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Home » 7 Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

7 Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

Best Things to Do in Kauai

7 Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

Of the four main islands that make up the Hawaii archipelago, Kauai is the one that left us most impressed by its wild nature and incredible landscapes. 

When we started to organize our trip to Hawaii, we wanted to visit the Nā Pali coast, so we decided to include Kauai in our route through Hawaii, and it was without a doubt the best decision we could make. 

If you are doubting whether or not it is worth including it in your itinerary, we recommend that you make an effort and visit Kauai because it is beautiful. This article leaves you with some suggestions for what to see and do in Kauai (Hawaii).

Where to stay in Kauai (Hawaii)

The biggest drawback of Kauai is the price of its accommodation, which rises quite a bit compared to the rest of the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. But as we have already mentioned, it is worth the effort.

Most of the hotels are on the east and north coast of the island. We recommend the east coast because it will be easier for you to get around to get to know the south and the interior of the island, which a road from the south can only access.

These are the hotels where we stayed, and we had an excellent experience in both. If you are not financially tight, we recommend the Kauai Shores Hotel, which also organizes free yoga classes for guests every morning on the beachfront. Irene loved the experience.

1. Waimea Canyon

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii
Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Its 16 km long and 900 meters deep make this place one of the most impressive in Hawaii. 

You can get there by car and enjoy the views from its viewpoints. 

It is a very cloudy place, so you may have to wait for the right moment to appreciate it in all its splendor. We recommend that you bring a jacket because it can get cold.

There are many hiking trails in the area that you can do to get even deeper into nature.

2. Kokee State Park

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

Following Waimea Canyon Highway 550, you will arrive at Kokee State Park. The park is full of forests and trails for the best hikes in Hawaii. Some of these trails offer views of the Waimea Canyon and others of the north coast of the island and the Na Pali coast. 

The trails are liable to disappear after heavy rains, so we advise you to go to the Natural History Museum of the park to ask which ones are open and to walk them does not pose any danger. 

The Kalalau Lookouts and the Puu O Kila Lookout overlook the Kauai Valley, and if you’re lucky and the day is clear, you can see the Napali Coast. 

The day we visited the Canyon and the park, it was raining, and there was a lot of fog, so we could not see practically anything, so we decided to book in the helicopter to see the landscape. 

The best trails to enjoy the views of the coast are: 

  • Awa’awapuhi Trail
  • Kalalau Trail

We wanted to make the Awa’awapuhi Trail, but when we went, it had disappeared due to heavy rains a few months before, so we were left with all the desire to do it and enjoy some impressive views. Ask at your hotel before venturing out to do so. 

Photo by Hans Zeller. 

3. Na Pali Coast

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii
Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

The jewel in Hawaii’s crown. We are speechless to describe the beauty of this coast, a wonder of nature, as Jose said when we got off the helicopter¨The summit of our traveling life¨ hahaha. 

The natural park does not have road access, so there are only three options to see those sharp 1,200-meter-high cliffs: Flying over the coast from the air with a helicopter, sailing on a boat or sailboat, or from land after doing the s enduro Awa’awapuhi Trail that we told you about in the previous section. 

The only way to get a good view of the Napali Coast is to make the Awa’awapuhi Trail on a clear day. We had already told you that it had disappeared due to the rains when we visited Hawaii, so we only had to do a boat or helicopter excursion to see the Napali Coast. 

We gave ourselves the luxury, and we did it by helicopter, and it was a total success. We could not only see this coast but the entire island of Kauai from the air, one of the best experiences of our lives without a doubt.

Yes, it is a whim, and it is not cheap, but we recommend it 100%, we will never forget it. 

If you also want to do the helicopter tour and see the Waimea Canyon, Jurassic Falls, the Napali Coast and enter the crater of the volcano that formed Kauai, here is the link so you can book your flight. 

One of the best experiences of our lives was to see the Napali Coast from the air.

Tips for seeing Kauai from the air:

  1. Always book the flight after 1 pm. In the morning, the weather is worse, and they tend to cancel more flights due to rain and fog. 
  2. Ask them to put you in the front seat or, at least, in the window.
  3. Wear dark clothes because the light is reflected in the crystals, and you may be seated in the back chairs with that excuse. 
  4. If you get dizzy quickly, do not use the camera much. Buy the video they offer you. It has much better quality and is recorded from the outside.

4. East coast of the island of Kauai

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

The east coast of Costa Real del Coco, as this area of ​​Kauai is known, is the most populated region of the island and where most of the hotels are located. 

In part of the island, you can visit waterfalls, go on hiking trails, kayak along the Wailua River, and enjoy the beaches in the area. 

On the map, we have pointed out the places we liked the most on the east coast of Kauai: 

  • Wailua Beach
  • Opaeka’a Falls
  • Keālia Beach
  • Sleeping Giant Trail Head
  • Lydgate Beach

5. Luau Kalama

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii
Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

Another essential trip to Hawaii is to see a Luau to enjoy traditional Hawaiian dances and food. We were doing research, and one of the best Luau in Hawaii is the Kalamau Luau found in Kauai.

If you want to book a Polynesian dance show in one of the best Luau in all of Hawaii, the Lu au Kalamau.

6. South Coast of the island of Kauai

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

The south coast of the island of Kauai has perfect beaches for surfing, bodyboarding, and snorkeling in its natural pools formed by rocks and coral. 

On the way to the south coast, do not forget to prepare your camera to take photos when you pass through the tunnel of trees. To eat, come and try the hot dogs with Hawaiian sauces from Pukadog. They are delicious. 

These are the places you can’t miss on the south shore of Kauai: 

  • Mahaulepu Beach
  • Poipu Beach
  • Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail (Photo)
  • Shipwreck Beach 

7. North coast of the island of Kauai

Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii
Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

In addition to the Napali coast that we have already told you about at the beginning of the article, you cannot access the road that takes you to the north of the island. On the north coast of Kauai, you will find impressive beaches perfect for surfing, especially if you travel to Hawaii from November to February. 

The best beaches on the north shore of Kauai are: 

  • Kee Beach (Snorkel)
  • Tunnels Beach
  • Hanalei Bay
  • Anini Beach

This article has given you some ideas of places to visit in Kauai and activities to do on the island. It was an island that impressed us. Although it is tiny, it is a true paradise. The Na Pali Coast and the Waimea canyon are extraordinary.

The helicopter ride was undoubtedly one of the most spectacular moments of the entire trip through the archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands. Of the four main islands of Hawaii, it is the one we liked the most, so do not leave it out of your trip to Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things to Do in Kauai

Is there anything to do on Kauai?

You’ll find a multitude of things to do around the island – whether it’s an exhilarating zipline adventure through the jungle, a relaxing day at the beach, or a kayaking trip on one of Kauai’s rivers. The Garden Isle is a true adventurer’s playground.

What is Kauai best known for?

Kauai’s official nickname is “The Garden Isle” due to its verdant and lush landscapes. Kauai is also known for its many waterfalls including Waipoo Falls tumbling 800 feet into Waimea Canyon.

Do you need a car in Kauai?

Unless you’re on a fairly leisurely schedule, you’ll need a car or other motorized vehicle to see and do everything on Kauai, which has one major road-one lane in each direction in most places-that rings the island except along the Napali Coast.

How many days do you need on Kauai?

If you’re visiting multiple islands in Hawaii and trying to decide where to spend your time, I’d recommend a minimum of three days in Kauai. Spend more time here if you like the idea of tropical wilderness and remote beaches.

Why is Kauai so expensive?

Kauai real estate is expensive because most of the land is preserved and only 5 percent of the land is commercially developed. Some of the nuances here is that Kauai attracts people with a little bit more money, which actually drives the prices up.” On the Big Island, property is significantly cheaper.

Is Kauai worth going to?

We’d most certainly say it is. The so-called Garden Isle of the Aloha chain is a lush and untouched place. It’s got glorious tropical weather and beaches that will blow you away, some with dramatic vistas of craggy cliffs, other with perfect soft sand and snorkeling territory.

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