Top 10 Things To Do in Kauai
One of the oldest Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is blessed with miles of rugged coastline, deep canyons and lush tropical forests due to heavy rainfalls throughout the year, and numerous sites and attractions to visit. Once you start looking for things to do in Kauai, you will soon realize that this island is one of the most rural of all Hawaiian Islands offering plenty of laid back activities. Only about ten percent of its territory is accessible by major roads, the rest is up to you and your hiking buddies to cover by foot.
If you are looking for buzzing social or nightlife, strips of high end shopping or glitzy resorts, you will not these find here. On the contrary, this rugged Island offers other fun things to do in Kauai that could only be appreciated by true outdoor lovers at heart.
Below we unveil top 10 fun things to do in Kauai to keep you busy during your vacation.
1. Kauai Helicopter tours – Since most territory is unreachable by land, helicopter tours are an ideal way to see a full spectrum of Kauai landmarks including its “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, famous waterfalls, gorgeous coastlines and impassable tropical forests. Depending on your sightseeing desires you can pick a tour to see a specific set of landmarks, areas or perhaps another island as part of a tour. Most sightseeing helicopters seat a maximum of six passengers to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. All tours are accompanied by pilot’s narration and description of unraveling sceneries below.
2. Hike or Camp at Waimea Canyon – Compared to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the most famous Canyon in Kauai slices across the rugged surface of the island and is one of the top attractions in the Pacific. Volcanic by nature, the Canyon runs over 10 miles long and is 2500 ft deep with Waimea River flowing along its basin and carrying red lava rocks in heavy rain season. This spectacular geological wonder is better explored on non cloudy days to see the complete panorama opening in front of you. Great camping and hiking opportunities are available at Koke’s State Park with excellent terrains that nature lovers will appreciate.
3. Napali Coast Tours – The gem of the North Shore, Napali Coast provides the explanation why Hawaii is one of the most visited places on Earth. Towering mountain pinnacles stretch along the coast for several miles offering immense photographic opportunities for travelers touring the area via boat tours. Incredible Pacific views are opening to those who book kayaking or cruising tours which could be arranged in larger or smaller groups. Most tours depart from Port Allen and last several hours.
4. See Wailua Falls – Featured in a popular TV show, Wailua Falls located on the South Shore of Kauai is unlike any other island’s landmark that takes hours of hiking getting to. This popular attraction is located within a short 4 mile ride from Lihue. Get your camera ready for some of the best photographs from your Kauai vacation as you stand at the dramatic backdrop of Wailua Falls, translated as “two waters” joining together to form one waterfall measuring over 150ft high. Mornings make for the best photo shoots as sometimes you can capture a rainbow to add to your Kauai vacation album.
5. Discover Hanalei Bay – One of the most picturesque and most photographed places to visit in Hawaii, Hanalei Bay is the place you will not soon forget. Hanalei packs a punch of old time and modern day things to do in Kauai to satisfy the most diverse group of travelers. From world class surfing, to contemporary art galleries, dining scene and ukulele traditional entertainment, Hanalei offers it all.
6. Princeville Kauai – A former coffee plantation that was attempted in the North Shore of Kauai is now home to one of the most popular resorts on the island, Princeville. Top notch golf courses, three beautiful rocky beaches perfect for snorkeling and diving, a wide array of resorts offering great things to do in Kauai. Among such activities visitors can book zipline adventures that could be coupled with hiking and climbing tours, romantic picnics, kayaking and horseback riding. One of the unique activities in Princeville is taking family Kalihiwai Falls hikes. Kalihiwai Falls tucked deep in the midst of the lowland jungle and accessible by a 3 hour hike are a great place where you can cool off and swim after a strenuous workout.
7. Play at Poipu Beach Park – If you are looking for things to do in Kauai with kids, look no further than Poipu. Named as one of the best beaches of the US by a reputable travel channel, it offers some of the safest environment for children. Humans and wildlife alike love Poipu so much that very often you can spot humpback whales blowing water in the distance, honu turtles, monk seals and exotic species of fish. All types of water sports are possible and encouraged here, including snorkeling, surfing, fishing and even sailing.
8. Tour National Tropical Botanical Gardens – Set on a tour departing from the South Shore Visitor Center intended to educate visitors about endemic species of Hawaii flora that are under the protection of the government. Beautiful gardens, valleys, waterfalls, rare plants and famous Moreton Bay fig trees featured in the Jurassic Park motion picture are just a few of highlights you will see at the South Shore Botanical Gardens.
9. Take a Historical Train at Kilohana Plantation – Spend an afternoon riding a historical train taking you through stately plantation located within minutes from busy Lihue followed by a leisurely hike in a nearby rainforest. Sample authentic Hawaiian rum, taste luscious pineapples and papayas grown in the local orchard, greet farm animals and shop for Kauai souvenirs to take home to friends and family. Don’t forget to visit the 1936 mansion that is open for public where you can lounge with a drink in the main salon, eat a gourmet dinner at Gaylord restaurant and marvel at the finest examples of architecture and interior of the plantation era.
10. Film Locations Movie Tours – From television series to major motion pictures, filmmakers from across the world have captured incredible Kauai landscapes. If you would love to explore signature Kauai landmarks that inspired film directors, there are many tours to choose from. Join other travelers on the journey to see famous movie locations like Jurassic Park at Kapaa Town, Fantasy Island and Pirates of the Caribbean at Coco Palms, Wailua Falls and many others.