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Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

Updated on April 22, 2008

There are many fun things to do in Kauai if you get lucky enough to take a vacation in Hawaii. Kauai is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Because of its beauty, many movies have been filmed at Kauai. The very best things to do in Kauai take advantage of the island's natural beauty. A vacation in Kauai is paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Kauai is the oldest and fourth largest main island of Hawaii. It is one of the wettest areas on the globe. Because of this, Kauai has numerous flora and beautiful scenery. It is nicknamed "The Garden Isle". The excessive precipitation has also caused valleys and canyons with amazing waterfalls on the Hawaiian island.

Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii

Photo credit: Tyler Westcott
Photo credit: Tyler Westcott

Things to Do in Kauai for Nature Lovers

One of the things to do in Kauai that is not to be missed is to visit the beautiful canyons located in Waimea. Don't miss Waimea Canyon. Waimea Canyon is named the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". It is a 2,700 feet deep gorge. Waimea is also the first location that Captain Cook landed on the Hawaiian islands. A statue of him is located at Waimea in Kauai.

Visit the botanical gardens named Allerton Garden or one of the other botanical gardens for slower paced things to do in Kauai. Allerton Garden is open to the public every day except Sunday. If you want to visit Allerton Garden in Kauai, you must make reservations. Allerton Garden has been the home of the queen of Hawaii and site of many movie scenes. Don't miss rambling through this floral paradise. There are unique features such as a Bamboo garden, an orchard full of tropical fruit trees, cut-flower garden, fountains, statues, and reflecting pools. Photographers will want to spend the entire day here.

There are several things to do in Kauai for hikers, photographers, and bird watchers at the Koke'e State Park. Koke'e State Park in Hawaii has a Natural History Museum which is open 7 days a week and doesn't charge admission. This park is loaded with hiking trails. The hiking trails vary greatly in length and difficulty. See swamp land, native plants and birds, and canyon views. You may even see some wild goats.

Kee Beach at Kauai, Hawaii

Photo credit: Michael Nestler
Photo credit: Michael Nestler

Free Things to Do in Kauai

There are other free things to do in Kauai, Hawaii, besides visiting the Koke'e Natural History Museum and lounging at the beach. The island is also loaded with photographic opportunities and hiking trails. Here are some more free things to do in Kauai:

Moir Gardens is a 35 acre botanical cactus and succulents garden located on the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation. It is open everyday with free admittance.

Visit the largest coffee plantation in Hawaii at Kauai. The coffee plantation is located on the southwestern side of Kauai. The visitor center tells about the history of coffee and growing coffee beans. The admission is free and the visitor center is open daily.

Recreational Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

The more active vacationer should visit the Wailua River State Park if looking for recreational things to do in Kauai. The park contains the only river in Hawaii that can be used for water recreational activities. There are several boating activities to choose, including riverboats, motorboats, skiing, and riverboats. Tourists like to visit the park. Be sure to see the Opaeka Falls located in the park. It is a double waterfall that is over 150 feet and visible all year. Fans of history will also enjoy visiting the heiaus, or temples, in the Hawaiian park. There are several that have been preserved in the park. Don't miss the Iraivan temple located along the Wailua River by the park. It is a Hindu temple that was hand carved in India and then assembled on Kauai.

There are plenty of things to do in Kauai for sun worshippers and surfers. Try a visit to Hanalei Bay. Hanalei Bay is a large bay on the north side of Kauai. The beach there is amazing. It is about two miles long. The scenery can't be beat, as the backdrop is of mountain scenery. Lifeguards are present at Hanalei Bay, and they are friendly and helpful. Surfing is a very popular thing to do in Kauai, especially at Hanalei Bay. There are several surfing schools if you want to learn while on vacation.

Things to Do in Kauai for Kids

Looking for things to do for the younger set? Try Kee Beach on the north shore, which is nice for families. It is a lagoon that is surrounded by coral reefs. Kee Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, is great for swimming, hiking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. As long as a person doesn't venture too far out into the water or close to the rocks, it is safe. If a person does get close to the rocks or too far out, the current is very strong and there is a good chance of drowning. There are no lifeguards. Better safe than sorry. Summer months offer the calmest waters at Kee Beach. Kee Beach is also full of colorful fish and sea turtles for nature lovers. Don't touch the turtles unless you wish to pay a hefty fine, though. Photographers and romantics should stay long enough for the amazing sunsets. Kee Beach is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit. Kee Beach is very popular, so it is not suited for anyone that doesn't like crowds. Try visiting early in the morning for a more peaceful beach experience. The Kalalau Trail is also located by Kee Beach. Hike the trail for breathtaking views.

Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii Comments

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    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Hi Angela, I just came back from Kauai and had a wonderful time. I was able to visit many of the places that you mentioned in your hub. I just finished a hub on Kauai so thought that I would check out the other Kauai hubs now, as I didn't want to feel like I was taking anyone's info as I was writing. I hope that you get a chance to check out mine as well.

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 6 years ago from California

      I'm planning a trip to hawaii this summer. Thank you for the information great article.

    • applejuic3 profile image

      applejuic3 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      kauai sounds like an incredible place. i will be going sometime within the next couple of years so this is a great read.

    • profile image

      blah 7 years ago

      hi hey blah blah

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      We are going to Hawaii in March 2011. Will be based in HNL for most of time, but would love to go to Kauai and Maui. Do you think it's possible to fly over for say, two nights in each place?

    • snwrit profile image

      snwrit 7 years ago

      I grew up in Hawaii but I only visited Kauai once. It truly is beautiful. This info is good to know. But don't miss Maui either!

    • profile image

      carly 9 years ago


    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I would love to go to Hawaii one day. Maybe one day.

    • StompSearch profile image

      StompSearch 9 years ago from Kauai Hawaii

      Aloha. Great Hub. Stop by my hale for a chat sometime. Mahalo.

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 9 years ago from Tennessee

      I loved Hawaii. We preferred Maui, except for the road to Hanna, which nearly scared my wife to death. It is a beautiful place.