If you’re looking for the perfect place to kick off summer, Kauai is a famed travel destination you’ll never forget. The oldest of the (accessible) main Hawaiian Islands, it’s a lush landscape of green mountains, plunging waterfalls, and sandy beaches. It’s also culturally distinct from the rest of the state of Hawaii, as Kauai was never conquered by King Kamehameha when he united the islands 200 years ago. Immerse yourself in history and culture, along with ocean adventure and incredible beauty everywhere you look and especially in our places to stay in Kauai!
Browse Our Memorial Day Kauai Rentals Below
Our Kauai Rentals
Because Kauai is so amazing, and yet so small, prices can be quite high here. But you can save money when you book a vacation rental, instead of just a hotel room. For roughly the same price, you’ll get so much more space (room for the whole family), as well as your own full kitchen for preparing meals from fresh farmers’ market ingredients, fabulous resort amenities, and more. Enjoy incredible views, comfortable living rooms with all the entertainment you could need for your downtime, and a great night’s sleep on our luxurious beds. All our Memorial Day Kauai rentals are close to the beach!
Get to Know the Area
While it’s tempting to just dive right in, it helps to know a bit more about the geography of the island before you choose places to stay in Kauai. Though the island is small, you can’t drive all the way around it, due to the dramatic valleys and wild coastline on the northern side. The northern side is typically much more lush and green, the reason being much larger amounts of rain. No matter what time of year you visit, bear in mind that there may be rain during part of your stay and appreciate that it’s part of what makes Kauai so magical.
Stays in the northern part of Kauai, like near Princeville, will provide easy access to the beautiful bay of Hanalei, as well as Haena at the end of the road. Keep in mind that reservations are now required to visit this part of the island, after the massive flooding that impacted communities there a few years back. The southern shore near Poipu is much drier and provides easier access to Waimea Canyon and the amenities of Lihue town. Both areas have beaches, though swimmers should always exercise caution in the potentially rough waters of Kauai. No matter which area you choose to stay in, you’ll be about equidistant from the eastern-shore town of Kapaa, a great place to ride bikes on a protected shoreline path (with monk seals sleeping alongside!) and the beautiful Wailua River.
Ready to Explore: Rivers, Mountains, Culture
The best place to start when you want to learn about the history of Kauai is in Lihue, the largest town and the island’s county seat. Kauai Museum, a great stop for a rainy day, is open Monday-Saturday 9-4 and is focused on narrating the story of the island’s indigenous and immigrant cultures. You’ll find highly knowledgeable guides, in-depth exhibits, and a great gift shop in this historic old building in downtown Lihue. If you’re in the mood for a different kind of museum tour, check out the Kauai Plantation Railway at the historic Kilohana Plantation, also in Lihue. Most of Hawaii’s sugar trains are long gone, but this one remains to help visitors enjoy the abundance of this 105-acre plantation filled with orchards of tropical fruits, as well as pigs, goats, and sheep. The train tour operates seven days a week, and there are also other on-site options, such as visiting the historic home, restaurant, and gift shop.
For an adventure on both land and water, try the Wailua River Kayak and Hike Adventure Tour! Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with navigable rivers, and Wailua is an amazing one. You’ll paddle upstream at a leisurely pace, past the sites of seven ancient temples, learning the history of the area from your knowledgeable guide. Then you’ll disembark and hike about a mile to a beautiful waterfall pool, and swim if you wish. It’s hard to plan a better day than that! Great hikes can also be found upcountry at Kokee State Park, though you’ll want to prepare for rain, mud, and cooler weather at this higher elevation.
While you can easily enjoy lounge time on any of Kauai’s gorgeous white sandy beaches, it’s always best to exercise caution when playing in the waves. Strong currents and shallow reefs can create hazards for even the most seasoned swimmers. One of the best ways to enjoy the ocean on Kauai safely is from atop a boat! There are many options to choose from, including fishing charters, sunset dinner cruises, and day trips that explore the “hidden” side of the island: Kauai’s inaccessible Na Pali coast. This spectacular scenery is truly breathtaking, and if you don’t see it by boat, consider checking it out from the air on a helicopter tour!
Enjoy planning your perfect Memorial Day Kauai getaway!