We went to Kauai in September 16th-ish which was literally the day after the seasonal price peaks went down. Great timing, highly recommended!!!
Flew into Lihue (LIH) & rented a car to drive to Hanalei (a topless jeep for Jurassic Park exploring, of course!). The drive along the coast through Wailua (stopped for late breakfast of coffee + papaya with lime) was spectacular! The mountains were tall & rugged & green & absolutely unforgettable.
Hanalei is an ADORABLE town. Spend the first afternoon wandering & absorbing please. We rented a VRBO which was just one narrow little path away from the beach. Way too big for 2, but the off-season prices made it an affordable luxury. We had a deck with a grill & ocean view. After a trip to the grocery store (prepare: there are chickens walking around there!) we had Hawaiian craft beers, yummy sweet bread & tropical fruits galore.
Despite many activity options we spent more than a day or two just relaxing on the beach. It’s a nice one to run along, sunsets are spectacular & there are surfers to admire…
In the evening we ate out, enjoying Tiki Man Pizza (yummy Mai Tai) and Dolphin sushi. I was particularly obsessed with Hanalei Coffee Roasters’ coconut mocha. This town is a sleepy one so nights were pretty quiet (with the exception of one “late” 10pm one at Tiki Man)..
Activities are abundant, I recommend renting some adventure gear, hiking to waterfalls (check out the Kalalau trail or Hanakapi’ai Falls) or surfing (taking a lesson?). Mostly, though, I recommend lounging on the beach!
We also took a road trip back around the island to see Waimea Canyon one day. It was grand (it was HOT over on that side of the island!) and worth the trip.
This was such a beautiful place, I cannot wait to return one day…this time I’ll do ALL the activities (in 2 weeks, not 1) I swear!!