Kauai, the oldest Hawaiian island, is a visual treat to every traveller. Kauai is stunningly beautiful with its lush vegetation, rugged cliffs off the NaPali coast, uncrowded beaches and Waimea canyon.
If you are planning on optimizing the budget for your kauai vacation, there is great news for you. There are some things you can see and do with your family completely free of cost and serve as a bonus to your Kauai vacation. Here is a list of activities you can choose from.
1. Spouting Horn
This geyser-like attraction delights visitors as the incoming surf rushes into an old lava tube releasing a huge spout of water during large swells. This is a good variation to sandy beaches as it boasts of a lava coastline. Visit the place during the day as you will see vendors selling art, jewellery and souvenirs and you can spend some time shopping. The spot is located in Poipu and is easily accessible.
2. Lydgate Beach Park
If snorkelling is on the top of your list, visiting Lydgate Beach Park is a must. It has two pools covered by boulders, protecting them from ocean currents. The water is calm and has plenty of fish which makes it great for snorkelling. The park has bathrooms, picnic tables and lots of grass for recreational activities and children to play around. The park is centrally located on the eastern coast of Kauai and is not far from the road.
3. Kuilau Ridge Trail
This old road turned trail, located near kapaa, gently guides you 800ft above to a scenic view of the mountain ranges of kauai. Kuilau Ridge Trail begins near Wailua’s Keahua Arboratum. The trail is well maintained, but turns slightly muddy when it rains. You will arrive at a picnic area, one mile up the trail, covered with a wide canopy to relax for a moment or have a light lunch. This is an easy hike and will lead you to a spectacular view of Mount Waialeale and Makaleha mountain range.
4. Hanapepe Art Night
Every Friday, from 5pm to 9pm, the town of Hanapepe comes alive with Hanapepe Art Night. The Art Night is not just about the art on display. It’s about the artists, crafts makers, clothing designers, food vendors and live entertainment that light up the evening. It’s a great time to connect with the locals of Hawaii who travel from different villages to witness the art night and thus capture the true essence of the local culture.
5. Haena Beach Park
This picturesque Park is located on the northern shore of Kauai and marks the end of the road. It is known as ‘the home of the hula’ and boasts of a beautiful beach and some caves right off the road. The beach has two surf spots, namely Cannons and Tunnels and also has a good snorkelling spot. The park offers full amenities- bathrooms, lifeguards, grassy patches, picnic tables and a lunch wagon and is an ideal location to spend time with your family and kids.
6. Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park
If you are a nature lover, you can head to the Waimea Canyon, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is rich in lush green vegetation and displays a wealth of scenery.
You can also visit Koke’e state Park located to the north of Waimea Canyon. It is spread over 4000 mountainous acres and the park offers terrific scenery and outdoor activities (some activities like fishing might require a license). If you love nature and hiking, this trip is not to miss. Koke’e Natural History Museum is a great place to visit for its bird exhibits and historical displays.
You can take a free historic walking tour of Waimea Town every Monday. ‘Collectibles & Fine Junque’ is a popular spot and will make you Nostalgic with its Vintage Hawaiian items.
7. Free Hula Shows
If you are in Kauai, you cannot miss a Hula show. To help you get a preview, the following locations offer luau and hula shows;
Grand Hyatt Kauai- Sea View Terrace (Keiki Hula show on Tuesday at 6.30pm)
Poipu Shopping Village (Tahitian Hula on Thursdays at 5pm)
Harbor Mall Lihue (Hawaiian Entertainment and Hula on Wednesdays at 12.15pm)
Coconut MarketPlace- Wailua (Hula shows on Wednesday at 5pm and Saturdays at 1pm)
8. Free Coffee Tour
If you are a caffeine lover, head to the Kauai Coffee Company, as they offer unlimited samples of more than 30 of their coffees. The place will help you understand the art of roasting and you will never see coffee the same way again. It has a cafeteria to grab a quick sandwich and some ice cream. This a great place to stop if you are heading to Waimea Canyon or Hanapepe.