Jan 17, 2018 Kauai in 5 days
We spent two weeks on the north shore of Kauai with our 3 kids. Ages 6, 4, and 1. There is plenty to see and do on the South Shore of the island so I am going to high light what to see and do on the North Shore of Kauai. There is a great app or book called Kauai Revealed 9th edition which will give you information on anything you want to know.
If you go during the winter time the waves will be much bigger than in the summer time. There will also be a few mosquitos in the winter time.
The North shore has one main road that can take you anywhere on the island. It is connected by a bunch of one way bridges that you will need to navigate. Local custom dictates that who ever arrives at the bridge first goes first and that no more than 5-7 cars should go across at a time in one direction.
The most infamous hike on the island is on the Napali Coast. It is called on Kalalau Trail and it is 11 miles in and 11 miles back out making it a 22 mile hike round trip. It is along some of the most beautiful coast line you will ever see. Most people go backpacking in and spend a few days at the camp ground located at the end of the hike. A lot of people will live there illegally for extednded periods of time. So there is a community garden that’s been planted. There is a fresh stream of water that many use for water and bathing.
Now if you’re traveling with kids the full hike is not possible. But depending on the age of your children you can do variations of the Kalalau Trail. If you have little kids you can hike the beginning 3/4 of a mile up to a beautiful look out where you can see the rest of the coastal hike stretching out before you. It is semi steep and can be slippery if it’s recently rained. An even better option is to hike the first two miles to Hanakapiai Beach. This is 2 miles one way (4 miles round trip). From Hanakapiai Beach you can continue on for 2 more miles to Hanakapiai falls which are breath taking. This would make your hike 8 miles round trip.
Warning: If it has recently rained this trail will be very muddy and slippery so bring hiking poles
Tunnels beach and Ke’e Beach offer the best snorkeling beaches on the North Shore. Both have an array of fish, turtles, wildlife, and underwater coral formations.
Hanalei Bay is great for beggining surfers. You can call the Hanalei Surf Company to check surf conditions and rent boards. The outter reef is great for more experienced surfers.
Lumaha’i Beach is popular and picturesque. Famous for the scene from movie South Pacific where she sings, “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right out of my Hair.” It also has an impressive shore break great for boogie boarding. The locals will go there with small kids and let them play in the river that runs into the ocean there.
Kalihiwai Beach sits in a very scenic alcove with the ocean on one side and a beautiful river that is perfect for paddle boarding or canoeing up. This is a quiet spot with a rope swing and it is a favorite of ours to relax on.
Queens Bath is a unique tide pool that is impressively large and beautiful. We often bring pool floaty toys and enjoy it’s lazy river feel. It can be hazardous so only go on low surf days and with older kids.
Hanalei is the perfec beach town to for those unique local finds. The town itself is full of beach charm and some of my favorite clothes and pieces of jewelry have come of the store Sand People.
Hanalei Farmers Market is a must see. If has great produce, jewelry, local goods, and artisans. It is Saturdays from 9:30 to 2:00 pm
Waipa Farmers Market is in a lush valley surrounded by mountains. You can but locally made foods, crafts and clothes. I highly recommend the chocolate covered bananas. It is every Tuesday at 2:00 pm
Princeville Ranch Adventures is a great resources for horseback riding, atv’s, zip lining, and adventure. We have been here several times with kids of all ages! Rain or shine we have enjoyed several activities on the IT’S hundreds of acres.
Rent kayaks or paddle boards and go up the Hanalei river. There are several places to rent from that are easily spotted along the road.
Boat or helicopter tour of the Napoli Coast is an incredible way to see the stunning coastline without having to hike it. It is honestly a must see spot if you are in the area and well worth the time and money spent.
Hope you enjoy your time on the island. Aloha!