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Kauai’s Top 10 Things to Do

30 March 2010

Of all of the islands in Hawaii, Kauai (the Garden Isle) may stand out as the most beautiful. With so much to see and do having a plan will minimize the stress of your vacation. The following are just a few of the exciting adventures that await you on Kauai.

Visit Waimea Canyon

Labeled as “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon is indeed the largest canyon in the entire Pacific. The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and is more than 3,500 ft deep. There are numerous hikes and lookouts that offer gorgeous views at all angles of the canyon. The canyon is located in Koke’e State Park and is also protected inside the state park. This truly is one of the most amazing natural wonders on earth.

Kauai Helicopter Tour of Na Pali Coast

Taking a helicopter ride on any island is a stunning way to see the local landscape, none however compare to taking a helicopter tour of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai. The Na Pali Coast is a 22-mile stretch of volcanic cliffs. You can also take the tour on a boat and see the cliffs from a distance, but getting up close in a helicopter is an experience you will never forget.

Visit the South Shore of Kauai

This is the Poipu area in south Kauai. A great place to stay is at the Poipu Kai Resort. From here you have excellent access to all the south shore has to offer. South Kauai is known for its world famous beaches and sunsets but that is not all that the south shore has to offer. “Spouting Horn”, one of Hawaii’s most famous blowholes is definitely something you will want to see while on the south shore. In Poipu make sure you take advantage of the 18 hole Poipu Bay championship golf course. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones and is located on 210 acres of oceanfront property. Finally, head south to Port Allen and go whale watching. Kauai has some of the best whale watching of any of the islands. It is not uncommon for a whale to surface and play and splash around for up to 15 minutes at a time.

Visit the North Shore of Kauai

Like the south shore, the north shore of Kauai offers many wonderful attractions of its own. For easy access to all the north shore sights of Kauai stay at the Puu Poa condo vacation rentals located in Princeville. From here you will have an easy time visiting sights such as the aforementioned majestic Na Pali coast (a can’t miss), as well as taking the family to Hanalei Beach Park. Hanalei Beach Park is a 2 mile crescent shaped beach that surrounds a beautiful spacious bay. During the summer months the bay is calm and clear, during the winter months it is home to some of the biggest onshore surf breaks in the state. Finally, make sure to visit the Waikapalae and Waikanaloa Wet Caves. The local legend claims that the fire goddess Pele dug these caves herself. These watering holes used to be clean, clear and great for swimming. Now stagnant they are still a great example of one of Kauai’s legendary landmarks.

Wailua River Valley

Located on the east coast of Kauai, Wailua River is Hawaii’s longest navigable river. Apart from the historical sites, which include several heiaus along the scenic route, the Wailua River also boasts some excellent scenic attractions. Forefront to all the others is probably the twin waterfalls of Opaekaa, which was the filming location for the hit TV show “Fantasy Island.” On the opposite side of the falls sits the reconstructed Hawaiian village at Kamokila, which was once an ancient Hawaiian settlement. Don’t forget to rent a kayak at the village to explore more of the Wailua River and gain access to “Secret Falls”, which has an excellent swimming pool.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve

Set in a tropical valley on the north shore of Kauai, the Limahuli Garden and Preserve is backdropped by Makana Mountain and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The garden cultivates a lot of kalo (taro), which is an important cultural food crop. Behind the garden sits the preserve where conservationists and biologists are working to preserve the species native to this habitat. Limahuli Garden was selected by the American Horticultural Society as the best natural botanical garden in the United States.

Kauai Movie Tours

A fun and unique way to enjoy a few hours of your vacation is to take a Kauai movie tour. Some of the most popular movies and TV shows in history have been filmed either in part or all on Kauai. Book one of these tours and see shooting locations for movies like Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Six Days Seven Nights, Gilligan’s Island, Fantasy Island and more!

Kauai Plantation Railway

This attractions lets the rider experience the recreation of days when steam powered trains moved and harvested sugar cane from the field mill to the wharf for shipment. The Plantation Railway runs through the grounds of the Kilohana Estate and adjoining 70 acre plantation. The rail is 2.5 miles long and riders are given an informative narration of Kauai’s agricultural history. Lastly, once the ride is over, riders are able to purchase products grown on the plantation or taste some of Kauai’s unique food items from the 16,000 square foot courtyard/galleria/restaurant.

Scuba Dive

Offering an abundance of sites to dive, divers ranging in experience from beginner to advanced will definitely find a dive that best suites them. There are boat dives, night dives and other such dive tours that offer plenty of sea life to discover. Visitors can rent all the dive gear and equipment on sight and even get certification (certification is not required to dive). Beginners will enjoy north and south shore sites such as Hanalei, Kee Beach and Poipu Beach while more advanced divers can venture out to areas like cave exploration and lava tube exploration.

Enjoy the Beaches

Some of the more beautiful beaches in all of Hawaii are located on Kauai. From Poipu Beach to Salt Pond Beach Park, there is something for everyone. Feeling like taking a long walk? Polihale State Beach Park is located on Kauai’s westernmost point and is Hawaii’s longest beach with over 17 miles of sparkling white sand.

These, along with dozens of other hidden treasures are available options on your visit to Kauai. Whether you are coming alone, with a spouse, or with the family, make sure you plan out the most interesting, fun activities for you. Having a plan will enable you to see and do more with the time a budget you have.


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  • UK Travel said:

    Kauai is really one of the best island to visit. As you describe there are lot of things to do in this island.

  • Matt said:

    This is a great list and these are definitely on my top 10 list too, however I would make it a top 11 list by adding getting a surfing lesson from a local Hawaiian. This is a must thing to do! My wife and I visited Hawaii last month. We booked a Hawaii holiday package with I Need a Holiday.

  • Jan said:

    I have thought a few times about visiting Hawaii but have always put it off. My son has been there and loved it. One of the things that has frightened me off is the Volcanoes. I have been through 2 major natural disasters and have survived. I just don’t want to put myself in any environment where something could happen again.

    I know the chances are minuscule of anything happening, logic says so, but…so were the other two.

  • Florida Hurricane Lawyer said:

    I’ve never been to Hawaii but I have friends who keep on telling me to do so. Been reading some articles and watching some shows that promotes Hawaii and I would say, it’s a paradise. I’m considering that this years vacation, we will. I think I would enjoy Hawaii, and first to visit, Kauai. Thanks for the information about the 10 things that can be done in there. Really can’t wait.

  • Childhood obesity facts said:

    Hawaii is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and located over 2400 miles from the nearest continent has created a unique underwater environment, in fact over 25% of marine is endemic to Hawaii.

  • Edmonton Real Estate said:

    Hawaii really established their island as one of the best paradise island all of the world. When you heard the word Hawaii all you can think about is paradise and the natural gift of mother nature. I really want to have a vacation in this one of a kind paradise and Thank you for sharing some of the things to do list for us to know what the island can offer.

  • Dental Hygiene Products said:

    Thank you for some basic tips while in Kauai. This can be a nice vacation if we are going to apply what you wrote. I really love the place.

  • Nathalie@2fun2travel said:

    I really like your blog about Hawaii. There’s full of interesting infos that I will use when I will plan my trip over there. Thanks for sharing.

  • Self catering Scotland said:

    I would love to visit the place personally as I feel so tempted to see the those beautiful sights, that are mentioned here. I liked the picture, it is just awesome.

  • Taj Mahal said:

    Kauai is definitely one of the best tourist destinations in the world that attract every one. Either you are an adventure traveler or on a family holiday it has something for every one. Beaches like Hanalei Bay and its surrounding mountains are so beautiful that will not let you leave the place.

  • hotel pondicherry said:

    I found kauai is the really best island to visit everyone.Found this article have been informative and good resources..

  • boracay hotels said:

    Go find your favorite beach. There are a ton of them. Many are wonderful. Some are remote and desolate. Some are populated by tourists. Some they surf at. Many are romantic. Try Hideaways or Tunnels. For snorkeling go to Kee (as far north as you can) or Poipu (at the south). Look for sunrise shells on Polihale and watch the sunset.

  • Hotel booking - France said:

    Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast are the best places to see. I also did scuba diving there 2 years ago. Very clean water!

  • nfl said:

    Visiting the South Shore of Kauai is great for you when you are at the point.and so thanks for your sharing this post and i will do other thing above.thanks again

  • Shinjuku said:

    Hawaii looks fun, reminds me of Japan. Definitely going to have to check out Wailua River Valley and even maybe a helicopter tour, although am sure that would be pricey when compared to using a boat.

  • Web Design Calgary said:

    I’ve been to Hawaii once and i could really say that the place is a paradise. The beach, the scenery and the sunset are just perfect. I’m sure Kauai is far more beautiful compared to the places I’ve visited. And I’m looking forward this year to visit the place. Thanks a lot for sharing this to-do list, it will be helpful for me in exploring the island paradise. Cool post.

  • osiris ibiza said:

    Kauai is really one of the best island to visit. There are so many places to stay, to visit. I have thought a few times about visiting Hawaii but have always put it off. Hope next time i will be there. 🙂

  • Secure Airport Parking said:

    I have not been to Hawaii, however after reading your post I could really imagine it being a paradise. Kauai sounds like a great place to explore with so much to do. I will definitely try to go there on my next holiday. Your to do list, will be of great help! Thanks for the detailed description of each feature. Thanks!

  • Bulk Solid said:

    We are planning to have a vacation this coming month and we are searching for the best destination to spend our vacation. And based on your description of the Kauai island, i think we’ve found the best place for our adventure. Thanks a lot for sharing this info. Keep it up!

  • John said:

    I have thought a few times about visiting Hawaii but have always put it off. My son has been there and loved it. One of the things that has frightened me off is the Volcanoes. I have been through 2 major natural disasters and have survived. I just don’t want to put myself in any environment where something could happen again.

  • Hotels in Venice said:

    Kauai is Hawaii’s Garden Isle, known for it’s lush foliage, beautiful flowers and long white sand beaches. Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands.Its a beautiful place for holiday visit.

  • Robin said:

    Great list. The Waimea Canyon has to be my favourite. I find it amazing that such a beautiful canyon can be found on a Pacific island.

  • Calgary Rentals said:

    Having vacation trip in Kauai is really fabulous!! Seeing this great beach and it’s view plus the great food and ambiance really makes me feel fortunate. Thanks for the following information what to do in such beautiful places.

  • Nick said:

    I have a trip planned to Kauai next year, and I’m very excited after reading this article! I will try to do as many of the top 10 as my time allows…

  • Europe Tour said:

    There are lots of places available in Hawaii Island but my most beautiful place is Kauai. A view of the Kalalau Valley on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is the great scenery.