Welcome to Kauai, the ‘Garden Isle.’ If this is your first visit, you are probably overwhelmed by the gorgeous views at every turn and wide array of amazing activities. While there are plenty of options for every type of vacationer, these are our top picks for Kauai experiences that are sure to make everyone in your group smile.
1. Beach Day
While this is a no-brainer for a Hawaiian vacation, it is easy to get distracted by all the other fun Kauai activities and forget to relax. So, make sure to set aside an entire day of your trip for lounging with your toes in the sand. But, don’t miss out on the chance to also enjoy that clear, perfectly cool water by surfing, boogie boarding, swimming or – another can’t-miss activity – snorkeling! To pick which beach is right for you, read about our favorites.
If you have never experienced the wonders that are hiding underneath the ocean’s surface, you are missing out on some incredible moments. Snorkeling is an easy activity to learn, and Hawaii is a great place to try it out! While peering into the ocean, you will see many types of fish and coral. Plus, you will often see sea turtles and possibly even dolphins as well. And in the right season, maybe even a whale!
Some of our favorite snorkeling spots are:
- Lydgate Beach Park: Calm, fish-filled waters make for a great place to take the whole family snorkeling!
- Tunnels Beach in the North Shore: Shallow water makes for perfect snorkeling conditions.
- Poipu Beach Park: A family-friendly beach for spotting different types of fish. There is also usually a lifeguard on duty.
- Na Pali Coast: Of course, we have to include this! Read on for more about this epic spot.
3. Tour the Na Pali Coast
Of course, there isn’t anywhere else in the world quite like the iconic Na Pali Coast! This is the top reason most visitors come to Kauai, and taking a boat tour out to see these views is a great way to spend a day of your trip.
Plus, if you want to snorkel in a really epic spot, the Na Pali Coast tour stops at a beautiful cliff-side location after an unforgettable ride along the coast. You’ll want to see why these epic mountains are so popular in person – trust us.
4. See Waimea Canyon
Another Kauai-only activity is taking in the stunning views of the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ The canyon is more than 14 miles long and a mile wide – making it a great place for landscape photos. Plus, the colorful and enormous Waimea Canyon is a wonderful place to hike. If you have time, hike the 3.4-mile round trip Canyon Trail, which takes you to Waipo’o Falls as well as other amazing lookouts. Want more Kauai hikes? Read on for other favorites!
5. Take a Hike
Kauai is possibly most well-known for its epic hikes. While most are not for the faint of heart, Kauai’s trails will lead to some of the most amazing views you will ever see. However, you can always just do a portion of the trail, for those not wanting to commit to an overly difficult trek.
Here are a few of our favorite Kauai hikes:
- Kalalau Trail: This 11-mile long trail is tough, but it allows for close-up views of the amazing Kauai coast.
- Awa’awapuhi Trail in Koke’e State Park: This 6.5-mile round trip trail takes you to an epic ocean view with chances to check out various local plant life on the way.
This list will likely keep you busy for a week or more and will definitely give you plenty of epic memories to share with your friends back home. But, if you are lucky enough to have an extended trip to Kauai, you can find a longer list of activities here.