3-Day Spectacular Kauai Family Vacation

Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, is lush and beautiful. We spent 4 nights in this laid back island and weren’t able to experience it all. Here is what we did on our 3-day Kauai family vacation.

Related: How to Plan a Vacation with Kids, Tips for a Multigenerational Family Vacation, Tips for Flying with Kids, and Tips for Traveling with Kids.

Kauai Family Vacation

Where to stay on your Kauai Family Vacation

We stayed at the Kauai Shores Hotel which was very family and budget friendly. There aren’t big pools and slides and the rooms are on the small side, but what it lacked in frills it made up for with a lively and inviting ambience. After our outings, we enjoyed going in the pool or to the beach, which is right behind the hotel. There is happy hour, live music, and lawn games every day. We ate at the on-site restaurant a couple of times as well.

Helicopter Tour

We wanted to do a helicopter tour and there are so many options, but I decided to go with Island Helicopters. They have good reviews, closed door helicopters, and good safety ratings. I picked the tour that takes you to “Jurassic” falls.

And, it did not disappoint. It was an amazing experience. My 10 year old was nervous about it, but she ended up loving it and it was a highlight of our trip. The pilot took us around the island to the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon and gave us background on Kauai. We landed near the waterfall where the original Jurassic park was filmed. It was truly incredible.

Hanapepe and Spouting Horn

For a more relaxed outing, we went to the town of Hanapepe to see the swinging bridge and explore. When we arrived, the restaurant we wanted to eat at and most of the shops and other restaurants were closed. However, we found a couple of stores that were open and the proprietors were very friendly. They explained that apparently it’s a very typical day in Hanapepe; things might be open or closed.

Luckily, we found an open restaurant, Japanese Grandma’s Cafe, with courtyard seating. It has great sushi and bento and poke bowls.

From there we headed for a quick stop to Spouting Horn, which is a blowhole on the coast. The day we went the water wasn’t spouting very high, but it was gratifying to watch the water come in and blow up the spout.

Anini Beach

We rented snorkel gear and a cooler and took a picnic and spent the day at Anini Beach in the northern part of Kauai. It was recommended as a calm spot for kids. There were sea turtles and some marine life, but not a lot. Even though the snorkeling wasn’t great, it was a relaxing day at the beach. There is a lot of shade, calm waters, and a nice breeze.


When looking for a Luau, I wanted something authenticate with good food, and not very expensive. Tall order! I decided on the Smith Family Garden Luau. You can walk through their beautiful gardens, view the removal of one of the pigs that they started cooking early in the day for the meal, eat a traditional Hawaiian buffet dinner, learn how to hula, and then watch a spectacular show afterwards. (There is also the option of skipping dinner and just watching the show.)

Car Rental

Discount Hawaii Car Rental has deals on all the major car rental companies but at a very reduced rate than what you’ll find going directly through those companies.

There is a lot to do in Kauai and I hope this has helped inspire your Kauai family vacation.

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