Islands, is relatively small, yet amazingly beautiful. It consists of 115 miles of shoreline, half of which are sand beaches.
Typically, people locate themselves in one area and take day trips to other areas for particular sites or activities.
However, if your plan is for a longer stay, you may want to consider dividing your stay across multiple locations.
Regarding the weather, there is a local saying Kauai doesnt have the best weather, but the best weather is on Kauai.
Throughout the year, the temperature keeps between 21C and 29C , while ocean temperatures keep between 23C and 27C . More info Official Kauai Weather Website.
As well, the vast majority of rainfall keeps to the interior of the island. As a result, throughout the year you are generally basking in beautiful sunshine with perfect temperatures.
Here is a map of Kauai showing the best areas to stay.
North Shore Of Kauai:
Anini Sea turtles often swim close to shore, sometimes popping up their heads to check out the scene right there in the shallows. The water is protected by the reef making it swimmable even in winter.
Turtle Cove A bit of a hike gets you to this hidden gem near Queens Bath. Honu love to eat and lounge in the sand here. Given its name Turtle Cove, this was once considered the best place to see turtles in Kauai.
Kee Beach Where the main highway ends, this gorgeous beach begins. Snorkelers enjoy a vast stretch of ocean perfect for seeking sea turtles.
Tunnels One of the best snorkeling spots in the Hawaiian Islands, this is a prime spot to make friends with countless fish and the occasional sea turtle.
Sea turtles made the Hawaiian islands their home long before people did, but in modern times their count has dropped dramatically. Honu were officially placed on the endangered species list in 1978 and are voraciously protected. Here are some guidelines to help keep them safe for future generations to love on:
The concierge team at Koloa Landing Resort is ready to help steer you toward all the best places to see sea turtles in Kauai. Visit one of our poolside Activity Huts for snorkel gear and seasonal recommendations. for more info about our Kauai resort or to book a room for your familys best sea-turtle-spotting vacation ever.
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Kauai Itinerary Day : Welcome To Kauai
Aloha and welcome to Kauai! Nicknamed the Garden Isle due to its lush green scenery, Kauai is Hawaiis gem. The island is everything youd expect in a Pacific tropical paradise: green peaks, palms for days, and beaches of the softest sand.
There will be plenty to do during your 7 days in Kauai, so on the first day of your Kauai itinerary, plan to take it easy after your long flight to Hawaii. Pick up your rental car, and drive the roughly 1.5 hours from Lihue airport up to Kauais north shore. Its an easy drive, and the natural beauty of Kauai is easy on the eyes.
Once you get to your hotel, grab a mai tai, and spend any remaining time getting settled in your room. Once youre settled in, spend the afternoon poolside and enjoying sunset cocktails!
Spend The First Four Days Of Your Kauai Itinerary On Kauais North Shore
If youre visiting Kauai, youre in for a magical trip. Es specially if its your first visit! I always recommend Kauai as one of the best islands for first time visitors to Hawaii.
Start your Kauai itinerary on the islands north shore. During your time here, youll explore the nearby sleepy town of Hanalei, the most picturesque of all small Hawaiian towns, and get an up-close view of the Na Pali coast, Kauais dramatic, lush northern coastline.
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More About The Weather
Its called the Garden Island for several reasons, including the fact that it receives the most rain of any of the Hawaii islands. Technically, the middle of the island is the rainiest spot on earth.
Having said that, most of the rain is in the center interior rather than the coast, it mostly falls at night, and most daytime rainfalls are brief sometimes only 10 minutes once or maybe a few times in a day, and typically followed by brilliant sunshine.
The average yearly temperature ranges between 21C and 29C . Ocean temperatures are also in the perfect zone, ranging from 23C to 27C year-round.
The seasonal differences range mostly with regard to rainfall, with the most rain occurring between December and February.
The north coast tends to have almost twice as much annual rainfall as does the south coast .
However, both the north and south of the island are mostly covered in sunshine most of the year.
Main Regions And Neighborhoods Of Kauai
Kauai is easily broken down into 4 different geographical regions, each with its own distinct attractions, style, climate, and vibe. To put it simply, here’s what you need to know about each of them.
- North Shore Graced with the picturesque Napali coast, beaches, lush valleys, and the affluential Princeville, this is simply postcard-worthy.
- East Side As the most populated part of the island, it’s as busy as the island gets with a big part dedicated to commercial development, and essential big stores and restaurants. That said, there’s still plenty to see and do here.
- South Shore This part of the island gets the best weather and as a result, you’ll find it the most popular with visitors. Anchored by Poipu, there are many resorts and beaches here.
- West Side This part of the island becomes dramatically much more raw in both the development sense but also the geology. Drier and more barren, you’ll find the Grand Canyon of the Pacific here and the start of the Napali Coast.
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How To Get Around Kauai
Public transport is very limited on Kauai so youll need a rental car to visit all the spots on this list. You could get by booking a few day tours but your experience will be more limited.
As usual, we used Rental Cars to find the best deal and ended up booking with Thrifty. All the rental companies are a short bus trip from the airport, but we didnt have to wait long for the bus or in the Thrifty queue. We booked the cheapest compact car but were upgraded to a small Nissan SUV which was perfect.
You can manage with any type of car on Kauai, but when we got to Maui we did miss the higher clearance of the SUV on some of the rougher roads and beach parking areas and bumped the bottom a few times.
Getting around is easytheres one major road around the island, although there is no road in the northwest so you cant drive all the way around.
We used Google Maps for directions. See the map above for all our favourite spots.
How To Spend 3 5 Or 7 Days In Kauai: The Perfect Itinerary
Kauai is known as Hawaiis Garden Isle for a reasonIts lush, wild, and beautiful, one of the things Hawaii is famous for. Because its far less developed than Oahu, Big Island, or Maui, Kauai is truly paradise for beach goers, hikers, and adventurers. Your biggest challenge here? How to see it on a short visit! Here are my recommendations for the perfect Kauai itinerary, whether you have 3,5, or 7 days on the island.
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Where To Stay In Kauai
Kauai is the island most Hawaiian dreams are made of. Lush, green mountains, tropical hideaways, gorgeous beaches, epic hiking. While theres nowhere in Hawaii that feels truly undiscovered anymore, Kauai does have a pure feeling that many prefer over Oahu and Maui.
But if youre very far into the planning process, youve probably realized that picking the right place to stay is just as important as choosing the right island. Figuring out where to stay on Kauai can be overwhelming because there are soooo many options.
This post may contain some affiliate links, which means Ill make a little money on anything you choose to purchase. But of course, I only recommend my absolute favorites to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Hulaland possible.
Best Luxury Hotel In Lihue: Kauai Marriott Resort
This hotel in Kauai offers 5-star accommodations close to local attractions and restaurants. The rooms have ocean or garden views and all the amenities youll need for your stay. The hotel boasts tennis courts, a rooftop terrace, outdoor pool, water slides, and childcare and activities. Theres also a gym, restaurant, and bar on site.
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Which Time Of The Year Is It
Kauai is a rainy island. Rain is one thing you cannot complain about once you are here.
Owing to its geography, The Garden Isle experiences gentle showers throughout the year. The drizzles are often short and dont last more than a few minutes. However, the frequency of rain varies between the south and north shores.
The north shore receives more rain than the south. If youre a beach lover visiting post October, your beach days on the north will be limited and its best you head towards the drier south side during that time of the year.
Kauai is adored for its moderate climate, which doesnt change much throughout the year. However, during winter the north shore experiences strong ocean currents, known as winter swells. As much as the surfing enthusiasts like it, the rest prefer to stay away and head towards calmer conditions in the south.
Kauai winter is famous for the Whale Watching Season as Humpback whales migrate to the island for nursing their young ones. Both North and south shores have scenic whale watching points to spot the giant humpback whales in all their glory.
So, If youre in for the beaches, spending more time on the south will serve your purpose. But, if you are inclined towards nature and dont mind the rain, the lush green, mountainous north shore is where you should head towards.