1st time in Kauai

Jul 4th, 2013, 02:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
1st time in Kauai

My hubby and I are visiting Kauai for the first time in December this year. Wondering if we should hire a car or can we do day tours etc to see most attractions. We are staying in the Lihue area at the Kauai Beach Resort. Hope to do a helicopter tour of Waimea Canyon and especially the Na Pali Coast. Is there a better time of the day to do this. Should we book before we leave home? We are only in Kauai for a couple of days so anything we do will be a bonus. Thanking all in advance.
jal57 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,632
We had considered the Kauai Beach Resort last September when we visited Kauai and we eventually opted for the Lihue Mariott. We did stop by the Kauai Beach Resort just to see what we missed and the hotel was nice enough but not within walking distance of anything. Furthermore the beach is not swimmable so if you want to go into the water you will have to drive to another beach. I can't imagine being without a rental car if that's where you are staying.

On our last day in Kauai we decided on a whim to take a helicopter tour but there was no availability so I think booking in advance is a good idea.
P_M is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,271
Definitely rent a car so that you can tour the island at your pace. Do some research and decide if you want to do anything like a helicopter tour or visit the town of Kapaa, the north shore or the Kauai coffee plantation on the way to Waimea Canyon. Stop for a drink or snack at the Seaview Terrace at the Grand Hyatt at sunset--lovely.
Scootoir is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,307
You will need a car no matter where you stay. We did spend 5 nights at the Hyatt once without a car, but that was after over a week touring the island with a car.

Agree with P_M about the location of the Kauai Beach Resort. It is a bit off by itself.

I would look for places to stay in the Poipu Beach area.
wekewoody is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Yes, you need a car, the bus there is not designed for tourists, it does not go to Waimea Canyon or further north than Hanalei. The big tour buses cannot drive to Koke'e State Park, not sure about smaller vans. The Kalalau Lookout is at Koke'e.

Try using this outfit, I got a nice Avis car last trip:
jamie99 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 805
As others said, you definitely need a car if you want to see Kauai. There's no way around it.
andrews98682 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2013, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,279
A car is a must on Kauai. (I have spent 3 car-less days in Honolulu a couple times, & despite the many transportation options there, it was like I was in jail! Maybe that's just me....).
We have rented with discounthawaiicarrental.com several times, and have nothing but good to say for them. Never a problem, and always seem to get the best rate there that we can find, dealing with various of the major agencies.
kanunu is offline  
Jul 9th, 2013, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 56
Another firm vote in favor of a car. The island is so easy and pleasant to see that way and it offers maximum flexibility, to boot. Besides, there are several delightful places to eat that I'm sure are not included on many tours! Our trip via helicopter was a highlight of our stay--do not skip even if you have to skimp on other things to afford it! We haven't been at your time of year, so I can't speak to the advisability of pre-booking. I'd check with the helicopter companies directly. . . we used Island Helicopters, if I remember correctly, and had a great experience.
falcon is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 63
We just returned from 11 days in Hawaii, four of which were on Kauai - and you definitely need a car to see things. We stayed at the Kauai Marriott Resort (nice property, but very bad service). We could not decide between a helicopter tour and a powered hang glider - we opted for the later and it was incredible (don't know if I can put the company name here? it was called "Birds in Paradise") - while you don't see the entire Island of Kauai, it was an incredible time and the areas they fly over are the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon - great way to see both. And, you need a car to drive there as they are in Port Allen on the south shore. And yes, I would book ahead of time, especially in December as we were told that is "high season" which was puzzling to us - but maybe everyone wants to get away to Hawaii when it is bad weather elsewhere.
Perigrinator is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 63
Another poster that agrees with the need for car. We just returned and pretty much drove the entire perimeter (and some farther inland) by car. Wonderful time.
ddubya is offline  
Jul 24th, 2013, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,043
car yes, helicopter yes. Since you are going in December, make as many reservations in advance as possible including any dinner reservations. We also loved "tubing" down the old plantation canals. Very very fun. check it out on line and make reservations early there as well. We missed out on the day we wanted to go as they were booked and it wasn't December so do everything in advance.
Shar is offline  

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