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Top 10 Things to Do On Kauai

Top 10 Things to Do On Kauai

Kauai is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and the best things to do on the “Garden Island” involve experiencing the island’s beauty. Kauai is a destination for people who love the outdoors, pretty places, and serene and relaxing environments, and this top ten list reflects this. It would be tough to fit in everything Kauai has to offer in one vacation, so you’ll want to return again, and again. Pick a special experience, such as a helicopter tour or whale watching excursion, each time you visit. Below are our picks of the top ten things to do on Kauai.

Top Ten Things to Do on Kauai

1: Kauai Helicopter Tour


Many people who’ve been to Kauai will tell you the number one thing to do on Kauai is to take a helicopter tour of the island. With much of the interior island inaccessible by other means, a helicopter tour is perhaps the best way to see the incredible beauty of Kauai. See it all with a helicopter tour, including Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, and weather permitting, the lush volcanic crater of Mt. Waialeale where you’ll be surrounded by 3,000 foot walls weeping with waterfalls.

2: Na Pali Coast Cruise

A Na Pali Coast Cruise on the island of Kauai is the trip of a lifetime. You will never forget the unparalleled beauty of this marvelous coastline, where mountains rise majestically from the sea, waterfalls trickle into the ocean and amazing sea caves captivate the senses. Also see our Holo Holo Charters series pages and our Kipu Kai Cruise page.

3. Kalalau Trail (first two miles)

Kauai Top 10

It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, and one most any reasonably fit person can accomplish. The entire hike along the Kalalua Trail is 11 miles each way, but many people hike the first two miles to beautiful Hanakapiai Beach. The trail begins at Ke’e Beach, another beautiful place to visit. The first 15 minutes or so of the trail is a workout, but once you get to the top, you’ll be treated to some of the finest scenery in the world. Bring some water and walking or hiking shoes for the trek.

4. Waimea Canyon

It’s called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and for good reason. It really does look like the Grand Canyon, with a touch of green. The greater Waimea Canyon area boasts a number of other attractions, including the Kalalau Lookout, Red Dirt Falls and some of the best hiking trails on the island.

5. Hanalei Town


If you’re not already staying in Hanalei or Princeville, be sure to make it up to this beautiful town. The quaint surfer town sits on beautiful Hanalei Bay. Relax at the beach and take in views of famed Bali Hai from the Hanalei Pier. Stand up paddle board in the bay or kayak down the Hanalei River.

6. Poipu


If you’re not already staying in the Poipu area, be sure to visit this beautiful town. While the Hanalei area is more tropical and wet, the Poipu area is somewhat sunnier and drier, but everything is just as green. Hang out at Poipu Beach, and later, enjoy a sunset dinner at the Beach House Restaurant. To get to Poipu, take the Tree Tunnel for another unforgettable Kauai experience.

7: Whale Watching


Whale watching season is from November through May, and the best way to see the whales is up close on a whale watching tour out of Port Allen. In addition to seeing the whales, the boat ride tour is an experience unto itself, with views of the beautiful Kauai coastline.

8: Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

The historic Kilauea Lighthouse sits on a beautiful promontory in a wildlife refuge, so in addition to the lighthouse, you will have opportunities for bird and whale watching (in season). The lighthouse is a short drive from the town of Kilauea.

9: North Shore Drive


With lush tropical mountains on one side and legendary beaches on the other, you’ll marvel at the beauty of Kauai’s North Shore. A number of one-lane bridges await on this drive, friendly reminders to slow down, take it easy and take it all in. Stop at beautiful beaches along the way and bring a picnic lunch. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the world in our opinion.

10: Kapaa Town

Centrally located, Kapaa town has it all. The town boasts a nice downtown catering to tourists and a cycling path along the coast. Places to eat abound, including more than a few food trucks serving up delicious fish tacos and the like. Nearby are a host of attractions, including Kealia Beach, waterfalls including Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls, and Smith’s Tropical Paradise and Smith’s Family Garden Luau.

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