What To Do With 2 Days in Kauai

I’ve been to every inhabited Hawaiian island. I have been coming to Hawaii since 2004 and have probably been 10 times total. To me, Hawaii is the ultimate vacation spot for Americans because it feels like you’re in a foreign country but you’re in the 50 states. I just spent 2 days in Kauai; which was only my second time on Kauai. What I learned was 2 days in Kauai is not enough and I cannot wait to go back and I’m going to have to redo the 30 best islands in the world list to include Kauai!
Kauai, sunset, Poipu Beach
Kauai was actually the very first Hawaiian island I visited back in 2004 and to be honest I remembered very little. I honestly did not love my first trip to the Islands of Aloha but I sure do now!
Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
I had originally designed my entire 2-week itinerary for this trip around a Wake Island charter that was announced months ago and subsequently cancelled a week before this trip. So I decided to take the SPG Amex holiday challenge in Guam USA and do trips to Kauai on one side of the trip to Guam: where America starts its day plus an overnight trip to Rota; and get some aloha from Oahu and then enjoy the good life at the Four Seasons Maui.
Sheraton Kauai, Kauai, Hawaii, sunset
I had some extra Starpoints so I booked my stay at the Sheraton Kauai; which is located on beautiful Poipu Beach. The Sheraton is nice but it’s not my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed at and could use a few renovations. However, it was still pretty nice and definitely had great sunset views and a beautiful beach.
Kauai, Poipu Beach, Sheraton Kauai, beach, Hawaii
The best thing to do on Kauai is to take a helicopter tour without question. I flew with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters-the same company I’ve used on the Big Island of Hawaii and also for a Maui adventure in the sky; which also flew over Molokai: the most interesting island of Hawaii!
Waimea Canyon, helicopter, Kauai, Hawaii
The helicopter tour leaves from the main airport in Lihue. It basically flies over the majority of Kauai and if you only have 2 days in Kauai, it’s the most efficient and scenic way to see Waimea Canyon: the Grand Canyon of the Pacific (above); and the Na Pali Coast. Not to mention some great waterfalls.
Na Pali Coasy, helicopter, Kauai, Hawaii
Needless to say, if you’ve ever been on a helicopter or a scenic flight it is very difficult to take photos. You really need to wear dark colors and hope everyone else in the chopper does as well. I was not that lucky on this flight but did manage to get some good photos.
Na Pali Coast, bad weather, helicopter view, Kauai, Hawaii
The weather on the Na Pali Coast was not great but you really could see the dramatic coastline that has been the backdrop of so many Hollywood blockbusters. It’s really cool to see and well worth the $240 price tag for the 1-hour trip even with a bad seat like I had.
Kauai, Hawaii, helicopter, bad seat
The other thing to do if you have 2 days in Kauai and you really want to see the island as best you can is to rent a car. If you stay in Poipu just head counter-clockwise up toward Princeville and the North Shore.
what to do with 2 days in Kauai
The drive is fantastic and will take about 2 hours each way depending how many stops you make. The first stop you should make is Wailua Falls. This is one of the most beautiful individual sites to see on Kauai and is a couple of miles off the main road. Trust me, check out Wailua Falls.
Wailua Falls, Kauai, Hawaii
The rest of the drive up to Hanalei is really pretty along the coast with a good pit stop at the Kilauea Lighthouse. But make sure to stop in Hanalei and/or Princeville and just check out the cool little town and the gorgeous beaches and resorts.
Kauai, Hawaii, lighthouse
After Hanalei, you can keep driving until the road ends at Ke’e Beach. Depending how much time you have you can stop in and see some cool caves or actually do an 11 mile hike that can take about 8 hours up into the Na Pali Coast.

I didn’t have time and to be honest, you really can’t see much so it’s much better to see it from the helicopter or even a boat tour. They leave early in the morning if the waters are calm enough.
Kauai, Hawaii, nature, view
So the best advice for 2 days in Kauai I can give you is rent a car at the airport because taxis are ridiculously priced. Make your first stop for avocado poke at the fish market on the way to Poipu-thank me later as it’s simply preposterous. Do the helicopter tour and also they’re all about the same price so don’t bother shopping around too much. Then drive the island road. That’s a great way to spend 2 days in Kauai if you feel like moving around a bit. Otherwise enjoy the beach!

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  1. Hi. Great pics (even though a bit photoshopped, colourwise..
    I can’t help but wonder – do you get paid /get free stays in all those hotel/resorts you describe, including their names and amenities offered? I am a traveller too, and, no offence, but this is the impression one gets, at least here;-) Nothing bad about some marketing of course… just askin’ 😉

    • Hi Jacko, I don’t use or even know how to use Photoshop, I edit some pics with Snapseed. All pictures need some editing but I like to show the difference in my posts. I promise you’ve never seen a nice photo on the Internet that hasn’t been edited. Also, if I get paid for something, I disclose it if you’ve read any of my other posts. This trip to Kauai was purely vacation and I paid for everything with cash and points.

  2. Kauai is my favorite Hawaiian island. It is just so foreign and really doesn’t feel commercial or even American at all. Great post.

  3. Kauai is also my favorite island although I’ve only been to Oahu and the Big Island aside from Kauai. It’s just so breathtakingly beautiful and relaxing.

  4. I like Maui the best of the Hawaiian Islands but Kauai is right there. I’m not a big lover of Oahu or Big Island and haven’t been to the others. I also agree that the helicopter tour is the new thing I did in Kauai. The coast is spectacular.

  5. Love Kauai! Nice post Lee.

  6. The most pure, and spiritual place on the Earth. It looks just like this in all its glory

  7. Lauren Woodley says

    I love the idea you give to take a helicopter tour of the island. This definitely is a great way to quickly see the island when you have limited time. Plus, it helps you get a great perspective of the whole island and have a memorable experience. I’ll have to look into this. Thanks for sharing!

  8. The sunrise is so beautiful in Hawaiian island. Thank You for shared photos. I love it.

  9. Very useful information. Thank you for sharing.

  10. You could very easily spend your entire time south and west where you’ll find better swimming and weather, make a day out not just the drive up to Waimea Canyon but other things along the way

  11. Hi Lee, I’m heading to Honolulu in May 2017 and was thinking of turning it into a 2 island visit instead of just Oahu. I am looking at Kauai specifically to take the Blue Hawaiian there. However, you mentioned above that Maui is your favourite island, which I’ve read from others as well, and I’m now wondering if I should go there instead of Kauai. What makes Maui your favourite?

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