Kauai is one of the Hawaiian islands, offers a wide variety of activities. So we have the 15 best things to do in Kauai Hawaii for you to have the time of your life. Located on the eastern coast of Hawaii, this small island has a lot to offer with its lush jungles, white-sand beaches, and breathtaking waterfalls.
The natural beauty of this island in the Pacific offers you many things to see, do, taste, and feel! It is a place where you can get lost on a beautiful tropical beach or find yourself climbing one of the tallest mountains in Hawaii.
This blog post will help you understand Kauai more so that when it’s time for vacation planning, you know just what kind of experience awaits at this mystical destination. The island of Kauai is a tropical paradise for all travelers.
With its pristine beaches, lush green forests, and breathtaking views, this Hawaiian island is the perfect getaway from your daily life. Along with its natural beauty, there are also many activities to enjoy such as hiking in Waimea Canyon or kayaking on the Hanalei River.
The people of Kauai have made it their mission to share their culture with visitors through festivals, and agricultural tours that take place year-round. If you’re looking to experience something different then head over to Hawaii’s “Garden Isle” for an unforgettable time!
From the towering volcanic mountains to the pristine white-sand beaches, Kauai has something for everyone! If you are looking for a relaxing vacation or want to explore this beautiful place on your terms, then Kauai is perfect for you. With so much to see and do here, it’s hard to know where to start.
Kauai is one of the Hawaiian Islands and it offers visitors an exotic experience. The island’s lush jungles, dramatic waterfalls, and sunny beaches are just a few examples of what Kauai has to offer. It is also known for its agricultural bounty with numerous plantations that grow pineapples, sugar cane, coffee beans, macadamia nuts, and more!
List of 15 best things to do in Kauai Hawaii
Kauai is a garden island, and there are so many things to do! From hiking up the Na Pali Coast to relaxing on Poipu Beach, you’ll want to get out of your hotel room for some adventures. Here are the 15 best things to do in Kauai Hawaii.
1. Kayak in Hanalei Bay and Paddle-Boarding on the River: Adventurous Water Sports
If you’re looking for a refreshing adventure, the water sports in Hanalei Bay and on the river are a great way to get your adrenaline pumping. Whether you want to kayak or paddleboard on the water, there are plenty of opportunities for fun!
Hanalei, Kauai is one of the most beautiful places in all of Hawaii! Hanalei Bay is a 2-mile long crescent-shaped bay with an island (Bali Hai) in its middle. The water here has such amazing shades of blue and green you’ll want to jump right in! If you’re up for some kayaking or paddle-boarding there are lots of rental places around.
Hanalei Bay is the destination of choice for many avid water sports enthusiasts. If you are looking to get away from it all, this is the place to go! With its clear blue waters and white sand beaches, Hanalei Bay has become a popular destination for kayaking and paddleboarding. It’s easy to see why so many people come here just for these two activities alone, but more adventures are awaiting you if you’re interested in taking on some riskier challenges.
Once you get out into the bay feel free to go over near Bali Hai Island because it looks like it belongs in a postcard! There are turtles in this area and many people snorkel here.
2. Tropical Getaway – Wildlife at Coconut Coast Wildlife Refuge
One of the best ways to get away from it all is to visit a tropical oasis. Coconut Coast Wildlife Refuge is one such place where you can enjoy an idyllic lush landscape, complete with wildlife that will make your visit memorable.
This refuge has been around since 1987 and was established as a haven for migrating birds and other species. It’s also home to many endangered animals, so if you’re looking for something different than just another beach vacation this might be perfect!
This is a great place to visit if you want to see some green sea turtles which are in danger of extinction because of global warming and poachers who eat their eggs. The center has about 100 turtles in its care at any given time, most brought from the wild after being injured by boats or caught up in fishing nets.
You can walk through trails where they have tanks with other animals such as monk seals, Hawaiian monk seals which are also endangered, along with honu (hawksbill sea turtles), and have a chance to see them all up close! It’s a short drive from Lihue airport on the east side of Kauai near the town of Kilauea.
This great wildlife sanctuary is located in Florida and features more than 2 miles of boardwalk that connects 10 different habitats with plenty of opportunities for viewing all sorts of animals! You will find birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and even some invertebrates at this wonderful refuge.
3. Beloved River: Kayaking, Rafting and Shaka Fishing Kauai’s North Shore
This is a fun activity for all ages! The river is very calm and you can paddle up past old fruit trees and coconut groves to where the waterfalls cascade into the river. You’ll find natural pools along the way where you can stop and swim if you like as well as see local wildlife such as exotic birds, turtles, eels, fish jumping from the water, and even feral pigs wandering around the shoreline!
The North Shore of Kauai is a diverse and beautiful destination for adventure seekers. It’s home to the Wailua River where kayakers, rafters, and shaka fishermen can find endless recreation opportunities!
If you’re up for it just take out your fishing poles and catch some dinner! This tour company will pick you up at a hotel or anywhere on the island. Kauai is the Garden Isle of Hawaii, and few places are as beautiful as Kauai’s North Shore.
The river is majestic in its natural beauty. You’ll experience sights of lush rainforest, family farms, and spectacular waterfalls. This tour starts from Hanalei’s Coconut Grove Beach Park which is a great place for kayaking beginners because it has calm waters and easy access to the ocean.
The Beloved River offers an unforgettable experience for kayakers, rafters, and fishermen alike. It has rapids for those who want to go fast and still water spots where you can wade in the cool waters of the river. Head out on a guided tour with our expert guides to see this natural wonder up close!
4. Hawaii’s Hanalei Bay and Ironwood Beach: One of the World’s With Most With Beautiful Beaches
Hanalei, Kauai is known for its gorgeous beaches and lush green mountains! One of the best beaches on this part of the island is Ironwood Beach where you can take a walk along the shoreline at sunset or enjoy an afternoon picnic.
These two beaches in Kauai offer a good mix of stunning natural beauty and man-made features to provide the perfect backdrop for your vacation. If you want to enjoy an unspoiled beach with few people around, we recommend visiting Hanalei Bay at sunrise or sunset.
The beach here has lots of driftwood which makes for great building materials if you want to toss in a log into your fireplace while you’re staying in Hanalei. You can drive by a car right up to this area but there are no facilities other than parking spots so come prepared with what you need!
The ocean is an amazing force of nature. It can be calm and serene, or it can be terrifyingly violent. The beaches are no different. Some have white sands, some have black volcanic rocks, others are made of coral reefs that stretch out to the horizon line.
All these things make for a beautiful beach that you should take your time enjoying when you visit Hawaii! This beach is also a popular spot for surfing but beware because many people have been swept out from strong rip currents.
5. Waimea Canyon Lookout Point: A Beautiful Scenic View
Kokee, Kauai is home not only to the famous Kalalau Valley but also to Waimea Canyon! When you arrive at this lookout point you’re treated to some of the most amazing views on the island with emerald green valleys and canyons that lead up into tall cliffs cut from molten lava from ancient volcanoes.
Waimea Canyon Lookout Point is a scenic view that overlooks the Waimea Valley and Kokee Park. It’s one of the most popular lookout points on Kauai, which attracts many tourists each year.
The lookout point can be reached by following Highway 550 to Waimea Canyon State Park, where it’s accessible via a 2-mile hike up the canyon slope. If you’re looking for an adventure while visiting Hawaii, this is just what you need!
You may even see wild chickens roaming around or hear them crowing too! The road leading up here is beautiful in itself but for a little more adventure stop off at the Puu O Kila Lookout which has a long flight of stairs going down its cliffside to get a better view over the canyon below.
It’s also a great spot for people who just want to enjoy the scenery. The lookout point is located at 3,000 feet above sea level and offers 360-degree views of the surrounding area. If you’re looking for an adventure, there are hiking trails nearby where you can explore this beautiful place on foot!
6. Fern Grotto Hike: Explore the Beautiful Pools
If you want to get up close and personal with some beautiful waterfalls then head over to the Fern Grotto in Kilauea. The trailhead starts near Princeville on the eastern side of Kauai, is about 5 miles long round trip, and is rated moderate for difficulty.
It is a short, easy hike with beautiful pools. Fern Grotto State Park in California is home to the largest fern-filled canyon in North America and one of the most spectacular waterfalls on earth!
The Fern Canyon Trail winds through this lovely canyon where many different varieties of ferns grow. You will also see lush mosses and lichens that cling to the rocks while you walk through the forested area.
This hike is one of the most popular and beautiful hikes on Kauai. It is a challenging, but worth it journey to explore the breathtaking pools that are made up of lush ferns, waterfalls, and tropical rainforest.
The best time for this adventure is during the wetter months when there’s more water in these pools. This hike has three different levels: easy (less than 1/2 mile), moderate (1-3 miles), and hard (over 3 miles). It takes about an hour to reach this secluded grotto where there are hanging ferns everywhere!
Hike through this beautiful grotto, where pools cascade down giant boulders and plunge into deeper water below. This hike can be challenging at times, but worth it when you reach the end!
There’s even a special little pool by the waterfall that has fish swimming around it too! You can swim or wade under the waterfalls here but watch out because sometimes rocks fall from above too so make sure you stay away from underneath them.
7. Awesome Blowhole: The See Spouting Horn Blowhole
Another great place that people go swimming or snorkeling on Kauai is a small beach called Tunnels that looks out towards Poipu Beach Park. Just up the road at Nawiliwili Bay, there’s also a small wharf here so if you drive back around to this old pier then you can get some great views of Spouting Horn Blowhole.
The See Spouting Horn Blowhole is one of the most amazing natural wonders that you can find on Cape Kiwanda. This natural marvel has been around since at least 1856, and it still captivates visitors to this day!
The blowhole features a large hole in the ground where water spouts out with force every few minutes during high tide. Visitors are warned not to stand too close to the edge as they may be injured by falling rocks or waves.
It is found along the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Seaside, Oregon. It’s easy to spot from the beach parking lot-just look for people gathered near a giant column of rock jutting up from the sand!
The blowhole is formed by an erosion-resistant basalt plug in the cliffside which forces seawater to spout into the air during high tide. It has been estimated that this natural phenomenon happens roughly 20 times per day with each event lasting for up to three minutes!
This natural wonder is formed when the waves crash against the rocks on one side creating a huge spray from water being forced up from underneath. It’s quite spectacular looking but please be careful if you go too close as people have been swept into the ocean by rogue waves before which isn’t a nice experience at all!
8. Lihue Kauai River & Fern Grotto Cruise: A Fun Day Trip from the Island Garden Isle
This tour takes you from the town of Lihue on west Kauai up past Mount Waialeale where it ends at Fern Grotto in Kilauea! This is about a 12-mile round trip cruise and during your adventure you’ll be treated to views of Nounou Mountain, or Sleeping Giant as well as local Hawaiian fruit orchards, and even see some wild chickens hanging out down by the river.
The Fern Grotto and Lihue Kauai River Cruise is a great way to spend the day with your family and friends. This tour will take you on an adventure through the Wailua River where you’ll see plant life that has been undisturbed for centuries.
Alongside this, we will also explore our Hawaiian history by visiting the site of King Kamehameha I’s birthplace, as well as Queen Emma’s Summer Palace. The river cruise portion lasts about 45 minutes before we head back to land so don’t forget your camera!
Along with its banks are natural wonders like Fern Grotto and Namahana Falls, which attract visitors from all over the world to this small region of Hawaii. The cruise offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy these beautiful sights with a knowledgeable guide who will point out some of the area’s more intriguing features.
You will also get to learn more about Kauai’s history and culture through an audio guide. This company will pick you up at your hotel on the island and take you back too.
9. Explore Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Gem: Kokee State Park
Kokee State Park is one of the most beautiful gems in Hawaii. It’s a park that is rich with natural resources, and it is home to Keaau Village, which has been inhabited by native Hawaiians for centuries. Here are 5 things you should know about Kokee before you go!
1) The winding road up the mountain takes about 45 minutes to drive up
2) There are many hiking trails available if you want to explore further
3) You can’t camp in the park because there are no campsites available
4) You’ll need a permit or reservation if you plan on taking pictures of any wildlife in the area
5) If you’re looking for peace
Kokee, Kauai is surrounded by the huge Waialeale Mountain which has an elevation of over 5100 feet high! You can hike around this area or stop off at this lookout point to see some amazing views of Mount Waialeale’s crater lake below as well as see where all the water flows down into Kee Beach.
Kokee State Park is a beautiful gem in the heart of Hawaii. This lush rainforest and mountain park is home to many species of plants, animals, and birds. Visitors can hike through this magnificent state park’s trails, enjoy the breathtaking views from its high peaks, or just sit back and relax under one of its towering trees.
Three trails start here; one goes through a forest that takes you to Kilohana Lookout, another one goes through a valley that ends up near Manawaiopuna Falls and there’s also a third hike that heads out to Puu o Kila Lookout.
What’s more gorgeous than the sight of green mountains, emerald waterfalls, and lush rainforest? Kokee State Park is one of the most spectacular destinations in all of Hawaii. This breathtaking destination will take your breath away with its natural beauty.
It has everything from old-growth redwoods to pristine beaches – not to mention some seriously jaw-dropping views! Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an extended stay, this is sure to be one that you’ll never forget.
10. Watch the Stunning Sunset at Hanalei Bay
Hanalei Bay is one of the best places on Kauai to watch a beautiful Hawaiian sunset! When you arrive here you can either enjoy all of this beauty from Waioli Beach or by driving up into the north part of town where there are plenty of lookout points along Lumahai Road that also have great views over here too.
If you’re not sure when the sun will set each day then look it up online beforehand so you’ll know exactly when to come down here around dusk time! You might even want to bring your camera with you because every single viewpoint is amazing!
Hanalei Bay is a beautiful bay on Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands. The sunsets here are especially stunning as they paint the sky with vibrant colors.
It is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. It’s located on Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands and it has miles of sandy beaches stretching out in front of you. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle or two as they make their way back to the ocean for dinner after a day at play.
11. Watch the Humpback Whales near Princeville: An Engaging Experience
The Humpback Whale is one of the most well-known whales in the world. They are famous for their huge size and long pectoral fins that they use to swim, but did you know that they also have a dorsal fin? If you’re interested in seeing these magnificent creatures up close, then head over to Princeville!
This small town on Kauai’s North Shore offers some great opportunities to see these amazing mammals before they migrate south for the winter. Each year during the winter months there are amazing humpback whales that swim just offshore from Princeville!
It’s a great experience for people to stand on one of Kauai’s beaches and see these enormous creatures swimming around close by, diving down into the water before coming back up again to make more deep dives.
You can even hear them singing out each time they come up too which is an amazing sound, especially if you’ve never heard it before! If you want to see these beautiful animals then check out Spouting Horn Beach Park that also has some blowholes in the rocks just up the road too.
The majestic Humpback Whales near Princeville is one of the most engaging experiences you can have while visiting Kauai. It’s an experience that will be hard to forget and is one of the best reasons to visit this popular destination on Kauai.
12. Bali Hai and Hanalei Valley Lookout: One of Kauai’s Most Beautiful Views
If you’re driving past Hanalei then head on over to the car park that’s just north of town and lookout for a giant stone structure that looks like a church here which is called Sacred Falls.
The Hanalei Valley Lookout is located on the North Shore of Kauai. The lookout offers some of the best views on the island, with its panoramic vista taking in Hanalei Bay and Mount Waialeale. The Bali Hai overlooks a similar view to that of the Hanalei Valley Lookout, but from a different vantage point. Both lookouts offer amazing photo opportunities for visitors to take home as special souvenirs!
When visiting Kauai, there are several beautiful views that you should see. One is the Hanalei Valley Lookout, located just north of Princeville and south of Hanalei. This lookout is one of the most scenic in all of Kauai with its breathtaking view overlooking the valley below. You can also take a hike to Bali Hai for another spectacular sight!
From this lookout point, you can see right across the bay, as far as ‘Bali Hai’ (also known as St Regis Hotel) on one side and towards Wainiha River on the other! This place is very popular for photographers who visit Kauai during the wintertime because of all the rainbows that appear in the sky here!
Hanalei Valley Lookout is one of Kauai’s most beautiful views. When you’re there, all you can see are the green mountains and a sparkling ocean. You can’t help but take in the fresh air and feel at peace with your surroundings.
If that sounds like what you need right now, then schedule a visit to Hanalei Valley Lookout today! Just below this rocky viewpoint, there’s also an area where people like to go swimming and it’s known as Hanalei Bay too.
13. Dreaming of A Must-Have Vacation? Relax On An Ocean Front Villa
If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay while you’re on Kauai then why not choose somewhere that backs onto the beach? There are plenty of villas, condos, or houses that have their private piece of access to the sand here which means you can just walk out your front door and go for a swim in these warm waters!
It is something to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then a vacation is just what you need. There’s nothing better than shutting off your phone and living in the moment for a week or two.
It’s so amazing living this close to the ocean because every day there are usually whales or dolphins swimming by for people to see from their own homes! Just imagine being able to watch these creatures frolicking around outside your window every morning before breakfast time!
Many people dream of a vacation that includes an ocean-front villa. Imagine waking up every morning with the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline, and then spending your days lounging by the pool or taking in views that stretch for miles. This is just one of many benefits to owning an ocean-front villa! Take a look at these 10 other reasons why you should buy an ocean-front villa now before they are all gone!
- Security – One of the biggest benefits of owning an ocean-front villa is security. You can rest assured that your home is well protected with the help of security guards, 24-hour surveillance cameras, and iron gates around the complex. Many complexes include other owners through a shared HOA that will regularly maintain things like roads, common areas, and landscaping for you!
- View – A sense of tranquility will wash over you as soon as you step foot inside your ocean-front villa…and even more so when you’re enjoying it from the comfort of your private balcony or patio! This feeling comes thanks to all of those beautiful views that are yours alone to enjoy every day!
- Housekeeping – Enjoy the convenience of having full-time housekeeping services, right in your villa! No more worrying about how to get things cleaned or who will do it when you hire a team to take care of it for you.
- Security – Your ocean-front villa is like its own self-sufficient community, where everything you might need is provided for, including 24-hour security (standard at many luxury resorts), access gates with key fobs, private elevators, and concierge service. Many waterfront resorts are located inside gated communities that provide additional security and amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, and state-of-the-art fitness centers!
- Convenience – If you have a busy schedule that doesn’t always allow you to eat in, worry not! Now, you can have grocery shopping delivered straight to your villa door. Or if cooking is more of your thing, take advantage of custom chef services that will come directly to your home at a time that is most convenient for you.
- Water Sport – If you’re looking for water sport activities on the island, look no further than your very own ocean. Your private beach comes with free kayaks, paddleboards, and even jet skis – this way there are never any extra fees or rental charges! Toss out an anchor or relax on a floatie while watching dolphins jump right before your eyes… they are usually found within the first 100 feet from shore! It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Pool – Do you prefer to swim in a pool instead of the ocean? Many oceanfront complexes offer many different types of pools, from swimming pools with an ocean view to lagoon-style lagoon pools with sand bottoms and more! You can even find aqua pools at some resorts where bright blue LED lights to light up the water at night, which is perfect for a little night swimming if you get a little bit of a late start on your day.
- Kitchen – If cooking is part of what makes your soul happy then let us tell you about all of these new appliances that come with every kitchen – from dishwashers and walk-in pantries to trash compactors and even icemakers!
- Entertainment – Many resorts will have a movie theater, a bowling alley, or a spa for your relaxation and wellness needs. Imagine seeing the latest blockbuster on a state-of-the-art IMAX theater while enjoying reclining seats and Dolby surrounds sound. This is why the big Hollywood studios make big-budget movies in places like Turks & Caicos! We’ve seen many of them there ourselves! It’s where someone can get lost in their world to escape from reality for two hours at a time.
- Health Club – What if you’re looking to challenge yourself? How about trying out some new yoga moves after hitting up an outdoor spinning class with beautiful views outside the windows to distract you? Then you can hit up the juice bar or take advantage of steam rooms and tanning beds. The health club at these resorts is like having your training session whenever you want one!
14. Four Different Hawaiian Shave Ice Flavors That You Don’t Know About
Shave ice is a popular treat to eat on Kauai and there are so many flavors of this icy delight available to buy here that people might not have tried before! You can get everything from passion fruit, grape, apple, or even bubblegum flavors as well as some other interesting choices such as mango & frozen lemonade.
This treat is perfect for cooling down your body temperature after long hours in the hot sun, especially if you’re hiking along Kalalau Trail where it’s incredibly humid! If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, or even if you haven’t, chances are that you have heard of the famous Hawaiian shave ice dessert.
It is a popular treat year-round in the Islands and is often served at fairs, carnivals, and other events. But did you know there are 12 different flavors? Some of these obscure varieties include guava, lychee, and mango! Read on to learn more about some of these lesser-known flavors.
- Poi (Taro)- A typical of most tropical-flavored shave ice, Poi is a purple paste made from the roots of taro plants. The Poi flavor is often served as a topping rather than an actual shave ice flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try this Hawaiian treat, it may be best to ask your local shave ice stand if they offer Poi as a condiment or flavor before ordering one. Many visitors don’t like the taste; while others can’t get enough! We would love to hear about your experiences with poi in the comments section below.
- Lychee and Mango Flavors- Lychee and mango-flavored shave ice are perhaps the second most popular shave ice flavors next to the classic tropical flavors of passion fruit, pineapple, and coconut. If you want a block of fruity-flavored shave ice but don’t like any of those options, lychee and mango are your best bet!
- Guava Flavor- Guava is another very popular Hawaiian treat that has seen a recent surge in popularity with tourists and locals alike. While most establishments offer strawberry as an alternative flavor, guava is quickly becoming more common on menus across Hawaii. And if you’re not a fan of strawberry or would simply prefer something else, guava-flavored shave ice may be just what you’ve been looking for.
- Li Hing Mui Powder Flavor- While most shave ice stands now offer Li Hing Mui as a powder or syrup, this was not always the case. Li Hing Mui is a salty dried plum that comes in powdered form and can be sprinkled onto shave ice for added flavor. As of late, many stands have opted to offer it as a syrup instead, but if you run into a stand that offers it as a powder – definitely try it out!
15. Airborne Adventure: Paragliders Take Off From Princeville Airport
Princeville Airport has one of the very best runways around means paragliders who want to fly from the hilltops of this area have a very smooth and safe takeoff point to use. If you visit here early in the morning then you might witness these daredevils taking off as they leap from the top of Mokuleia Hill!
Princeville Airport is a small airport in Kauai, Hawaii with a history of adventure. In the early 1960s, when Hawaii was still under martial law and off-limits to tourists, it served as an emergency landing spot for pilots flying their planes across the Pacific.
Princeville Airport is the perfect place for a Paraglider to take off. It has all of the best qualities that you could want in an airport, and it’s even located on one of Kauai’s highest points!
This means that when you’re ready to fly, you’ll have a great view of the sky. The airport also has plenty of space for landings which makes it easy for pilots to find a safe spot to touch down when they need to.
Kauai is a dream destination for anyone looking to escape the hectic pace of urban life. With its lush, green jungles and stunning views from every angle you turn your head, this island has something for everyone–from adventure-seekers to those seeking relaxation.
Whether you’re planning a trip or reading about it in anticipation of one day visiting yourself, we hope that by now you’ve found some helpful information on what there is to see and do here in Kauai Hawaii! We’ll have left you with our top 16 favorite things to do when coming into town. Be sure not to miss out on these amazing sites while exploring Kilauea Point National Park!