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Summary

This 3-day itinerary for Kauai, Hawaii, is packed with adventure, from exploring the North Shore's waterfalls and historic towns to snorkeling along the Na Pali Coast and marveling at Waimea Canyon. Conclude your trip with a breathtaking Helicopter Ride or a hike along the Na Pali coast, and don't miss the Sunset Dinner Cruise for a memorable end to your journey.

🌴 Day 1: North Shore Explorin'

Start your Kauai adventure with a day exploring the North Shore, featuring breathtaking waterfalls, historic towns, and stunning wildlife refuges.

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🌊 Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is a 173-foot waterfall that offers a spectacular sight right from the lookout, without the need for any hiking.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Wailua Falls adventure", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfEo0tcyfcI", "channel": { "name": "Wheeland Brothers"}, "published_date": "Jan 16, 2018", "length": "1:22" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Kauai Vlog #6: Hiking Wailua Falls Trail?! // Up Close and ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT2DyaX1dhg", "channel": { "name": "Chris and Brenda"}, "published_date": "Mar 10, 2019", "length": "11:09" }</div>

Tips

No hiking is required for a great view, but it's advisable to arrive early to beat the crowds and fully enjoy the experience.

🏖️ Kapaa Town

Kapaa Town is a historic beachside town on Eastern Kauai, known for its colorful, eclectic storefronts and delightful breakfast options.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Life On Kauai EP 6 Drive through Kapaa", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjGwXOueiOE", "channel": { "name": "Kendall Weaver"}, "published_date": "Sep 15, 2020", "length": "18:15" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Living in Kapaa, Kauai", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ONXb9HRTuE", "channel": { "name": "Andrea Healey"}, "published_date": "May 18, 2023", "length": "1:01" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Is Living in Kapaa Paradise? Pros and Cons Revealed with ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5WMWVm3Tls", "channel": { "name": "Penny Hanson"}, "published_date": "Aug 7, 2023", "length": "13:01" }</div>

Tips

Spend an hour strolling through the town and don't miss the Art Cafe Hemingway for a delicious breakfast experience.

🦜 Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge

The Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge is a prime spot for bird watching and offers panoramic views of the Pacific.

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Tips

Plan your visit on a Wednesday or Saturday for a lighthouse tour, and be prepared for an entry fee of $10 to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty.

🌊 Queens Bath

Queens Bath is a natural tidal pool carved into a lava shelf, offering a unique swimming experience amidst stunning natural surroundings.

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Tips

Check tide levels for safety before venturing into the pool, and ensure you wear sturdy shoes for the hike to reach this natural wonder.

Travel Information
📍   Address: Kapiolani Loop, Princeville, HI 96722

🌺 Hanalei

Hanalei is a charming town reminiscent of old Hawaii, perfect for a quick stop or a few hours' exploration, offering a glimpse into the island's rich cultural heritage.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "What to Do In Hanalei Bay Town, Kauai on Travel with Kate", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4CLqZ7eVRw", "channel": { "name": "TravelwithKate"}, "published_date": "Dec 12, 2012", "length": "3:13" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Explore Hanalei Town, Beach, & Pier great afternoon Kauai ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTwzPggibVQ", "channel": { "name": "TravelsAndMore"}, "published_date": "Dec 8, 2021", "length": "10:45" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Hanalei - Charming Small Town on Kauai\u2019s North Shore ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziF9YhrmL3U", "channel": { "name": "Chasing Adeline"}, "published_date": "Jan 15, 2020", "length": "4:05" }</div>

Tips

Indulge in shave ice from Wishing Well or Jojo's and don't miss the opportunity to visit the Hanalei Valley Lookout for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

🌊 Day 2: Na Pali Adventure

Dedicate your second day to the breathtaking Na Pali Coast with a snorkel/kayak tour and a visit to Waimea Canyon, the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific'.

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🐠 Na Pali Coast Snorkel/Kayak Tour

Immerse yourself in the dramatic sea caves, regal mountains, and the diverse sea life along the Na Pali Coast. The oldest and most protected reef ecosystem in Kauai offers a magical underwater world with hundreds of species of fish, making it a snorkeler's paradise.

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Tips

Use reef-safe sunscreen to protect the marine life and book your tour with a licensed boat operator for an unforgettable and responsible experience.

Travel Information
📞   Phone: (808) 826-6900
🌐   Website: http://www.napalikayak.com/
🕒   Hours: See hours
📍   Address: 5-5075 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714
🔗   Profiles: Instagram Facebook

🏞️ Waimea Canyon State Park

Often described as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific', Waimea Canyon State Park offers a mesmerizing panorama of colorful canyon walls, cascading waterfalls, and frequent rainbow sightings. The 10-mile long and 3,000 feet deep canyon is a natural wonder that will leave you in awe.

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Tips

Plan a few hours for your visit to explore the various hiking trails or simply take in the breathtaking views from the lookout points. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the canyon's red soil and multi-colored layers, a true testament to the island's natural beauty.

Travel Information
📞   Phone: (808) 274-3444
🌐   Website: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/
🕒   Hours: See hours
⏳   Typical duration: 30 min
📍   Address: Waimea, HI 96796

🚁 Day 3: Aerial Views & Relaxation

Conclude your Kauai trip with a memorable helicopter ride or a hike along the Na Pali coast, followed by a sunset dinner cruise.

🚁 Helicopter Ride

A helicopter tour offers unparalleled views of Kauai's landscapes, a must-do for first-time visitors. The helicopter ride with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters provides a unique opportunity to witness approximately 65% of Kauai's inaccessible regions, including majestic waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, and lush valleys. It's an experience that allows you to get up close and personal with the island's natural beauty, flying as low as 500ft to capture the stunning waterfalls and canyons. The aerial perspective provides a bird's eye view that is simply incomparable to any other mode of exploration.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTER TOUR // KAUAI, HAWAII", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2JzRdBD1oo", "channel": { "name": "My Layover Life"}, "published_date": "Jun 28, 2021", "length": "3:04" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Island Experience Kauai | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3mVpS0Luk4", "channel": { "name": "Blue Hawaiian Helicopters"}, "published_date": "Apr 12, 2019", "length": "2:35" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "A Pilot Story - Barrett Daligdig | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3ILPSWYrDI", "channel": { "name": "Blue Hawaiian Helicopters"}, "published_date": "Mar 12, 2020", "length": "3:57" }</div>

Tips

When embarking on the helicopter ride, it's advisable to wear dark clothing to avoid window glares and ensure a clear view of the breathtaking scenery. Opting for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters is highly recommended due to their commitment to safety and the expertise of their State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides, who provide insightful commentary about the island's landmarks. Additionally, capturing videos along with photos during the ride ensures a comprehensive memento of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Travel Information
📞   Phone: (808) 245-5800
🌐   Website: https://www.bluehawaiian.com/en/kauai?utm_source=website&utm_medium=gmb&utm_campaign=lihue
🕒   Hours: See hours
📍   Address: Lihue Airport, 3730 Ahukini Rd #8, Lihue, HI 96766

🌅 Sunset Dinner Cruise

End your Kauai visit with a sunset dinner cruise, offering stunning views of the Na Pali cliffs as the sun sets. The cruise provides a serene and picturesque setting to witness the ethereal beauty of the Hawaiian sunset, with the Na Pali coastline serving as a breathtaking backdrop. Sailing past the cliffs during the dim light of the sunset creates a truly magical and unforgettable experience, complemented by a delightful buffet dinner and a glass of champagne on board. It's a perfect way to bid farewell to Kauai, capturing the essence of the island's natural splendor as day transitions into night.

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Tips

To ensure a spot on this popular activity, it's advisable to book the sunset dinner cruise in advance. This allows you to secure a prime position for witnessing the mesmerizing Hawaiian sunset against the backdrop of the Na Pali cliffs, creating an idyllic and romantic conclusion to your Kauai adventure.