If you're looking for the best or top Kauai Vacation activities then you're in the right place. In this article we've selected our favorite activities and attractions for visitors on their Kauai vacation trip.
First, making this list is purely subjective, it's our opinion and not a list everyone will agree with. That said, we feel pretty confident that you will have a fantastic experience when you choose any of the items on our list.
The island of Kauai is arguably the most stunning island in the Hawaiian archipelago. The island is aesthetic eye candy by land, sea, or air and you'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful location to visit. From the rugged cliffs of the Na Pali coastline to the eclectic colors of Waimea Canyon, from the verdant Wai`ale`ale basin to the soft sands of the south shore beaches, Kauai has a little bit of everything.
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The Scenic Na Pali Coastline
Na Pali Coast
The Na Pali Coast is the crown jewel of Kauai and one of the most amazing ways to see it is from the water. 3000' cliffs drop straight into the ocean, magical white sand beaches with no land access glisten in the sun, dolphins, sea turtles and monk seals abound. In the winter months humpback whales are a common sight.
We think that everyone who visits Kauai should experience the Na Pali Coast. To see it by boat, we recommend Holo Holo Charters. They offer sunset cruises, snorkel adventures, and a tour out to Niihau.
If you are up for a much more strenuous adventure, you can try the 17 mile long Na Pali Coast kayak tour with Kayak Kauai. It is a truly memorable experience but is not for the faint of heart.
Kalalau Valley Lookouts
The two lookouts at the end of Highway 550 in Kokee State Park offer some of the most stunning views on the entire island. Kalalau lookout and Pu`u o Kila lookout both offer incredible views into the expansive Kalalau Valley below. These two lookouts are absolute must see's while on the island. Learn more about the Kalalau lookout and Puu o Kila lookout.
Waimea Canyon Lookouts
Located adjacent to Kokee State Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, has a variety of lookouts available for you to enjoy the Waimea Canyon. The canyon measures ten miles long, one mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep. Mark Twain dubbed, it "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The Canyon has some of the most striking color combinations anywhere on the island and is definitely worth a visit (be sure to stop at the various lookouts that are available, on the right, as you head up Highway 550). Learn more about Waimea Canyon.
Ha`ena Beach Park
Ha`ena Beach park is one of our favorite beaches in Hawaii. While the initial beach itself isn't especially scenic, if you'll walk down the shoreline a bit to the right, and then turn around, the view will make your jaw drop. Bali Hai or Makana Ridge rises above the beach before you, offering an amazing view. Tunnels beach is also located here and is a great snorkel location if you're so inclined. Learn more about Haena Beach Park.
The 85' double tiered Wailua Falls is a gorgeous waterfall located at the end of Highway 583 in east Kauai. It's one of the most scenic falls that's easily accessible on the island, and is definitely worth a quick visit. Learn more about Wailua Falls.
Kauai's Amazing Hiking Trails
Island-wide but particularly West Kauai
We're so in love with Kauai's hiking trails, we can't even narrow it to just one. So we thought we'd lump a few of our favorites together and just tell you, "Go hiking! It's worth it." Some of our favorite trails are the Kalalau trail to Hanakapiai Beach, Nualolo Trail, Kuilau Trail, Awaawapuhi Trail, Pihea Trail, Nounou Trail, and the Canyon Trail. View a full list of Kauai hiking trails.
Kilauea Lighthouse is the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands. The lighthouse along the the National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to spend an hour or two as you explore the north coast of Kauai. Learn more about Kilauea Lighthouse.
Kee Beach at Sunset
North Shore / Na Pali Coastline
Kee Beach is another great beach to visit on Kauai, and it's extremely popular for sunsets - but for good reason. It's a beautiful and scenic beach that offers one of the best locations on the island to watch the sun disappear over the horizon. Additionally, if you walk to the right once you reach the beach, and then turn around, you'll see Na Pali stretching before your eyes - a gorgeous site to behold. Learn more about Kee Beach.
Limahuli Garden, located on the north coast, is one of our favorite gardens on the island. It's not as big as it's cousins (Allerton and McBryde) on the south coast, but it's a wonderful place to spend a few hours, learn about Hawaii, and the plants that call the island home. The picturesque setting is a great place to spend an afternoon before heading up to Kee Beach to watch the sunset. Learn more about Limahuli Garden.