10 Fun Things To Do In Kauai

By Ryan Prudhomme |
|5 min read

Kauai is the ultimate tropical paradise, teeming with sights to see and locations to explore. Kauai is the least developed island in the Hawaiian archipelago, making it the top choice of native Hawaiians, celebrities, and other tourists looking for a secluded retreat. If you are considering a tropical getaway, this is your one-stop-guide to the white sand beaches, lush green forests, and all the other great things to do in Kauai.

Overlook the Waimea Canyon

Any visitor to Waimea Canyon is left astonished by the natural beauty of the scenery. Orange cliffs are shrouded in green foliage, and on especially sunny days you can see all the way to the ocean. There are plenty of photo opportunities on the hike up, but be sure to pack warm clothes since the top of the ridge can be several degrees cooler than the base. If possible, plan your hike for a clear day so you can see the stunning views in all their splendor.

Explore the Na Pali Coast State Park

Located on the northwestern shore of the island, Na Pali Coast State Park is another one of the most scenic things to do in Kauai. In this state park, you will see unique ocean cliffs and crystal coves, in addition to the famous, jagged mountain ranges. The whole area has hundred-year-old trails etched in its soil and there are dozens of options for a good day hike. If you aren't into intense hiking trails, there are numerous local guides that will take you on helicopter and boat tours of the gorgeous Na Pali Coast State Park.

Hike the Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau trail is the most well-known hike on the Na Pali coast and provides land access to parts of the coast that are otherwise impossible to reach. This 11 mile trail is rarely flat as it winds through canyons and valleys. As a day hike, you can get to the Hanakapi'ai beach without a permit, but if you wish to go beyond that point you must have a permit (even if you don't plan on camping for the night).

Relax at the Poipu Beach Park

Ranking among the top ten beaches nationwide, Poipu Beach is a relaxing destination for tourists. The southern coast of Kauai is known for being peaceful and undisturbed, and this is the beach for you to do just that. The beach is made of a series of crescents where you will find people swimming, snorkeling, and simply enjoying the waterfront.

Stop by at the Wailua Falls

When you're looking for Kauai things to do, consider visiting the Wailua Falls on the eastern part of the island. It's an easy drive to get there, and the falls will be ever changing depending on the amount of rainfall and the time of year. Most people only stop by for a few minutes to see the falls or buy something from local vendors, but some adventurers find their way to the pool at the bottom of the waterfall for a refreshing swim.

Visit Hanalei Beach

Hanalei Beach is the largest bay on Kauai and has most of the island's best surf. There are large reefs creating big waves on the right side of the bay, and there are smaller waves as you get closer to the 300-foot Hanalei Pier. If playing in the waves isn't your thing, there are three different beach parks, a public boat ramp, and several rivers emptying into the bay to explore. With so many things to do in Kauai, this is a great day trip location for the whole family.

Tour the Kauai Coffee Company

The Kauai Coffee Company is the largest coffee grower in the US with 3,100 acres of plantation, all locally and sustainably grown on the island of Kauai. You can visit their headquarters for free tours, guided and self-guided, and as many coffee samples as you want. This is a great tour for those who want to learn more about the history of Kauai in general as well as take home some high-quality brew for their own pleasure.


Take a Kauai Helicopter Tour

There are numerous helicopter touring agencies throughout Kauai, but we highly recommend the Wings Over Kauai Air Tour. The pilots will fly you over the main Kauai points of interest while telling you about the rich history and culture of the island. Every helicopter is designed to have only window seats with large bubble windows for unobstructed viewing. The standard flight lasts just over an hour and includes close-up flight around the Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay, and the Na Pali cliffs.

Experience a Hawaii Luau

When trying to find the best things to do in Kauai, experiencing a live Luau is absolutely necessary. The Polynesian culture is fully embodied in the traditional ceremony, which includes dancing and chanting in customary outfits. Luaus go way back in Hawaiian culture, and were performed to show the strength of a particular tribe. During your Luau, you can expect to see performers in grass skirts, Fireknife dancers, and all kinds of food and drink. You won't be disappointed by the endless music and fun offered by a traditional Hawaiian luau.

Wander Through the Ishihara Market

Ishihara Market is a little store located right in the middle of Waimea, Kauai. Although they sell all the things you could expect to find in a regular grocery store, they are known for their Poke; cubed, raw fish. Poke is basically the Hawaiian version of sushi, but cut and seasoned in a unique, Polynesian way. The store is family owned and has been around for over 80 years, offering Poke at very low prices. If you are looking for a tasty place to grab lunch, this is a great spot to check out.

Kauai is truly the best Hawaiian island to visit for a quiet, natural vacation. All the opportunities to explore Kauai and experience local culture will make this a trip worth remembering. From the iconic Waimea Canyon to the Wailua Falls, now you know exactly what to do in Kauai.



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