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Kauai, Hawaii

We were lucky enough to spend nine days in Kauai, Hawaii. Kauai is known as the Garden Island and is best known for being the least built up, most green & lush of the main Hawaiian islands. We knew that it would be a great place for us to celebrate our one year anniversary.

Kauai Hawaii - Charleston Crafted

In this post we rounded up some of our best tips from the trip, including things that we are absolutely glad that we did and things that we wish that we had.

Day 1 – Travel Day

Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii - Charleston Crafted

Day 2 – McBryde Gardens, Spouting Horn, Mahaulepu Beach

All of these locations are located on the south side of the island in the town of Poipu. This is a great day of seeing tropical flowers, rock cliffs, off-roading and private beaches for snorkeling.

Kauai Day Three – Hiking the Na Pali Coast - Charleston Crafted

Day 3 – Hiking the Napali Coast (Kalalau trail and Hanakapi’ai Falls), Sushi Girl, Queen’s Bath

Hiking the Kalalau Trail to the Hanakapi’ai Falls was the highlight of our trip. It’s located at the furthest northwest point you can go on the island. It’s 8 miles total, but totally worth it if you manage. Swim in the falls and have lunch in the most beautiful place in the world. Then grab a unique sushi burrito when you’re done and head to one of the more unique coastal formations you’ll see in the Queen’s Bath.

Kauai Day Four - Catamaran Sailing off the Na Pali Coast

Day 4 – Catamaran sailboat tour of the Napali Coast & snorkeling with Captain Andy’s, Kauai Coffee Farm

After you’ve hiked the Na Pali Coast, see it from a boat while getting fresh grilled burgers and unlimited drinks. Scenes for several movies, including Jurassic Park, were filmed in this valley and you’ll know why. Then cap you afternoon with a pick-me-up at the coffee plantation!


Day 5 – Beachfront yoga, hiking the Sleeping Giant with dogs from the Kauai Humane Society, and the Smith Family Luau

The Kauai Humane Society has an incredible program where you can take dogs in the shelter out for “field trips” and we took them to a really fun four mile round trip hike called the Sleeping Giant. Then, get your traditional Hawaii luau in at the all you can eat and drink Smith Family Luau on the east side of the island.

Kauai Day Six - Waimea Canyon

Day 6 – Waimea Canyon, JoJos Shave Ice, Kauai Rum company

Time to go to the west side of the island and “the Grand Canyon of Hawaii” where you’ll be treated to great hiking and incredibly breathtaking canyon views. When you’re done, there’s good food and shave ice waiting for you below.

Kauai Day Seven - Pool Day at the Resort!

Day 7 – Pool & Resort Day

We stayed at the Kauai Marriott at Kalapaki Beach and it was a perfect central location (in the southeast corner of the island, near the airport) for all of our adventures. They are home to the biggest pool on the island, and we took advantage.

Kauai Backcountry Adventures Ziplining - Charleston Crafted

Day 8 – Ziplining with Kauai Backcountry Adventures, Wailua Falls, snorkeling at Poipu, happy hour at Kalapaki Joe’s, Kauai Beer Company Food Truck Rodeo

Definitely book a zipline day and soar above the valley in the middle of the island. Then check out Wailua Falls nearby for a double waterfall experience. There’s also great snorkeling down in Poipu and some really good places for beers.

Day 9 – Travel Day

If you were traveling to Hawaii for island hopping and were only in Kauai for 3 days, here is an itinerary that we would suggest:

Day 1 – Hike the Napali Coast, Sushi Girl, Queen’s Bath, then have dinner at Kauai Beer Company

Day 2 – Catamaran sailboat tour, McBryde Gardens, Happy Hour at Kalapaki Joe’s

Day 3 – Waimea Canyon, Jojo’s shave ice, eat at Da Crack