VISIT WAIMEA CANYON. Waimea Canyon, located in Waimea, Hawaii is dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The moniker, falsely attributed to literalist Mark Twain, became popular after American explorer John Wesley Powell came to the island of Kauai in 1869.
Waimea Canyon was formed when the Waimea river carved its way through the lava and basalt formations of the region. The central volcano that lay on the canyon collapsed 10 million years ago, playing a vital role in forming the canyon.
RELAX TIME AT GRAND HYATT with POOL and SPA PASS
Get a full pass at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa ($75/day), or Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort ($50/day)
ON ResortPass, you can purchase Pool Side Day Pass or Anara Spa Day Pass.
While using the 50-minutes Anara Spa services, you also have full day access to Grand Hyatt Fitness and Spa
PLAN A GARDEN TOUR. There are some fabulous gardens on Kauai. Princeville Gardens, Na Aina Kaiand Limahuli Gardens are all on the North Shore. Each of these gardens is unique and offers something different. At Na Aina Kai, besides incredible park-like settings, you will have the pleasure of seeing many life-size bronze statues throughout the property. Click on each garden name for more information.
Since you have the whole day and are heading toward the airport, another outstanding garden choice would be Allerton Gardens on the South Shore. Like Limahuli Gardens, this beautiful setting on the coast in Poipu is part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
Tour the garden to see towering rainforest trees with tall curving roots that grow near bronze mermaids, a grove of swaying golden bamboo, a cut-flower garden, and tropical fruit trees. Allerton Garden also has a rich history as a Hollywood film location for many notable movies and TV shows. It is fun to sit for a photo in the towering roots of the famous Moreton Bay fig trees featured in blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean. Allerton Gardens has been named one of the ’50 Places of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler.
Trolley Stop Tours is another fun and flexible tour you could try. The Tour begins and ends at Harbor Mall, centrally located at Kalapaki Bay in Lihue. You can call 808-246-8765 for a reservation or check out Trolley Stop Tours’ facebook.
YOU CAN GO SHOPPING, assuming you still have room in your luggage. You know you are going to want to bring some goodies and souvenirs home with you. So, spend at least part of your last day going to one or more of the three major shopping areas on Kauai. In Lihue which is the closest store to the Lihue airport, you can stop by HiloHattie. Get a $5 coupon from ThisWeekHawai brochure. The Coconut Marketplace is in Kapaa and it just went through a huge remodel. There are 32 shops and restaurants, along with hula shows at specific times. On Fridays at 5:00 catch some free live Hawaiian music with Larry Rivera.
Just past Lihue, look for the stately, brown plantation house sitting back from the highway. This is Kilohana, a historical building used during the plantation era. Inside find eleven unique shops and Gaylord’s Restaurant. Make a reservation to take “any of the three Conductor Narrated Authentic Train Tours of the historic 105 acre Kilohana Plantation. Sit back and relax in the elegant mahogany passenger cars as you tour and see the tropical beauty and bounty of Kilohana.”
At The Shops At Kukuliulu in Poipu you will find plenty of classy stores and exquisite dining. There is a Living Foods Gourmet Market & Cafe which is a popular and thriving foodie hub. Longs Drugs has a huge section of candies, coffee and Hawaiian souvenirs. Check The Shops At Kukuliulu’s website for special art, music and food events.
For quantity and best prices, of course, head to Costco and Walmart, both in Lihue, very close to the airport.
WAILUA FALLS. Dramatic waterfalls that are easily accessible
Where: North of Lihue, at the south end of the Wailua River
Wailua Falls, just north of Lihue, is a step off the beaten path. Located at the south end of the Wailua River, it cascades into two streams, dropping 80 feet below. Some even say the distance is more accurately described as 200 feet. Perhaps this is because the size and appearance of the falls is determined by the amount of rainfall farther up the mountains.
Like other spectacular spots on Kauai used as film locations, Wailua Falls is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running television show “Fantasy Island.” Easily accessible, Wailua Falls can be seen from the roadside, so you can leave your hiking boots behind. To get there, head north from Lihue and follow Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. Travel uphill for about 3 miles. If you visit in the mornings, you may be treated to a rainbow as the sunlight meets the mist of the falls, which makes for an amazing photo opportunity.
EAT-IN Lihue at Kalapaki Beach. There are several restaurants near Kalapaki beach; Duke’s Kauai is one of the best locations for watching the surfers at Kalapaki beach
KAPAA. Here are some local restaurants you may want to enjoy at the last day. Try Street burger, Coconut fish cafe, or Lava Lava beach club.