Kauai Hawaii Honeymoon Guide

Kauai is the jewel of Hawaii with its lush jungles and pristine beaches, but there’s much to see and do as you while away your honeymoon on the sand. Fly into Lihue, and immediately become acquainted with the island’s resident mascots, chickens (so many chickens). You’ll want to rent a car and experience the unique attributes of each little area as you circumnavigate the island. Splurge for the convertible. Also, splurge on major doses of sunscreen. Here’s our town-by-town guide to a full honeymoon experience.

Waimea

Start your Kauai tour on the southwestern side of the island, where it rarely rains. Check into your private cottage at Waimea Plantation Cottages.

kauai hawaii honeymoon

Don’t expect luxury, but do expect loads of charm in these quiet cottages. Luckily your body will still be on mainland time, so waking up the sound of roosters won’t be as traumatic as it could. Do take the earplugs offered at check in. Drive into town for a roadside feast at Shrimp Station, and buy a bottle of wine at Big Save Market (there’s no bar or restaurant open late in this sleepy town), to take back to your cottage. Drink it on the beach while leisurely watching the sky change as the sun sets.

Rise up early and grab a coffee at Aloha in Paradise before setting your GPS to Waimea Canyon Lookout. The “Grand Canyon of Kauai” is often skipped by island visitors, but that would be a mistake. The fog slowly drifting out of the canyon while the colors change as the sun rises is a mystical experience. Follow signs for other canyon lookouts for a different perspective on this cavernous, waterfall-laden land before making your way back down to the highway.

waimea Canyon Kauaiwaimea Canyon Kauai

Drive through the oldest town on Kauai, Hanapēpē,

hanapepe kauai

before heading on to your next destination, Poipu.

Poipu

Stay for a night or two at the Grand Hyatt, one of the more luxurious hotels on the island, before waking early for a trail ride on horseback along Maha’ulelpu Beach with CJM Country Stables.

CJM Country Stables Kauai CJM Country Stables Kauai

This leisurely ride is fit for even beginner equestriennes, winding through hillside and ocean views not available by car, and best seen on four legs.

CJM Country Stables view KauaiCJM Country Stables view Kauai CJM Country Stables view Kauai

Spend the afternoon recovering from your ride by the pool or on the beach. If you’re feeling motivated, watch the sunset over dinner at Beach House Restaurant.

Start your next lovely morning by heading to the Old Koloa Sugar Mill to check out the crumbling historical monument before meeting your guides from Aloha Kauai Tours Sea Fun Ocean Adventures. Suit up in the provided wetsuit to keep warm in the chilly pacific before heading to Lawai Beach to snorkel amongst a surfeit of Hawaii’s legendary brightly colored tropical fish, including the famously mispronounced state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a. With your experienced guides and a bit of luck, you may encounter eagle rays, pacific green sea turtles, or even inky octopi.

lawai beach kauai

After your underwater adventure, towel off and drive just a few minutes into the town of Koloa to grab a picnic lunch to go from Koloa Fish Market. Don’t be put off by the tiny space and grungy vibe – this spot is home to the undisputed best poke in Hawaii. Order the must-have wasabi poke and one or two others that strike your fancy (we are partial to the Korean and Avocado varieties) along with a refreshing seaweed salad.

koloa fish market poke

Pick up a few bottles of water (or beer) from the grocery store down the block, and take your picnic to Poipu beach to see Spouting Horn, where the crashing waves have eroded a narrow opening in the rock that shoots water in the air like an oceanic geyser. After your magical meal put the top down and hit the road, passing right by Lihue and heading up the coast to Kapaa.

Kapaa

Spend an afternoon in Kapaa before making your way to the North Shore, or if you want to linger a bit, spend a night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Wailea. Kapaa is located just north of Wailea and has a friendly, busy (for Kauai) vibe, along with some of the best food and shopping on the island. Drop into Shipwrecked Kauai

kapaa shipwrecked

for some ultra-hip home goods, clothing, and beachy jewelry and Work it Out for current yoga gear. Have a cold brew at Java Kai and pick up some locally grown and roasted (and not cheap) coffee beans to remind you of the island when you wake up back home. Have a lunch of barely seared ahi tacos from the Al Pastor taco truck,

al pastor food truck kauai

delicious greek food from George’s Gyro,

gyros truck kauai

or mouth watering Chicken in a Barrel.

chicken in a barrel kauai

No matter what you choose, follow it up with an organic, mouth watering shave ice unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before from the Shave Ice Tege Tege truck – we are partial to the Green Tea and Azuki bean or the simple Blackberry.

tege tege kauaitege tege kauaitege tege kauai

From here, make sure that top is down and the sunscreen is applied and the top is down for the beautiful drive to the North Shore.

North Shore

Now make your way to the North Shore for the truly luxurious portion of your honeymoon. This end of the island is home to many celebrities and the famous Nā Pali Coast. Rent a home, or for a waited on hands-and-foot experience, stay at the St Regis Princeville, which boasts a truly magnificent, heart-rupturing view of Hanalei Bay.

st regis view kauai

Make sure to head to the patio off the lobby

st regis lobby kauai

around dusk to enjoy the tradition of champagne sabering while watching the magnificent sunset.

st regis kauai sunset st regis kauai sunset

Once settled into the St Regis, it’s unlikely, and somewhat unnecessary, to leave.
But you should, at least for a helicopter tour. You can book one that departs from Princeville, but the experience of a Safari Helicopters tour is worth the drive back to Lihue.

helicopter tour kauai safari helicopter tour kauai

70% of Kauai is inaccessible by car, horse, or foot. A helicopter tour is the only way to grasp the magnificence of the island and see the infamous “Jurassic falls”

Jurrasic falls kauai

as well as the best way to experience the Nā Pali coast.

Napali Coast Kauai

If you want to experience a bit of “the Descendants” vibe, head out to the town of Hanalei for lush tropical surroundings and some fun shopping.

hanalei Kauai hanalei Kauai

Lihue

You will be departing from Lihue, so if your flight is early in the morning, book a room at the funky but serviceable Kauai Beach Marriot Resort as it is just five minutes from the airport and will give you a chance to check out the main town of Lihue.

marriot Kauai

If you’re jonesing for a massage, the best on Kauai can be had not at a fancy resort, but at the home studio of Myelene, owner of Kauai Best Massage – this is a truly healing experience that you should not miss.

Take a short drive up to Wailua state Park to see Wailua falls and a majestic view of the valley below.

Wailua Falls Kauai Wailua Falls Kauai

Have a sunset cocktail and some coconut shrimp while listening to ukulele tunes at Hawaiian institution Duke’s

dukes kauai

before settling in for a good night’s rest and your flight home.