Lodging: Grand Hyatt Kauai
The hotel was amazing. We went during Covid, so it wasn't too busy, but the resort is huge and you will never feel crowded. The staff is very friendly and the housekeeping service is fantastic. The hotel sits right on a beautiful beach (shipwreck beach) and has a nice hiking trail (Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail) that runs through it. They have quite a few different pools, including a saltwater lagoon, adults-only pool, and a more kids-oriented one.
Rental Car: Hertz Jeep Wrangler 4-door
Definitely recommend getting one of these if you can. They are so fun to drive with taking the tops down.
- Breakfast: Little Fish Coffee small little spot off the road. They have bagels and really good fresh fruit acai bowls. We loved this spot and went on multiple days. Lots of cool coffee drinks as well.
- Lunch: Kauai Beer Company. The food was good, a decent selection of beers.
- Dinner: Tidepools (at the Hyatt) has great seafood and sits beautifully close to the ocean/beach.
- Activities: We did a helicopter tour through Ali'i Air Tours & Charters was AMAZING. It is expensive, but it is a private flight with the doors off. Our pilot was Guy and he was so knowledgeable of the island and gave a fantastic overview. I recommend calling to book, as they might give you a better price. Ingrid was a pleasure to work with and very communicative (flights can be moved/canceled due to weather). Then we went and checked out Opaeka'a Falls which was beautiful. After that we just hung at our resort pool.
- Breakfast: Just grabbed coffee and pastries from our hotel so we could jump on the road.
- Dinner: The Beach House. Another very nice restaurant ($$$) that sits right on the beach. Lots of great seafood options. Make sure to get a reservation well in advance as they fill up. Definitely best to go around 6-7 so you can catch the sunset.
- Activities: Spent the day on the north side of the island by Princeville. Checked out some cool shops, went to Hideaway Beach (definitely worth the little hike down) and drove around the island (having a 4wd car is definitely a nice perk, as if it is raining it can get pretty wet and slippery on the roads). After hanging out on the beach, we drove back down to the south part of the island and went to Poipu Beach. It is absolutely beautiful here, definitely a good spot to catch the sunset.
- Breakfast: Java Kai. Great little coffee shop with some good fresh acai bowls, breakfast burritos, etc. Their coffee is really really good.
- Dinner: Da Crack. This is a little fast food burrito joint, but the food is amazing. It is to-go only, so grab whatever you like, then head over to Baby Beach to watch the sunset.
- Activities: We did a little shopping at Warehouse 3540, which is a really cool collective of different shops (no big-name stuff here, all owned by local artists). We drove back to our hotel and then walked the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail which takes you up onto some cliffs for gorgeous views. We finished our day by watching the sunset at Baby Beach (it is tucked behind houses, but there is a clear path to get to it)
- Breakfast: Little Fish Coffee again (see above)
- Lunch: Kauai Island Brewery & Grill. Great spot for food and they got a lot of really good beers. The immediate area around it is kind of dead, so best to drive.
- Dinner: Stevenson's Library (at the Hyatt). Has really good sushi, the rolls are big, so if you get nigiri, maybe split a single roll per 2 people.
- Activities: We went hiking on the Awaawapuhi Trail which is on the west side of the island. From the Hyatt is about a 1 hour drive, but if you are on the north part of the island, it will be closer to 2. This hike is mostly downhill, so the way back will be a tough stretch. However, it is really worth it. The end point is absolutely stunning. Wear boots as the trail can be very muddy. When you get to the end, if you are not scared of heights, make the extra trek across the small ledge to get even further out on the cliff.