23 Of The Finest Issues to do in Kauai

Kauai is a tropical paradise that may enthrall journey vacationers as a lot as households. Well-known for its golden, sandy seashores, you can spend day after day lazing by the turquoise waters.

However rising out of the Pacific is a jaw-dropping shoreline, punctuated by the unequalled Na Pali Coast. Right here, you’ll uncover distant sea cliffs and a dense jungle with hidden waterfalls. Add on the spectacular Waimea Canyon and the Wailua River and also you’ll haven’t any scarcity of adventures.

High issues to do in Kauai

When the legs develop weary, the seashores will welcome you again and the bars will wait to serve colourful cocktails because the solar goes down. Questioning what to do in Kauai? Learn on for our information to the Backyard Island.

1. Hike The Kalalau Path

Things to do in Kauai Kalalau Trail

Whereas the physique is recent and raring to go, trekking down the Kalalau Path is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Kauai. The hike is an in a single day epic that may put your health to the check. However for individuals who take up the difficult hike, you’ll see the beautiful Napali Coast as few can.

The recognition of the path and fragility of the atmosphere means you’ll require a allow to start. However with that sorted forward of time, you’ll wish to get an early begin. The trailhead is discovered at Ke’e Seaside. The primary two miles snakes alongside the coast in direction of the gorgeous white sand of Hanakapiai Seaside. This part may be busy because it doesn’t require a allow.

However when you attain the golden shore, you’ll flip inland and start slicing by means of the Napali Coast. After 9 miles of jaw-dropping vistas and thigh-burning undulation, you’ll attain the turnaround level. Some return for a complete of twenty-two miles in a day, however most stick round to camp behind Kalalau Seaside.

As you dangle with fellow hikers, benefit from the distant nook of Kauai you can solely attain with somewhat sweat and a way of journey.

Kalalau Path Data:

  • Trailhead: Ke’e Seaside
  • Distance: 22 miles
  • Problem: Troublesome
  • Elevation Achieve: 6177ft

2. Waimea Canyon – The Grand Canyon of the Pacific

Things to do in Kauai Waimea Canyon- Grand Canyon of the Pacific

With the hardest hike on the island within the rearview mirror, you’ll be prepared for what’s subsequent. Kauai is teeming with alternative and whereas the adventures could also be barely shorter, they’re no much less distinctive. Subsequent up is Waimea Canyon, a 14-mile crevasse that cuts by means of the jungle in Kauai’s southwest, exposing swaths of deep orange rock.

At its lowest level, Waimea Canyon is over 3,500 toes deep and a mile broad. You’ll be able to discover the canyon by driving down the epic Koke’e Highway. As you drive alongside, in search of epic viewpoints, you’ll be choosing up your jaw after each hairpin nook.

Waimea Canyon Lookout in Kauai Hawaii

There are a number of mesmerizing stops alongside the best way, together with the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout. Put the automotive in park and benefit from the temporary stroll to panoramic views. The preferred cease, nonetheless, is the Waimea Canyon Lookout. It could typically be busy, however the view is unbeatable all the way down to the Waimea Falls.

If you happen to’re prepared for a hike, head out alongside the 2-mile return Cliff Path. It’s quieter and brings you proper to the sting of Waimea Canyon.

3. Swim At Poipu Seaside Park (South Shore)

Things to do in Kauai Poipu Beach Park

You’ve began off the journey with a bang, however now it’s time to place your toes up on the golden sand and discover your tropical bliss. On the South Shore, sunbathing at Poipu Seaside is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Kauai.

The seaside is break up in two by a sand bar, providing a duo of silky arcs to select from. They’re each inside a protected bay, with the outer reef slowing a lot of the swell. So not solely is her mushy sand good for a day of studying true crime on the seaside towel, however it’s additionally prime for snorkeling.

Except for different vacationers, you’ll typically be joined by inexperienced sea turtles and the Hawaiian monk seal. Once you aren’t swimming or admiring the wildlife from afar, Poipu Seaside is backed by resorts providing easy accessibility to eating places and sundown cocktails.

When you are in Poipu, be certain that to attempt your hand at some Ziplining. This Zipline Journey has 8 Ziplines and is an ideal approach to take pleasure in some lovely views and a few journey!

4. Go Whale Watching

Whale Watching in Kauai Hawaii

From mid-December to April yearly, massive numbers of migrating humpback whales make their approach to the Hawaiian islands. There are various viewpoints on the island that may let you spot the whales from afar, however nothing beats seeing them up shut.

The Auau Channel that splits Maui, Molokai, and Lanai would be the most famed whale watching spot in Hawaii, however Kauai has one thing these islands don’t, the Na Pali Coast. Wanting doing the Kalalau Path, there are solely two methods to actually seize the dramatic sea cliffs. That’s on a ship journey or a helicopter tour.

So why not do two for the value of 1? Head out alongside the spellbinding coast looking for humpback whales, admiring the surroundings as you go. It received’t take lengthy to identify the humpbacks, as they’re essentially the most acrobatic whale species on the planet. If you happen to’re fortunate, you’ll see many whales breaching the floor earlier than tumbling again down, creating a brand new set of waves.

5. Go to Tunnels Seaside

Visit Tunnels Beach in Kauai Hawaii

For wonderful snorkeling with vibrant colourful fish head to the serene Tunnels Seaside. On Kauai’s North Shore, the seaside comes with lifeguards who monitor the swimming situations. Nevertheless, with restricted parking, you’ll wish to arrive early.

It’s definitely worth the early rise so as to get some tranquil snorkeling accomplished within the early morning mild. Dive into the translucent water with the reef spanning out in all instructions. The reef’s sea caves and complicated tunnels imply there’s a shock round each nook. As you discover the bubbling coral, hold an eye fixed out for sea turtles and monk seals making their approach to the nice and cozy sand at Tunnels Seaside.

After finishing the interior reef, enterprise to the outer, the place you’ll uncover tumbling sea cliffs however may even have stronger currents. Those that keep on dry land can sit back and admire the towering mountains behind them.

6. Take a Helicopter Tour

Helicopter Tour in Kauai Hawaii

Talking of towering mountains, if you wish to see them from above, that is what to do in Kauai. Kauai’s different landscapes are exhausting to fathom and the sheer scale of the mountains and valleys typically makes adventuring on foot a bridge too far. So, so as to see among the most majestic elements of the island, you’ll must take to the sky.

E-book Your Helicopter Tour of Kauai Right here!

From above, the island’s veritable kaleidoscope of colours is on full show. See the deep blues of the Pacific Ocean fade to white because it crashes in opposition to the darkish brown cliffs. Because the cliffs rise, the browns combine with mild oranges and greens till the deep rainforest takes maintain.

Na Pali Coast view from a helicopter Kauai

Taking a helicopter tour is a good way to seize the would possibly of the Na Pali Coast and see pods of whales. However your tour may also take you to difficult-to-reach locations, together with the otherworldly Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Falls).

7. Witness The Queen’s Bathtub

Queens Bath located in Kauai Hawaii

A short journey from Princeville, considered one of Kauai’s premier resort cities, is the distinctive Queen’s Bathtub. The “bathtub” is a gigantic tide pool enveloped in lava rock. Hawaiian royalty would come to the North Shore to calm down in Queen’s Bathtub’s sacred waters.

To the left of the pure tub is a miniature cliff that options a number of small waterfalls pouring in. As they fall, the tub rises and falls with the ocean, creating a stunning sight.

The perfect time to go to is in the summertime when the water round Kauai tends to be calmer. Within the winter, with the tough swell, Queen’s Bathtub is usually a spectacular however harmful place to swim. Many select to bypass that and easily admire the wonder from a protected spot. However for those who select to enterprise in, keep vigilant for big waves and put on sturdy sneakers.

8. Stroll The Nationwide Tropical Botanical Backyard

National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Kauai Hawaii

The Nationwide Tropical Botanical Backyard is devoted to saving, finding out, and in addition discovering new tropical vegetation. Its headquarters are discovered proper right here in Kauai, with the island dwelling to 4 distinct gardens (the fifth is in Florida). Because the gardens opened within the Nineteen Sixties, the gardens have grown to cowl nearly 2,000 acres teeming with hundreds of species from tropical areas across the globe.

It’s an effort to protect these distinctive and delightful species, with a lot of the backyard dwelling to endangered or threatened species. The NTGB even rediscovered a plant that was believed to be extinct.

Alongside these tropical vegetation is the most important assemblage of native Hawaiian vegetation on earth. Wander by means of any of the 4 gardens and uncover why Kauai is named the Backyard Isle.

9. Uncover Wailua Falls

Twin Wailua Falls in Kauai Hawaii

Identified for its everlasting rainbow, Wailua Falls is each simply accessible and completely beautiful. On the island’s east coast close to Lihue Airport, observe Freeway 583 and proceed driving till the lifeless finish.

From there, merely step out of the automobile and admire the 80-foot waterfall that tumbles down in two sections right into a jade-green swimming gap. But when watching from above solely evokes you to wish to get a better look, enterprise down the steep however brief slope the place you’ll be able to swim within the refreshing waters beside the roar of the falls.

Nevertheless, for a real journey kayak alongside the Wailua River. It’s the one river you’ll be able to kayak on the island and can take you not simply to Wailua Falls however by historic temples and thru the unspoiled jungle.

10. Seize Lunch at One Of The Meals Vans

Visiting the Food Trucks in Kauai Hawaii

After we consider what to do in Kauai, our minds consider mountains, beautiful waterfalls, and white sand seashores. However we have to add a fourth factor to that record: meals vehicles.

The island’s meals truck scene can be the most effective surprises in your travels. You’ll discover them throughout, alongside seashores, on the trailhead, and round city. You’ll come throughout all kinds of foods and drinks that may hold you fueled, from fish tacos to refreshing fruit smoothies. The perfect half? It’s dust low cost.

However like all issues, there’s all the time someplace that does it finest. If you happen to solely have one meals truck expertise, head to Kapaa, the place you’ll discover them in abundance. Attempt Al Pastor Tacos or Nixtamai for Mexican delicacies. To chill off, eat shaved ice at Shave Ice Tege Tege.

11. Boogie Board at Shipwreck Seaside

Top Kauai Activities Shipwreck Beach

Alongside the coast from Poipu Seaside is the aptly named Shipwreck Seaside. Many a ship has by chance and typically on objective are available contact with the seaside’s offshore reef, assembly its demise.

Whereas Poipu will get the crowds, this seaside stays comparatively quiet. It’s a preferred surf seaside due to its full of life swell. However the swirling water doesn’t make for the very best swimming, so arm your self with a boogie board on the very least.

On sunny days, it’s a romantic spot for native and touring {couples} who can benefit from the tranquility as they appear out throughout the rusty ship lingering offshore. Another excuse to go to is the hovering 40-foot cliff. You’ll spot thrill-seekers leaping off the cliff like clockwork.

12. Stroll The Maha’ulepu Heritage Path

Mahaulepu Heritage Trail in Kauai

Departing from Shipwreck Seaside, the Maha’ulepu Heritage Path provides you with a glimpse into the previous. It’s one of many best hikes to do on the island, and the right complement to a day lazing on the sand.

The path meanders alongside the coast with endless views of the Pacific, lush mountains, and pink cliffs. It’s possible you’ll even see whales. Begin early to keep away from the warmth, as there’s little shade alongside the trail.

Alongside the best way cross paths with the limestone cliffs, laden with fossilized marine life. Proceed previous kiawe bushes to succeed in the Makauwahi Caves, the place you’ll discover extra fossils. The trek ends at Maha’ulepu Seaside, a distant cove and nice relaxation cease.

Maha’ulepu Heritage Path Data:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Problem: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 150ft

13. Expertise Hawaiian Tradition

Experience Hawaiina Culture while in Kauai Hawaii

You’ll spend loads of time exploring the island’s epic panorama. However taking time to expertise native tradition is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Kauai.

There are a selection of how to do that, with many resorts placing on their very own experiences. Some can have a nightly hula dance together with the chance to create a lauhala (conventional basket) or learn to use historic searching instruments.

Different methods to find out about Kauai tradition are by visiting the Kauai Museum and the Koke’e Pure Historical past Museum. Mix that with visits to small villages like Koloa and Hanapepe for the entire expertise.

14. Hike To The Kilauea Lighthouse (North Shore)

Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai's North Shore

On the tip of Kauai’s North Shore is a rugged peninsula dwelling to the Kilauea Lighthouse. The historic construction stands nearly 200 toes above the Pacific Ocean and was full in 1913.

There’s a automotive park near the lighthouse, offering easy accessibility. However it’s finest to reach early or late within the day to keep away from the crowds. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t enter, however the sweeping views will shortly blow away any sense of disappointment.

The lighthouse is situated inside the Kilauea Level Wildlife Refuge. So convey alongside your binoculars, as this is without doubt one of the finest spots on the island to take pleasure in some hen watching.

15. Discover Secret Seaside (Kauapea Seaside)

Top Kauai Attractions Secret Beach (Kauapea Beach)

Simply minutes from the Lighthouse on the North Shore is Secret Seaside. The identify now not suits, as phrase has very a lot gotten out. Nevertheless, it stays one of many high seashores on the island.

After a steep 10-minute stroll all the way down to Kauapea Seaside, benefit from the expanse of golden sand and the tranquility of the infant blue water. Behind you’re hovering, craggy cliffs offering a scenic backdrop. Such is the dimensions of the seaside, that even in peak season, you’ll have loads of room for your self.

In the summertime, swimming right here is on level. However come winter, it’s a surfer’s paradise and a supply of free leisure for onlookers.

16. Swim On the finish Of Hanakapiai Falls Path

Hiking the Hanakapiai Falls Trail in Kauai Hawaii

That includes the primary part of the Kalalau Path, this trek is the right different for individuals who can’t full the in a single day journey. Moreover, you don’t want a allow.

Start by following the breathtaking coast to Hanakapiai Seaside. Cease for a breather and prep your legs for over 2500 toes of elevation acquire. As you narrow inland, the path rises steadily by means of the jungle and doesn’t let up. Your sense of journey can be put to the check after each lingering tree root. However finally, you’ll make it.

Hanakapiai Falls is without doubt one of the finest in Hawaii. It’s a 300 toes tumbling white veil that splices the dense jungle. Leap in for a swim, earlier than returning to Ke’e Seaside.

Hanakapiai Falls Path Data:

  • Trailhead: Ke’e Seaside
  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Problem: Reasonable
  • Elevation Achieve: 2664ft

17. Attempt Browsing at Hanalei Bay

View of Hanalei Bay in Kauai Hawaii

The charming coastal city of Hanalei is dwelling to the most important harbor on the island. Hanalei Bay is large enough to function a trio of white sand seashores to enrich the native hikes, seaside bum tradition, and farmers’ markets.

Once you aren’t having fun with the native tradition, select between Hanalei Seaside Park, Waioli Seaside, and Black Pot Seaside. All of them mix to create the crown jewel of Kauai browsing.

Watch from afar or take pleasure in a beautiful swim by the seaside. Later, wander alongside the sand to search out the Hanalei River and its historic pier. End with a refreshing beverage at any of the beachfront bars that dot Hanalei Bay.

18. Deal with The Alakai’i Swamp Path

Starting on the show-stopping Pu’u O Kila Lookout in Koke’e State Park, the Alakai’i Swamp Path guarantees to be essentially the most distinctive hike but. Basically an alpine swamp, the path begins alongside the Pihea Path the place you’ll have lovely views of the Kalalau Valley.

Quickly the path switches left, and also you’ll be met with raised boardwalks. From there, you’ll enterprise by means of the very best rainforest and swampland on earth.

The important thing to this hike is understanding you’ll get soiled. As useful because the boardwalk is, there’s no getting out clear. Wander among the many big hapu’u ferns, earlier than reaching the unequalled Kilohana Lookout the place you’ll really feel on the sting of the world.

Alakai’i Swamp Path Data:

  • Trailhead: Pu’u Kila Lookout
  • Distance: 7.7 miles
  • Problem: Reasonable/Troublesome
  • Elevation Achieve: 1332ft

19. Swim At Anini Seaside

Anini Beach in Kauai Hawaii

After getting all muddy within the Alakai’i Swamp, deal with your self to the colourful Anini Seaside. As you step onto the mushy marshmallow sand, you’ll spot the colours of the colourful reef streaming by means of the floor. The off-shore reef can be the rationale Anini Seaside options among the calmest year-round swimming in Kauai.

The beachis on the North Shore and spans two miles. The slight gradient permits for an abundance of shallow water, good for households with younger youngsters. On high of the views and simple swimming, Anini Seaside gives a full vary of facilities, from bogs and showers to picnic tables.

If you wish to discover the reef, you’ll be able to lease snorkels proper on the seaside.

20. Polihale State Park

Polihale State Park in Kauai Hawaii

To expertise one of the crucial secluded and pristine seashores on the island, enterprise into Polihale State Park. The park is famend for its golden shore, however as entry is hard, you’ll hardly ever see massive crowds.

The one approach to attain the coast is alongside a tough and undulating 5-mile dust highway, match for under 4WD. Whether or not you enterprise in on 4 wheels or two toes, you’ll be rewarded with mesmerizing, unspoiled heaven and over 15 miles of golden sand.

Out of your non-public paradise, admire the emerald Makaha Ridge, which ends up in the sharp cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. Get your tenting allow, so when day turns to nighttime you’ll be able to sit back with buddies and not using a care on this planet.

21. Deal with The Sleeping Large Path

Sleeping Giant Trail Overlook Kauai Hawaii

The Sleeping Large Path soars up the ridgeline on Nounou Mountain to 360-degree views. Legend has it that the mountain was created by a large who ate an excessive amount of at a celebration held in his identify. He primarily fell right into a meals coma, drifting into an everlasting slumber. From a distance, you can also make out the form of the enormous.

The preliminary trek takes you thru a sprawling tree plantation that started within the Nineteen Thirties. As you acquire elevation, the bushes start to disperse, leaving you with a quintessential ridgeline hike. Because the mountain falls away to both facet, the path ranges out with wondrous views in each path.

Full the hike at dawn or sundown, for a narrative you’ll be telling for years.

Sleeping Large Path Data:

  • Trailhead: East of Halelili Highway
  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • Problem: Reasonable
  • Elevation Achieve: 948ft

22. Witness Mount Waialeale

Witness the beauty of Mount Waialeale in Kauai

Often called the wettest spot on earth, Mount Waialeale is a group of sweeping cliffs. Annually, Kauai’s second tallest mountain receives round 450 inches of rain. In reality, within the Nineteen Eighties, it as soon as bought over 660 inches!

It’s no shock then that Waialeale means “overflowing water”. You’ll be a fortunate traveler to see the summit because it’s typically encased in clouds. Whereas climbing to the height shouldn’t be widespread, it’s recognized to be dwelling to historic ruins.

There are two trails on the japanese facet. Certainly one of them, a 5-mile hike to Blue Gap, rewards hikers with an up-close view of the weeping wall. Whereas these exploring in a helicopter ought to be certain that to fly over Mount Waialeale.

23. Attempt Shave Ice

Shave Ice In Hawaii

You can not come to Hawaii and never attempt shave ice. It is without doubt one of the hottest treats within the Hawaiian Islands. Shave Ice is a reasonably easy dessert however a satisfying one after climbing or a day on the seaside. Basically, it’s shaved ice that’s topped with a flavored syrup and is usually served with a scoop of ice cream within the center.

If you’re in Kauai we suggest Waikomo Shave Ice in Poipu or Hee Fats Common Retailer which has among the finest Shave Ice on the island. Irrespective of the place you get it you received’t remorse it.


get to Kauai Hawaii?

Top Things to do in Kauai Hawaii

Kauai’s Lihue Airport may be discovered on the island’s east coast. Because of Kauai’s rising recognition, many airways supply direct companies from mainland USA.

Nevertheless, it’s simply as widespread to fly into Honolulu Airport on Oahu earlier than altering planes. The flight time between the 2 islands is a brief 25-minutes.

There isn’t a public ferry that connects Kauai to the opposite Hawaiian islands. If you happen to’re prepared to splash the money, then you’ll be able to constitution a ship between every vacation spot.

Getting round Kauai?

Rental Car in Kauai

Like all Hawaiian Islands, Kauai has restricted public transport. Guests will discover a vary of guided excursions, however so as to discover on a whim, you’ll want a rental automotive. You’ll be able to comapre Rental Automobile Costs Right here for the very best deal.

This can let you drive from the North Shore to the South Shore with out challenge. Though you’ll be able to discover Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park with any automobile, it pays to lease a 4WD. Your choices will open up, permitting you to enterprise additional off the vacationer path.

Drivers may even wish to have a map of Kauai pre-downloaded onto their Google Maps. This can let you not get misplaced in instances of spotty service.

Finest time to go to Kauai?

Best Time to visit Kauai

The climate in Kauai stays extremely steady all year long. The winter “dips” to the mid-70s (24c) with summer season reaching the mid-80s (29c). So that you’ll all the time be capable to take pleasure in some balmy climate.

The wettest a part of the 12 months is through the winter, however storms have a tendency to come back and go shortly. They’re additionally largely restricted to the East and North coasts, aka the windward facet of Kauai. The leeward facet is usually drier.

Due to the commerce winds, the ocean is calmer through the summer season with the swell choosing up within the winter. Nevertheless, there are some seashores that stay swimmer-friendly all through.

Finally, there’s by no means a foul time to go to Kauai. The summer season comes with nice swimming, hotter hikes, and costlier lodges. Winter is barely cooler, swimming is tough, however you’ll take pleasure in epic surf and whale watching.

The place to remain in Kauai?

Accommodation in Kauai


Kauai Seaside Home Hostel is situated on the beachfront in Kapaa. Select between price range dorms and personal suites. Benefit from the free Wi-Fi and an outside pool whereas being inside strolling distance of outlets and a number of seashores.


Easy, clear, and reasonably priced but proper on the Pacific Ocean, Kauai Shores Resort is worth for cash. The fundamental two-story lodge is snug with primary king bedrooms and a personal balcony. Benefit from the on-site pool whereas being steps from retailers, eating places, and the seaside.


With views of the majestic Na Pali Coast, 1 Resort Hanalei Bay is the selection for an opulent trip. Every room has island decor with the views streaming in. Once you aren’t out touring, calm down within the unbelievable infinity pool that appears over the bay.

Plan Your Subsequent Journey to Hawaii With These Sources

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