Things to Do – Kauai

Although an island with a low population, Kauai offers both its local people and visitors many opportunities to enjoy the natural environment of the island with many things to do. No matter what your taste or preference, Kauai offers you activities at its beaches, its navigable river, its plantations, and its upper land areas.

Kauai’s small towns and larger resort areas give visitors the opportunity to experience Kauai from a local islander’s perspective or from a luxury experience. There is no end to the activities; no end to its breathtaking beauty; and no end to the relaxation it offers, sometimes for free. The serenity of the island can always be found through its small towns and white sand beaches giving you a taste of Hawaii at its finest.

The island can be viewed by boat, helicopter, passenger vehicle, horseback, off-road vehicles, passenger vehicles, kayak, and by foot. No matter how you chose to spend your vacation on Kauai, you will leave the island with a sense of well-being.

Tours and Attractions

Many of the local people and travelers often refer to the island of Kauai as “Hawaii’s Island of Discovery”, because there are so many areas of the island to explore that will astound you with its history and beauty. Out of all the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is the only island with natural wonders of attractions for you to explore. There are hiking trails, water tours, and land tours. If you would like to spend the day on the water, you could go on a boat cruise that will take you fishing, explore isolated white sand beaches that are not available by vehicle, take a romantic sunset cruises off the shores of Kauai, kayak the Wailua River, take a day tour snorkeling on the Napali Coast, or even go humpback whale watching during whale season. Adventures are available to go horseback riding or all-terrain vehicle riding through trails of the Native Hawaiian forests or to areas to give you perfect views of Kauai’s coastline. The most popular attraction is the Waimea Canyon, or what is most commonly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, emulating a variety of natural colors of lavender and sienna through its rugged terrain carved by rivers and floods of thousands of years ago from the Waialeale Mountain. Another great adventure is the Na Pali coast, which stretches 17 miles of white sand beaches surrounded by 4,000 feet sea cliffs.


Kauai allows you to experience either fine dining or casual dining where you can experience the local foods of the island, mostly available in Kauai’s small towns. Fine dining can be experienced in the South Shore areas, such as Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill and Merriman’s Poipu. Menu items include the ingredients natural to the island, as well as local fish, such as opakapaka, ahi, ono, and mahimahi. The produce is locally grown and delivered fresh to the restaurants for your dining experience. You will also be able to experience the “local plate” that is so popular among islanders. This meal includes either a meat or fish dish, with one to two scoops of rice, and a scoop of macaroni salad. If you want to experience the true ancient Hawaiian food, you can attend a luau at one of Kauai’s events and enjoy hula (Hawaiian dance) and live Hawaiian music at the same time. There are many places for family dining, including beachside options at places like Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, as well as American food options along the oceanside restaurants.


Throughout the island of Kauai you can find a place to shop for that something special that will remind you for years of your stay on this beautiful island. There are many options for items made locally in Kauai, as well as items available and made in Hawaii only, giving you that one-of-a-kind item. The Hawaii made items range from crafts, fashion with an aloha flair, jewelry with details that can only be found in Hawaii, as well as art pieces that you can have shipped to your home so you don’t have to worry about transporting it back with you with your luggage. The small town of Hanalei and the resort town of Princeville in the North Shore region have various shopping opportunities. The Coconut Marketplace is the most popular shopping area, having a minimum of 70 stores to intrigue every taste. In the Lihue and Kalapaki areas, there are small stores with unique items. If traveling to the South Shore, there is the Poipu Shopping Village with both he variety of shops and eating establishments you may desire. If you are in need of beach attire or equipment, the newest shopping are in Kukuila Village can provide you with everything you need. The local shopping area on the West Side region, Eleele Shopping Center has more reasonable priced items that are commonly worn by the locals of the island.


Kauai has an astonishing 50 miles of white sand beaches along its coastline to enjoy for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or sunbathing. Many beaches offer quietness and solitude, as there are no large cities. There are a few beaches that are family-oriented, and that is where you will probably see the most people, yet the beaches are still not crowded. The one area of caution is in the North Shore region, as beaches can receive high waves and have strong currents. If you are not an experienced surfer in these waters, it is best avoided. A safe beach in the North Shore is Anini Beach Park and Hanalei Beach Park in the Princeville resort area. Kee Beach, with beautiful reefs over the best place to go snorkeling to view the exotic tropical fish of Hawaii. Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Lumahai Beach, with its great white sands is perfect for sunbathing; however, due to the strong currents in the water, it is not recommended for the inexperienced. There are three beaches on the East Side. Lydgate and Kalapaki Beach parks are great for children, and Kealia Beach is great for surfing. On the South Shore region, Poipu Beach Park is very popular and where you will most likely get a glimpse of the island’s endangered animal, the Hawaiian monk seal. The West Side has two beaches, Kekaha that is great for surfing and sunbathing and Salt Bond Beach Park.


The solitude of some of the beaches and the many natural attractions are the epiphany of relaxation. Enjoying the sea breeze, warm tropical weather, and being away from the large city life is enough to create relaxation through your entire body. This may even be enough for you to relax immediately and take this relaxation with you when you leave the island. One of the best places for complete relaxation is to escape to the hidden beauty of the Napali Coast. This is where you can reconnect to nature, let your stress go, and embrace the unique beauty of the island. For additional relaxation, you can always visit the resort areas on Kauai at one of their day spas for facials, lomilomi massage (Hawaiian massage practice), pedicures, or a manicure. These resorts are available on all regions of the island. You may also find salons, health clubs, or yoga and/or pilate classes if this is your particular form of relaxation.