Guest Post by Vincent Stokes
If you’ve ever been on a vacation, you have probably found the planning to be the most overwhelming part. Trying to figure what attractions to visit and how to spend your precious vacation time can be an adventure in and of itself. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know the islands are no exception. Some of the islands are more commercialized, while others are less so. No matter which one you are thinking to visit, however, there is plenty to do, which can make planning a bit rough.
Kauai is one of those lesser-known islands. However, that doesn’t mean it lacks great attractions and a variety of activities. If you are planning a trip to the “Garden Island” in the near future, here is a tentative itinerary to help you use your time wisely and get the most out of your vacation.
No matter where you go, it’s always a good idea to take it easy on the day you arrive at your destination. When you arrive in Kauai, don’t rush out to see the sites, even though there are plenty that are worthwhile. You would be wise to relax. You can visit one of the beaches and perhaps do a little swimming or independent snorkeling. Some of the beaches include Poipu Beach Parkand Lydgate Beach Park. Maybe take a good book or crossword puzzle and simple relax and “take it all in.”
Hopefully you got a full night’s sleep and are ready to really experience Kauai. Unfortunately, a lot of the island is not accessible by car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some sightseeing by other means. You can take a helicopter tour and see the lush mountains and cliffs towering over the glimmering ocean. You can also opt to take a tour by water, including a kayak tour or stand up paddle boat tour. You can also choose an ATV tour, where you take an adventure past several movie sets including sets from Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park. It all depends on your own comfort level when you are touring the island, and there is a type of tour that fits just about anyone. Not a bad way to really start your Kauai experience.
In order to avoid “burning out,” it’s a great idea to alternate activities every other day. In other words, if you have done something that takes a lot of effort or travel the day before, you might want to take it easy the next day to really recharge and get ready for the next adventure. For this reason, you might want to take the family down to the beach again for some more swimming, snorkeling, and perhaps scuba diving, if you are up for it. After all, you may as well enjoy the sparkling waters and sandy beaches while you can. If you’re looking for a structured snorkeling or scuba diving experience, you can find companies that can accommodate your needs on the island and take you on tours.
Kauai has some great history that it shares with its visitors. You can take a trip to its historical towns, which include Hanapepe, Waimea, and Kekaha. You can also visit Kokee State Park, where you can hike, sightsee, and just enjoy incredible surroundings. You might choose to visit the Kokee Natural History Museum while you’re there. While you’re experiencing some of the island’s history and culture, you might want to attend a native luau where you can just relax and enjoy learning a bit more about the people and their lifestyle and traditions.
Again, it’s a great idea to alternate the vigor of your activities, so you can really enjoy all of them without getting too tired. You can always take a drive out to the Kilauea Lighthouse for a few photo opportunities. You can also take a Kauai boat tour and do some whale and dolphin watching. This is something the whole family will love.
What’s a vacation without a little shopping? (Or perhaps a lot of it!) Kauai has several fun, small boutiques that are perfect for all types of shoppers. You can pick up some souvenirs for friends and family members back home. Or maybe you just want to spend all your money on fantastic gifts for yourself! Either way, a day of shopping is always enjoyable for Kauai visitors and helps you take home things to remember your trip by in the coming years.
Spend your last day visiting a shimmering waterfall or taking a small hike. You can always bring a lunch along and just spend your last few hours in the beauty of Kauai’s lush surroundings. Or perhaps you just want to do a bit more swimming. Then it’s time to pack up and run to the airport. Although let’s be honest, would it really be that bad if you missed your flight and had to stay longer?