Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

By | February 23, 2023
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From the dramatic Na Pali coastline on the North Shore to the sparkling beaches of the South Shore, Kauai has plenty to do. One of the Hawaiian islands I most want to visit!

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

Garden Isle is a wonderland with breathtaking ocean views, secretly tumbling waterfalls and scenes straight out of a movie set (literally). One of the best ways to visit Hawaii.

The Best Kauai Holiday With Kids

Thoroughly explored Kauai. It’s particularly good as a sunny winter destination in the US. Some of my favorite activities on Garden Isle are:

If you’re looking for memorable hikes, snorkeling spots, and a way to see the best of Hawaii’s greenest island, you’ll fall in love with Paradise.

If there’s one thing you must do on Kauai, it’s a boat tour. It’s difficult to convey the sheer beauty and dreamy tropical nature of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast on the North Shore. One of Hawaii’s most impressive landmarks and one of the most popular Kauai trips for tourists!

Verdant, steep peaks disappear into the clouds here… Often accompanied by rainbows. Impossibly beautiful. Your tropical fantasy comes to life.

Things To Do On Kauai (whether It’s Your First Trip Or You’re An Island Expert)

There are only two ways to fully appreciate the majesty of nature here. It has been nicknamed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” for a reason.

Travel by helicopter (see number 14 below) or by boat to spot secluded beaches, sea caves and spinner dolphins.

Whatever you do on Kauai, plan at least half a day to hike the amazing Kalalau Trail. If you are looking for things to do in Kauai on a budget, you will be happy to know that this is FREE!

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Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

It’s 11 miles (first hour mostly up, up, up) along muddy, rocky roads on the rugged North Shore’s Na Pali Coast.

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It is true that it is on the steep side. In fact, serious backpackers and adventurers get permits months in advance to camp overnight on remote beaches and hike all the way back.

But don’t let that deter you! Even if you only hike the first half-mile, you’ll be admiring the panoramic views of turquoise waters through bright red hibiscus flowers and lush green waters. Don’t miss this experience!

Seriously, if you have these you’re going to see a lot of jealous hikers around you.

Trekking poles aren’t just for seniors (although my daughter thinks they are). You can get hiking poles here on Amazon.

Exciting Things To Do In Princeville, Kauai

Note: The State of Hawai’i now requires you to book an advance one-day pass admission ticket that includes parking or shuttle to Ha’ena State Park here. Even if you only want to hike the first half mile.

1. Discover Cars has no hidden fees, 24/7 customer service and free cancellation. They search all major rental car companies so you don’t have to.

2. Turo is like Airbnb for cars. Saved $$ during the pandemic on rentals in Hawaii when rental car prices skyrocketed.

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

There is no better way to fully appreciate the beauty of the Garden Islands than soaring over the dramatic blue pinnacles of the Na Pali Coast, the waterfalls of Waiapuna and the majestic Waimea Canyon.

Of The Best Things To Do In Kauai

Kauai is definitely a place to see from a helicopter. Whatever you do, choose a company that can prove its commitment to safety.

Blue Hawaiian earns the FAA’s Certificate of Excellence or Diamond Award, so you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience with confidence.

Eurocopter Eco-Star helicopters also reduce flight noise by up to 50%. A two-way radio can also communicate with the pilot.

On this tour you will explore the stunning Manawaiopuna Falls (known as Jurrasic Falls), take in the views of Olokele Canyon and, weather permitting, fly over Mount Wa’ale’ale, the second wettest place on earth.

Top 14 Things To Do On The Island Of Kauai

“Chelsea was an amazing pilot and her story of what we saw was perfect.” —Debra A, August 2021

Is there a perfect thing to do after all the hard work on the Kalalau Trail? Visit the beach at nearby Tunnels, also known as Makuna Beach.

In fact, since you’ll be parking here on the beach to access the trail (or catch the shuttle), it couldn’t be easier to swap out your hiking gear for snorkeling gear and a beach towel.

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Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

We had the best snorkeling of our trip here. This is a great beach for diving, swimming and even kitesurfing.

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The sand is golden and divers love the dramatic underwater terrain here. Some say it’s the island’s best shore dive.

Go at low tide and in the morning for the best views of tropical fish and sea turtles.

However, there are a few things you should be aware of. In August 2022, the state of Hawaii announced a ban on snorkeling on the large inner reef known as Makua Lagoon. (This is where the large coral layer is located.)

There are still snorkeling areas near the beach where you can see fish from the reefs along the shoreline.

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If you are staying longer than a week, we recommend spending part of the time (except in the rainy winter months) in Princeville on the North Shore and the rest in Poipu on the South Shore. I recommend it:

1. The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas – This North Shore beachfront paradise features full kitchens, on-site restaurants, and expansive ocean views.

2. Hideaway Cove Poipu Beach – The sweet white sands of Poipu Beach are just a stone’s throw away while staying here.

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

Update October 2022: Road to Queen’s Bath remains closed due to more drownings here. Ignoring the signs is illegal, so be safe and skip this attraction if the gates are locked when you visit.

The Insider’s Guide To Kauai

Not far from Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, Queen’s Baths is a natural pool in a shelf of solid lava.

To win this award you will need to hike down a mud cliff and then cross a lava ledge.

I highly recommend Keens to both men and women when in Hawaii. One of the top items on my Kauai packing list.

They are comfortable with great soles for hiking in the mud and protect your feet from sharp corals in the water (so you don’t need to pack water shoes). You can grab a pair here on Amazon.

The Top 5 Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii (#1 Is A Must!)

On the way to Queen’s Bath, you’ll see signs warning you of drowning here. be careful!

In fact, the trail may be closed as it is unsafe here on the North Shore in the winter when the waves can be strong. Follow the rules to protect yourself.

Also on Kauai’s North Shore, Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the island. And the small wooden pier makes a great backdrop for sunset photos.

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Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

The small town of Hanalei is also a great place to dine here. Then head to the bay to watch paddle boarders and sailboats adrift.

Best Things To Do In Kauai

It is also the perfect location for kayaking and snorkeling tours. This family-friendly tour paddles down the Hanalei River into the bay to look for Hawaiian green sea turtles.

Beginning in April 2021, the State of Hawaii will require everyone entering to purchase both a parking fee and an individual entry fee ($5 per person) at the parking toll booth. Still worth it!

Waimea Canyon is actually not far from the Kalalau Trail on the North Shore, but since it is inaccessible from the end of the island, you must continue driving counter-clockwise past Poipu on the South Shore.

So if you’re spending time in Poipu, Waimea Canyon makes a great day trip. It can be done as a day trip from the North Shore, but expect to spend two hours driving each way.

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Or, if you prefer to let the locals do the driving, book a private full-day tour. Views can be enjoyed from the Kalalau Lookout, Poipu Beach Resort and more.

Whether you book a tour or go on your own, at least check out the views from the Kalepa Ridge trailhead.

It offers stunning views from lush cliffs all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Get amazing canyon views from the Waimea Canyon Lookout at mile 10.

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

If you have more time, check out Koke’e State Park’s 18 hiking trails. Or how about a thrilling downhill bike ride?

The Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

This easy, guided descent takes in sweeping views of Waipoo Falls, the canyon and three state parks.

Is there anything better than a bird’s eye view of Kauai’s primeval forest? Ride Kauai’s longest zipline (an 8-track course) near Koloa on the South Shore.

Grab the handlebars and sail hands-free or inverted over dense forests and Waita Resevoir. It’s entirely up to you!

: “Amazing experience and the guide was great!! Highly recommended for adventure seekers.

Fun Things To Do In Kauai With Kids

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