Itineraries: One Day on Kauai

By Coco Zickos
@kitfurderer sunny beach Kauai

Photo: @kitfurderer.

Absorbing all of Kaua‘i’s beauty in one day isn’t easy, but it can be done. Anyone island-hopping, traveling as part of a Hawaiian Island cruise or visiting in some other short-term capacity is capable of having an enriching experience.

Looking to rent a car? Special rental discounts are available for Hawaii.com members. Click here for more information.

One Day on Kauai? Take a Helicopter or Boat Tour

@kitfurderer Na Pali Coast Kauai

Na Pali Coast. Photo: @kitfurderer.

A helicopter or boat tour is the crème de la crème way to get an all-encompassing peek of the island. Helicopters offer an outstanding bird’s eye view of Kaua‘i’s ornate mountaintops and cascading waterfalls, while boats sailing along the Na Pali Coast provide views of some of the most stunning landscapes in Hawai‘i.

Best to Rent a Car

@kitfurderer BMW Kauai

Photo: @kitfurderer.

Another component that can make your vacation blip advantageous is having access to your own mode of transportation. In fact, you can’t see the true scope of the island from its lush mountainous North Shore with picturesque beaches to the incomparable red canyon crevices of the Waimea Canyon on the Westside, unless you have the freedom of a rental car. If you’re really ambitious, you could cover the entire island in one day but that means you’ll be spending most of the time in your vehicle. Driving the full length of the semi-circular highway that wraps around the island takes about three hours one way, depending on traffic.

Pick a Side: West, North, South

@kitfurderer Waipoo Falls Waimea Canyon Kauai

Waimea Canyon. Photo: @kitfurderer.

The best option is to pick one side of the island you’d like to spend the majority of your time and choose an activity that coincides with it. For example, you can visit the Westside’s Koke‘e State Park and see the famed “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” while at the same time, hike or enjoy a charming picnic while you’re there. If you’d rather spend some time at a beach, the North or South Shore are your best bet. North bound beachgoers are also treated to the gorgeous mountain-laced scenery of Hanalei Bay or Ha‘ena Beach Park, while south bound visitors have the luxury of great dining and shopping options near Pō‘ipu Beach, as well as a more likely chance of sunshine in the forecast.

Great Beach Near Lihue Airport

kalapaki beach Kauai

Kalapaki Beach, Kauai. Photo: Sara Browning.

Another perfectly convenient and thrifty plan for the day is to spend time near your arrival location by the airport and harbor. Kalapaki Bay in Līhu‘e is a beautiful beach perfect for unwinding. Paddleboard and surf lessons are also offered here, as well as plenty of places to eat within walking distance.

Don’t forget – special rental car discounts are available for Hawaii.com members. Click here for more information.

Visit www.hawaii.com/travel for more itinerary suggestions and travel tips.

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