Kauai

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Top 10 Things to do on Kauai

For an off-the-beaten-path Hawai’i experience, Kauai offers you a less “touristy” vacation. Whether you dream of relaxing on the beach or floating down tunnels on old sugar plantations, choose your adventure and let the memories begin.

  • Nā Pali Coast

    1. Nā Pali Coast

    One of Hawaii’s most iconic coastlines, the Napali Coast is only accessible by air or sea. Take a scenic flight tour and see the lush green coast and bright turquoise waters from a bird’s eye view, or cruise out across the ocean on an exciting snorkel tour.

  • Waimea Canyon State Park

    2. Waimea Canyon State Park

    Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, this national monument is about 10 miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep. Don’t miss out on hiking through the captivating bright orange and red canyons.

  • 3. Poipu Beach Park

    Catch some rays at sunny Poipu Beach Park, dubbed the “sunny south side.” You can do it all at this location; whether you’d like to lay out on white sand beaches or swim along the turquoise coastline. This beach is considered among the safest in Hawaii, with a lifeguard on duty.

  • 4. Hanalei Bay

    Located on Kauai’s north shore, this is the largest bay on the island. This bay has gorgeous stretches of soft sand beach, surrounded by lush mountains. In the summer, the bay is the perfect place to snorkel, stand up paddle, and swim.

  • 5. Wailua Falls

    Just north of the little town of Lihue, Wailua Falls is located at the south end of the Wailua River. Feel the cooling mist of 73-foot waterfalls that are easily accessible just off the beaten path. The dramatic views are best experienced by foot or from the air.

  • 6. Queen’s Bath

    Explore the secret natural pools carved into the lava shelf on the north side of Kauai. This scenic hike is recommended for experienced hikers, so tread carefully on your journey. Surround yourself with sea life and tucked-away views at this historical site, once used as a place of relaxation for Hawaiian royalty.

  • 7. Fern Grotto

    Once only accessible to Hawaiian royalty, the Fern Grotto can be reached by a river tour up the Wailua River. The grotto is an all natural lava-rock, lush with hanging ferns and tropical foliage, draped by the mists of a waterfall. Keep an eye out for locations where movies like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones were filmed.

  • 8. Kilauea Lighthouse

    This Wildlife Refuge is located at the northernmost tip of Kauai, and served as a beacon for ships in the 1970s. The ocean cliffs and grassy slopes near a dormant volcano protect a breeding area for many Hawaiian seabirds. The Kilauea Lighthouse is open Tuesday to Saturday, but closed on Sunday and Monday. Be sure to bring cash to pay the admission fees.

  • 9. Mountain tubing in Kauai

    Enjoy a float through some of the most remote parts of the Garden Island as you tube through man-made canals, caves, and jungle waterways. This waterway was dug out by hand in the 1800s and is great for kids and adults of all ages.

  • 10. Authentic Hawaiian luau

    A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is accompanied by hula and fire dancing. Get immersed in Hawaiian culture and learn the story of Polynesia at a luau, perfect for honeymooners and families.

Frequently asked questions about Kauai

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kauai

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What people are saying about Kauai

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 231 reviews

What a phenomenal experience! Seeing Kauai from the air is a lifetime must-do but Pilot Marcus and team made it that much more special. His flight expertise is top notch, helping my “weak” stomach keep its cool so every minute was enjoyable. Not only do you get the views but a great playlist and all the knowledge of the geography, movie sets, history and more. Safe, amazing communication, and extremely friendly staff makes this highly recommended (and we have already done so to everyone we meet on our trip!) DO IT!

This app is a must if you want to see the island with the eyes and knowledge of a local. We were able to see so many things I'm sure we wouldn't know about if we just tried to figure it out on our own. The only difficulties we had were some of the hikes not being marked well enough. The app gives instructions but its not always clear (was that the fork back there?)

This was so much more than I expected. The snacks, drinks and dinner were wonderful. The crew was so knowledgeable and helpful. The other passengers caught on to the fun atmosphere and it was like being at a party with friends. The Napali coast is beautiful and the sunset beyond description.

I took my three young sons 12,10,6 to Hawaii for the first time and this tour was a hit!! We loved it! Can’t wait to do the beach tour in a couple days. They loved the story’s of the narrator. Memories for a life time!

My photographer was so knowledgeable and professional. He was able to adapt the activity to meet my needs. He showed me an incredible waterfall and even went out of his way to return my cell phone when I misplaced it.