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25 things to do on Kauai
I wrote a post a while back about the 10 best things to do on Kauai. I still recommend all of those things, but Kauai is so amazing that I had to add a few more!
Some of these are big, and some are small, but they’re all great things to do on Kauai.
You’ll definitely need a rental car in Kauai. I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best prices on rental cars and you can reserve now and pay at the airport!
Things to do in Kauai
Kauai offers a little bit of everything from kayaking to snorkeling to some of the most epic hikes in Hawaii. It is truly an outdoor lovers paradise.
1. Coffee at Rainbeau Jo’s
Whether you need a pick-me-up after getting off the plane, or just a coffee any day of the week, check out Rainbeau Jo’s! I heard the bagels are amazing too.
Bonus, they have lots of dairy-free/vegan coffee options! Did I mention it’s locally sourced and organic?!
Coconut milk and maple syrup and seriously so good!
2. Sunrise hike at Sleeping Giant
I had known about this hike for a long time but our helicopter pilot suggested that we check out this hike at sunrise, so we did!
It was amazing, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. It’s about 2 miles up, and much easier on the way back down. I would bring a flashlight to make your life a lot easier.
3. Take a shelter dog on a field trip
Taking a shelter dog on field trips is one of the best things to do in Kauai. The Kauai Humane Society has a wonderful program where you can take a shelter dog on a field trip.
They will give you lots of suggestions on where to gino, we took our shelter dog (her name is Ellen) to the Keahua Arboretum to go for a hike.
Our shelter dog was so sweet and I wanted to bring her home.
4. Get a juice at Kauai Juice Co.
Kauai Juice Co. has grown so much since my first trip to Kauai. They have 3 locations on Kauai, and their kombucha is sold almost everywhere.
Although I’m sure the kombucha is excellent, I love the juice! My recommendations are Akala, Omega, or Avatar. You can’t go wrong, I’ve never had a juice that I didn’t love.
5. Rent a bike and ride down to the bike path
The Ke Ala Hele Makalae Path is a great place to ride bikes, go for a jog, or you can take your shelter dog! There are plenty of places to rent bikes, and some local hotels such as the ISO have them available for guests.
6. Hike into Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon is called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Choose from several trails and hike in to check it out.
7. Visit Koke’e State Park
Check out the Na Pali coast lookout or hike the many trails at Koke’e State Park. The Awa’awapuhi trail is my pick for epic views of the Na Pali coast.
The end of the Awa’awapuhi Trail
8. Take a helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian
9. Whale watch (in the winter)
Take a whale watching tour in the winter to see the humpback whales that call the islands their home during this time of the year.
10. Hit the golf courses
If you’re a golfer, Kauai has many fantastic golf courses to check out. The public and resort courses in Kauai include:
- Ocean Course at Hokuala (Lihue)
- Wailua Golf Course (Lihue)
- Puakea Golf Course (Lihue)
- Kiahuna Golf Club (Koloa)
- Poipu Bay Golf Course (Koloa)
- Kukuiolono Golf Club (Kalaheo)
- Princeville Makai Golf Course (Princeville)
11. Take a sunset dinner cruise on the Na Pali coast
The three ways to see the Na Pali coast are by boat, by air, or hiking in. Take a sunset dinner cruise and enjoy it from the water.
12. Drive up to Wailua Falls
This waterfall is VERY easy to access, and you can drive right up to it. Some people do go down to the bottom (despite the fences and signs), but you can get a great view right from the parking lot!
Wailua Falls is a great way to see a waterfall with kids who aren’t into hiking very far.
13. Hike the Kalalau Trail (or part of it)
If you aren’t up for the 11-mile hike, you can hike 2 miles to Hanapapai Falls. The Kalalau Trail is open again but requires a permit.
You might also enjoy the 7 best hikes in Kauai.
14. Visit Hanalei town to shop and eat
If you’re checking out Queens Bath (from above only!,) make sure to hang out in Hanalei town to shop and eat.
15. Visit the Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park is a remote beach on the East side of Kauai. The road to this Polihale State Park is 5 miles of gravel, but it’s worth it! This beach is huge and you’ll find mostly locals here.
16. Check out Kilauea Lighthouse
Check out the Kilauea Lighthouse and offshore bird sanctuary for just five dollars per person.
17. Kayak Wailua River
You can rent a kayak and explore on your own, or take a tour of the Wailua River.
18. Drive through the tree tunnel
If you’re heading to Poipu or Koloa, you’ll make your way through the tree tunnel. Don’t stop and block traffic for a photo, but it’s such a cool thing to see! Bonus, you can see it from above if you take a helicopter tour.
19. Check out Spouting Horn
If you’re in the Koloa area, make sure to check out Spouting Horn. It’s not a place where you’ll spend a lot of time, but the water can go up to 50 feet high, and it’s an exciting sight.
20. Check out Tiki Taco in Kapa’a
I know it might sound weird to go to Hawaii for tacos, but hear me out. This taco specialty shop is Mexican food with a Hawaiian flair.
They have organic options, vegetarian and vegan options, and everything is gluten-free. My #1 choice is the tofu taco, and my husband says the shrimp taco is his favorite.
It’s delicious and has something for everyone. Every time we go to Kauai, we find ourselves eating here more than anywhere else. As a bonus, it’s one of the cheapest places to eat on the island.
21. Find sea glass at Glass Beach
If you think you’re lost on the way to Glass Beach, you’re not. On our last trip to Glass Beach, we even saw some Hawaiian monk seals!
22. Float Down Sugar Cane Irrigation Canals
I haven’t tried Mountain Tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures, but it’s on my list of things to do on Kauai! I
always tell my clients not to think they’ll get to do everything on the island. There are still plenty of things that I haven’t done, and I’ve been to the islands a lot.
23. Go to a luau
When you think of things to do on Kauai, or in Hawaii in general, you probably think of a luau. I recommend the Smith Family Luau.
I do recommend booking a luau in advance as this popular Kauai attraction does sell out in advance.
24. Check out Wailua Shave Ice
You have to get shave ice while you’re on Kauai, and Wailua Shave Ice is the best. They even have options for dogs if you bring a shelter dog with you!
25. Dine with your toes in the sand at Lava Lava Beach Club
There aren’t quite as many beach-front dining options on Kauai as the other islands, but there are a few!
Lava Lava Beach Club is one where you can dine with your toes in the sand. Make sure to check out Happy Hour for drink specials and great prices on appetizers.
Things to do in Kauai
I hope this list of 25 things to do on Kauai will help you prioritize what you want to do on Kauai. This is just a starting point, there are hundreds of things to do on Kauai, and you’ll never be able to see it all in one trip.
Although I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, I am only taking on a few clients for 2021. You can contact me if you’d like more information. I would recommend starting with my Hawaii travel guide if you plan to DIY your vacation!
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