Experience Hawaii Without the Crowds on a Kauai Honeymoon

Less popular than some of Hawaii's other islands, Kauai is a breath of fresh air.
Majestic valley at sunset, Kauai island, Hawaii
Photo: Matteo Colombo | Getty
Holly Riddle - The Knot Contributor.
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle - The Knot Contributor.
Holly Riddle
The Knot Contributor
  • Holly is a freelance contributor for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on travel, honeymooning and wedding planning.
  • Holly has been a travel, food and lifestyle freelancer for her entire career.
  • Holly also works for a range of publications and brands as a ghostwriter and marketing copywriter.
Updated Feb 20, 2024
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A Kauai honeymoon presents an exceptional choice among the best honeymoon destinations, particularly for those envisioning a Hawaii honeymoon beyond the well-trodden paths of Oahu, the Big Island or Maui. While these islands are undoubtedly popular, Kauai offers a serene and intimate alternative.

A little more remote and less crowded than some of the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai is a nature-loving couple's dream come true (its nickname is The Garden Island, after all).

Outdoor activities abound, no matter what level of adventure you and your sweetheart prefer. From zip-lining and hiking to boating excursions and helicopter tours, a trip to Kauai is a welcome change of pace compared to some of the more crowded beach destinations you might be considering for your romantic getaway.

Want to find out what else this gorgeous island can offer you? Keep reading for everything you need to know before planning a honeymoon in Kauai.

Kauai Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

Tropical jungle in Kauai
Photo: Greg Lyon | Getty

Best Time to Visit Kauai

Kauai has two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season is from April to October, which will offer you the best weather. The wet season is from November to March. Most travelers choose to visit Kauai during the dry season, as the wet season serves up daily rain about two-thirds of the time. For a trip to Kauai during the dry season that also avoids peak travel times, plan your honeymoon for September or October.

Best weather: April to October.
Festival highlights: The Prince Kuhio Celebration in March celebrates Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole and his contributions to the people of Hawaii. The Waimea Town Celebration in February is Kauai's oldest and largest festival, featuring live music, local food and cultural exhibits. The Kauai Mokihana Festival is a week-long celebration in September that promotes Hawaiian culture with music and hula competitions. The Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival in October is held in Hanapepe and celebrates local coffee and chocolate with tastings and demos.

Kauai Honeymoon Planning Tips

Kauai will check off a lot of honeymoon must-haves for couples. This US honeymoon destination offers a tropical island setting without leaving the country, and it's easy enough to reach via flights from the West Coast (though East Coast visitors will find they need to set aside at least a day for their travel time). Plus, there are plenty of luxury resorts to choose from, but you won't find the intense crowds you might get in other more popular Hawaii destinations.

While Kauai does offer a little bit of everything—history, culture, art, a food scene, outdoor activities—the real focus here is on nature. You'll discover that your itinerary might be a little sparse if you're not into outdoor activities like snorkeling, kayaking and hiking.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind while planning your honeymoon in Kauai.

Entry requirements: As a part of the US, citizens do not need a passport or visa for travel to Hawaii. However, it's advisable to carry a government-issued photo ID. Starting in May 2025, you may be required to have a REAL ID.
English, Hawaiian.
Kauai, known as "The Garden Island," is the fourth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and is located in the central Pacific Ocean, northwest of Oahu.
Flight time to Destination: From the West Coast, direct flights to Lihue Airport in Kauai typically take about 6 hours. From the East Coast, flights can take 10 to 12 hours or more, often requiring a layover in Honolulu.
Getting around: Car, public bus, bicycle and by foot.

Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Kauai honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

Best Kauai Honeymoon Hotels & Resorts

There are plenty of picture-perfect honeymoon accommodations in Kauai. We've listed a few resorts below, but if you're looking for more unique stays on the island, consider a Kauai Airbnb.

Kauai Marriott Resort
Bill Morson/Shutterstock

Ko'a Kea Resort On Poipu Beach

You can't go wrong with an oceanfront honeymoon resort that's been named one of the most romantic in the world. Boutique and intimate, Ko'a Kea Resort offers everything you need for an excellent honeymoon experience, from a top-notch spa (those couples massages are calling) to a pool with its own bar. It's a great base camp and spot to relax after a day spent adventuring around the island.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Koloa Landing Resort

For a more private experience, you might want to consider renting your own ocean view villa at Koloa Landing Resort. The privacy continues when you book your own poolside cabana, as well as when you enjoy the quiet and more tranquil adults-only pool. The spa, golf course and stocked kitchens in each villa are just the icing on the cake at this property.

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Marriott's Kaua'i Beach Resort

For more budget-friendly accommodations that don't sacrifice quality, look to Marriott's centrally located Kauai beach resort. The expansive property offers plenty of on-site dining options and activities (similar to what you might find at an all-inclusive resort, if that's your preference).

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Pro tip: For even more luxury stays in Hawaii, check out all-inclusive resorts perfect for a romantic island honeymoon.

Things to Do in Kauai for Couples

With its breathtaking landscapes and romantic ambiance, a Kauai honeymoon can be paradise for couples. When it comes to things to do, you'll find the island easily offers adventure, relaxation and unforgettable experiences. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Kayaking Na Pali coast in Kauai
Tedjohnjacobs/Getty Images

Take a Helicopter Tour of the Island

First things first: Book a helicopter tour of Kauai so you can get your lay of the land before you start exploring. A memorable honeymoon activity, a helicopter tour is easy enough to reserve on Kauai, with offerings from multiple vendors.

The best part about a helicopter tour of Kauai is that it allows you to see parts of the island that you really can't see any other way, as only about one-third of the island is accessible via car or foot. Depending on how adrenaline-seeking you and your spouse-to-be are, you might even opt for a no-doors helicopter tour.

Board a Boat

It's one thing to enjoy Kauai's sandy beaches (which are beautiful and plenteous, for sure); it's another to see them from offshore.

Boating is a wonderful way to spend a day on your honeymoon. You can rent or hire a sailboat or catamaran to take you around the Kauai coast—you'll find a range of rental options, whether you want to go romantic with dinner and drinks or more adventurous with whale watching.

You can also head off on your own for a bit of kayaking. Popular kayak spots on Kauai include the Napali Coast and the Wailua River.

Strap on Your Hiking Boots

If your dream honeymoon getaway includes watching your partner get all hot and sweaty, Kauai offers plenty of options for hiking. Hike up Nounou Mountain (also called Sleeping Giant) to enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Hike downward into Waimea Canyon at Kokee State Park for rainforest treks and swamp traversing. The Awaawapuhi Trail is one of the park's most memorable hiking trails, with drop-off valleys running alongside the trail for spectacular views that aren't for the faint of heart.

Pro tip: Add Hawaii honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so your loved ones can give you one of these memorable couples activities. Don't forget to post some cute honeymoon photos (paired with fun Hawaii captions and quotes) so your guests can see what you're up to.

What to Pack for a Kauai Honeymoon

A couple in an infinity pool
Photo: Chakarin Wattanamongkol | Getty

Ready to say "aloha" to a Kauai honeymoon? It's time to start a packing checklist for your romantic getaway.

Since Kauai is an outdoor adventure-heavy destination, be sure to pack all your outdoor gear in your honeymoon luggage: hiking boots, activewear, sunscreen (reef-safe only), bug spray and water shoes, for starters.

Overall, the island has a laid-back vibe, so you'll be safe with casual clothing most of the time, though you may want to bring one or two dressier outfits for dinners. For a more complete packing list, check out our full guide of what to pack for a tropical honeymoon.

Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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