To have enough time to see multiple parts of the island and still have time to relax, you should spend at least one week on Kauai. That will give you a nice pace for your vacation. But there’s more to consider to help you get the best estimate for your Kauai vacation. 

How Many Days Do People Spend on Kauai?

According to The Hawaii Tourism Authority, in 2019 people spent an average of 7.78 days on Kauai. If you account for a travel day, visitors spent a full week exploring the island of Kauai. While it is one of the smaller Hawaiian islands and driving from side to side in one day isn’t as big of an undertaking as it is on the Big Island, there is still more than enough to do to keep visitors busy for a full week. 

Here’s how long visitors stay on each island:

2019 Average Length of Stay:
Oahu7.06
Maui8.52
Moloka’i5.82
Lana’i4.25
Kaua’i7.78
Island of Hawai’i (Big Island)8.13

 

How Many Days Should You Spend on Kauai?

If you’re only visiting one island on your vacation, plan to spend at least one week  on Kauai to give you enough time to spend adjusting to jet lag, exploring the island, and relaxing. While there is much more to do and see on the island and you can stay busy for well over a week, a week-long trip should be the minimum time you budget for a trip to Kauai. 

If you can’t spend a week on Kauai, how you prioritize and plan your time is going to be very important. Do you want to see as much as you can of the north and south shore? Is hiking high on your list? Or do you want to build in a lot of beach and relaxation time? There is a lot to do and experience on Kauai so you will have to save some of your trip for later. 

If you don’t have time for a full week in Kauai, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with our 3-day Kauai itinerary

how many days do you need on Kauai

Things to do and See on Kauai

Even though Kauai is a smaller island, there is so much to do and see. If you’re ready to start mapping out an itinerary to see how long your vacation should be, this list of top things to do will help you get started: 

Get the full list of tours and activities we love on Kauai.

 

Sample Day Itineraries for Kauai

Because there is so much to do and see on Kauai, it’s best to schedule your days out so you’re not driving all over the island. For example, if you’re headed to check out the town of Hanalei, add in other sights on the North Shore to make the drive worthwhile. 

A day up north: Visit Hanalei town and Hanalei bay for a little beach time, a kayak trip, and to take in the lush beauty of the North Shore. While you’re there, visit Haʻena State Park and Ke’e Beach or stroll through the Limahuli Botanic Gardens. 

A day in Waimea: Start your day driving west with a stop at Kauai coffee before heading up the hill to Waimea Canyon. Enjoy the views and head to the end of the road to take in the Napali Coast sights at Koke’e State Park. One your way back down, stop for lunch and fruit in the charming town of Waimea. 

Spend the day at the beaches: Hop around the south shore beaches for the day, visiting Spouting Horn blowhole first before heading on to Poipu Beach. After lunch you can walk the Maha’ulepu Trail from Shipwreck Beach for some stunning coastal views. 

Looking for a place to stay? We have you covered with our where to stay on Kauai guide

 

Is Two Weeks Too Long on Kauai?

Two weeks is definitely not too long on Kauai, but you’ll want to be strategic with your time. Visiting during the summer months will allow you to split your stay between the north shore and the south shore, giving you two completely different experiences. This allows you to see so much that Kauai has to offer, but at a more relaxed pace. 

Whether you have one week or one month on Kauai, make the most of your time. Our Kauai itinerary can help you do just that. The itinerary comes with a video overview of the island, five done-for-you excursion days that take you to the best spots on the island, and a “quick hits” section of beaches, restaurants, and snorkeling spots so you always have something near you to go do. 

“Love your itinerary! I was spending hours researching and watching videos taking pages and pages of notes. You have done the work for me. It is organized so well we can just take off for the day with no guesswork where we are headed or doing on any given day. All the little details and tips are very helpful too. Absolutely love it.” Mandie C. 

Check out our best itineraries here

Hawaii Itineraries

 

Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. I am a planner! I love to plan island-hopping adventures, days out on Maui, and everything in-between. I spend a lot of my time on our SUP and my favorite time of year in Hawai'i is whale season!

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