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4-day Kauai Itinerary
First, let me say that I would never recommend spending just 4 days on Kauai! That said, my 4-day Maui itinerary has been very popular, so I wanted to create a 4-day Kauai itinerary too.
You can also check out my 7-day Kauai itinerary if you have more time to spend on this beautiful island.
The best and only way to get around Kauai is to rent a car. There is so much to explore on Kauai; you’re going to need a car, preferably a Jeep, to truly enjoy it. There is a bus system, but it’s more for locals going to work rather than tourists.
Trust me; you’re going to want a car. I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best prices on rental cars in Kauai. You can reserve now and pay upon arrival.
Is there a bad time to visit Kauai?
Before we get to this 4-day Kauai itinerary, let me answer a common question. As a Hawaii Travel Agent, I’m often asked if there is a bad time to visit Kauai. The answer is no. Kauai indeed gets quite a bit of rain in the winter, but that’s primarily along the North Shore.
Other parts of the island, particularly the Southern part of the island, see much less rain. If you’d like to learn more about the weather in Kauai, check out “the worst time to go to Hawaii,” where I go into detail, particularly on the island of Kauai.
Where to stay in Kauai
There are a lot of blogs out there saying you should stay in different parts of the island during your visit, and I disagree 100%. Kauai is a tiny island, and getting around is relatively simple.
The longer you stay in one place, the most cost-effective the stay. If you’re only visiting Kauai for four days, it’s best to stay in the same place.
The best resorts on the South Shore of Kauai
I love the Koloa Landing Resort and the Grand Hyatt for families. For honeymoons, the Ko’a Kea Resort is a great choice.
The grounds of the Grand Hyatt.
The best resorts on the North Shore of Kauai
The Westin Princeville Resort Ocean Villas is an excellent choice, along with the Hanalei Bay Resort. I’m also excited about the 1 Hotel Hanalei hotel that is (hopefully) opening very soon!
How to spend 4 days on Kauai
For this 4-day Kauai itinerary, feel free to mix and match your days, depending on your arrival and departure times. I create custom itineraries for all of my clients, so make sure to reach out if you’d rather have a professional put together your Kauai itinerary.
Start your day by seeing Kauai from above. I always recommend a helicopter tour on Kauai as much of the island is inaccessible by car.
If you have limited time and want to see everything, a helicopter tour is the best way. Check out my full Kauai helicopter post to find out more.
Later, if hiking is on your must-do list, head over to Waimea Canyon State Park or Koke’e State Park for an afternoon hike; you can also check out Hanapepe Swinging Bridge on the way in or out.
Fun fact: Hanapepe is the town where Lilo lives on Lilo and Stitch.
If you prefer something less strenuous, head over to Kapa’a and rent some bikes, then end your day with dinner or Happy Hour at Lava Lava Beach Club.
A few other ideas would be checking out Wailua Falls and maybe taking a Shelter Dog on a field trip with the Kauai Humane Society! We took our shelter dog to the Wailua Arboretum for a shorter hike.
Don’t miss the best hikes on Kauai.
Spend day 2 exploring the North Shore. If you’re feeling up to it, take a surf lesson or rent a stand-up paddleboard at Hanalei Bay.
Spend some time checking out Kilauea Lighthouse or snorkeling at Tunnels Beach if it’s safe to do so. I talk more about the best beaches for snorkeling in my 10 best beaches in Kauai post. I also have a post with the 16 best beaches in Kauai for swimming if you’re looking for a good swimmable beach.
Hanalei also has plenty of shops and food trucks, so don’t miss this cute little town. Head to Postcards Cafe or the Princeville Resort for dinner. You can also check out the best restaurants in Kauai for even more dining options.
If kayaking the Wailua River is on your to-do list, do that today! You can do a guided tour to Secret Falls or rent some kayaks and head out on your own.
If you haven’t had a beach day yet, consider kayaking the Wailua River in the morning and then heading to the beach for a relaxing beach day.
If you don’t mind a drive, Polihale State Park is beautiful and much quieter than most of the less-secluded beaches. Even if you’re visiting Kauai for a short time, make sure to check out the 10 best beaches in Kauai to choose the perfect beach to visit during your trip.
Check out the Na Pali Coast. No Kauai itinerary is complete without exploring the gorgeous Na Pali Coast. If you took the helicopter tour, you’ve already seen some of it, but now let’s get even closer.
You can take a snorkeling tour with Holo Holo Charters, a snorkeling tour that includes the Forbidden Isle of Ni’ihau, or a sunset dinner cruise if that’s more your speed.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike part of the famous Kalalau Trail if you can get a permit. I would not recommend doing the entire trail if you only have four days.
4-day Kauai Itinerary
Don’t forget that you can mix and match this 4-day Kauai itinerary depending on your arrival and departure times. For even more things to do on Kauai, check out the top 10 things to do on Kauai and 25 more things to do on Kauai.
If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the ten best adventure activities on Kauai and add some of them to your Kauai itinerary.
4 days in Kauai
Although I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, I only take on a few clients for 2022. You can contact me if you’d like more information. I would recommend starting with my Hawaii travel guide if you plan to DIY your vacation!
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You can also check out how to plan a Kauai vacation if you’re just starting.
Ready to plan your Kauai vacation?
Make sure to contact me or go ahead and fill out a custom travel request, and I’ll let you know if I’m available to help with your dates.
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Stephanie Coldiron (Oklahom)
I am interested in an anniversary trip to Hawaii and wanted to see if you are available to assist? I love your blog and the way you plan out your vacations. When I saw your recommendation to get a shelter dog for your hike, I knew I wanted you to plan our trip!!!
Hi Stephanie! Fill out my contact form and let’s chat! https://amyfillinger.com/contact