10 Things to Do in Kauai That You Shouldn't Miss

August 2, 2017 Velvet Champine

Relaxing and pristine Kauai (the Garden Island) is the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands. Waterfalls, scenic drives and more than 60 beaches dot the landscape. Some beaches have great snorkeling, others offer child-friendly tidal pools and some are perfect for all kinds of water sports. Dry-land activities include hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coastline, taking a day trip to Waimea Canyon and experiencing life on a sugar plantation at Grove Farm Homestead Museum.
Restaurants in Kauai

1. Na Pali Coast State Park

Wainiha, Kauai, HI 96746 +1 808-335-6833
Excellent
93%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Na Pali Coast State Park

A scenic area offering beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs.

Reviewed By ConnoisseurCharlotte - Charlotte

The trails are great but do not wear flip flops! Hiking boots and poles are very helpful here. Views are amazing. Hope they work out the parking situation!

2. Waimea Canyon

Koke'e Road, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96752
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 5 reviews

Waimea Canyon

"The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep.

Reviewed By lanamom - Sunnyvale, CA

This is a really amazing drive, and very low activity level so it's good for anybody. We drove the whole length, stopping at each vista - some were major vistas with parking, others just a turnout, but all worth seeing. Had a picnic at the visitor center.
Had leisurely brunch in Waimea, then went on this at a low pace and it took most of the day, but definitely not strenous and incredibly beautiful.

3. Koke'e Mountains

Waimea, Kauai, HI
Excellent
93%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 109 reviews

Koke'e Mountains

Mountains on Kauai that offer many hiking trails.

Reviewed By WorldTravelers34 - Chicago

Our tour bus stopped here and allowed us a few minutes to explore this area and take some pics. This is one of the last stops when visiting the Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific in Kauai. It overlooks the south shores of the Na Pali Coast line. There is so much incredible nature in Kauai and the Kokee Mountains are definitely part of it.

4. Princeville Botanical Gardens

3840 Ahonui Pl, Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722-5530 +1 808-634-5505
Excellent
85%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 594 reviews

Princeville Botanical Gardens

Princeville Botanical Gardens is a family owned and operated garden paradise located in the Princeville area on the magnificent north shore of Kauai. The Robertson Family, with the help of their close gardening friend Michael, have transformed their 9-acre retirement home into a breathtaking garden with dramatic landscaping in two steep valleys. The tour includes homegrown honey and fruit samples, as well as a chocolate tasting that teaches you the history of chocolate making. You'll have fun learning about the uses and folklore of native Hawaiian plants and exotic species from around the world. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Visitors can experience the garden on pre-scheduled tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tours are not recommended for children under 6 years. Moderate mobility is needed to go on our nature walk. Please be sure to call us before visiting. Thank you!

Reviewed By Lisa S

Yes, there was a delicious and informative chocolate tasting, but that wasn't even the best part of this wonderful experience! It's been the surprise hit of our trip to Kauai this year (family of five, ages 13-52). The grounds themselves are stunning, a longtime labor of love that has yielded a remarkable variety of flowers, fruit, trees, plants and landscape. The people who run the gardens are equally remarkable — from Jason (who lent me his own hat!) to the knowledgeable and good-natured Harold, to Steve, our tour guide. About Steve: I hope you're lucky enough to have him as your tour guide on a Tuesday. He knew the name, uses and origin of virtually every plant we walked by, and offered samples of yummy fruits and leaves at various points. The power of these plants is extraordinary -- we learned so much about their ability to heal and gained a new respect for natural medicine. Steve's ability to connect with everyone on the tour, from small children to adults, was touching and very much appreciated. We left the gardens feeling nourished and grateful! It's a good idea to bring a hat, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes on this three-hour tour.

5. Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796 +1 808-274-3444
Excellent
85%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 663 reviews

Waimea Canyon State Park

Reviewed By Arkansastraveler74 - arkansastraveler74

Must do!! Excellent scenery and picture taking!! Must do in Kauai..... Love the views.. canyons are amazing!

6. Hanakapiai Falls

Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, HI +1 808-464-0840
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 444 reviews

Hanakapiai Falls

Reviewed By 130yogamc - Salem, New Hampshire

My husband and I veered off the Kalalau Trail to continue onto the Hanakapiai Trail which brought us to the falls. It was another 2 miles away...which would make your day hike a total of 8 miles roundtrip. The trail is very muddy and can be slippery at times. There are multiple stream crossings and the last quarter of a mile to the falls consists mainly of scrambling and climbing up and down rocks. The falls are beautiful though and well worth the hike! Go early so you can get parking and also avoid the big crowds! If there is a threat of heavy rain, don't go as the stream crossings could get even more challenging!

7. Kalalau Trail

Kauai, HI +1 808-587-0400
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Kalalau Trail

Kauai's hiking trail along the Na Pali coast.

Reviewed By claudia03171958 - Ithaca, New York

Rugged, rugged, rugged. Very few stairs, as such; lots of scrambling over slippery rocks up a very steep, narrow trail, with long drop-offs and no guardrails. The views of the Napali Cliffs from the 1/4- and 1/2-mile points were well worth the hard work of getting there. But two moms brought six kids, all under 10; after a while we just couldn't watch them trying to outdo each other in feats of bravery and turned back. The walk down was actually harder than the climb up!

8. Ke Ala Hele Makalae East Shore Beach Path

From Anahola to Kapaa, Kapaa, Kauai, HI
Excellent
84%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 139 reviews

Ke Ala Hele Makalae East Shore Beach Path

Reviewed By Ticolover - Oregon

We most frequently walk from the Waipouli area up to the end of Kappa; but sometimes we've walked all the way to Kealia. Not too crowded & most folks are using the path for exercise or enjoyable bike/walk jaunts. There were a few locals hanging out around the bathrooms at the bridge just south of Pono Kai but they were not threatening.

Overall a nice safe place for all - including families with kiddos.

We also did one walk from Kealia Beach all the way to the north end at Anahola - that's our favorite stretch... not as many people and we saw whales & lots of sea birds.

9. Kauai Path

1121 Moanakai Rd, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1524 +1 808-639-1018
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 581 reviews

Kauai Path

Reviewed By Esqbaby - New Vernon, New Jersey

Oh really is a shame the homeless situation. Walking along pristine beaches marred by the tents, garbage, crap left behind by the homeless. I walked in and out of one of the bathrooms. Yuck. You can be homeless and show some pride!

10. Kalalau Lookout

Waimea Canyon Dr., Kauai, HI +1 808-464-0840
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 480 reviews

Kalalau Lookout

Reviewed By Trvlchic5 - Poughkeepsie, New York

We drove up to the lookout and was hoping to take in some of the beautiful views. Unfortunately, when we got to the top it had been raining so much that you couldnt see a thing and the trails were washed out. We watched some people attempt it but slipped and fell injuring themselves. Recommendation is to check the weather before going up to the lookout and be smart about your decisions.

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