Kauai, “the garden isle”, and of the 4 ‘major’ tourist islands, where you can find remnants of ‘old Hawaii’ during times of plantation life and beautiful, untouched country. As far as partying and social gatherings, Kauai is quite the opposite. The Garden Isle, aptly named for its outdoor adventures and natural scenery, is the island to visit if you’re looking for beauty and a deeper connection to nature.
Here are 10 highlights we thought were important to see or do in Kauai to find that adventure-connection:
For a non-traditional activity, Mountain Tubing is one adventure for the entire family! Easily located approximately 8 minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH), it’s easy to get a quick adventure in for that one last activity or to start your vacation off right!
Also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the drive up the canyon is spectacular: a vibrant blue Pacific Ocean in the distance, the neighbor island of Niihau on the horizon, and the depth perception loss thanks to the deep and colorful canyon. Just the drive alone is worth it as the windy road and cool air transport you to a time before time.
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Have you been to Kauai? Here’s our top things to do while on the Garden Isle: Visit Waimea Canyon (grand canyon of the Pacific) See Na Pali Coast and Kalalau Valley at Kalaulau Lookout (where this photo was taken) Or visit Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park where you can hike, camp, and explore! During the summer months, take a dip at Queens Bath. Check out Maniniholo, Waikanaloa & Waikapalae Wet & Dry Caves at Haena State Park (It’s currently closed off because of flooding that happened April 2018) Visit the best waterfall of Kauai: Wailua Falls! Do our favorite activities on Kauai: Mountain Tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures and Kipu Safari Tour with Outfitters Kauai View the amazing cliffs of Na Pali Coast by boat or helicopter! #wanderlustylexkauai . . . . . #lethawaiihappen #havealohawilltravel #hawaiiblog #hawaiitag #visithawaii #hawaiilife #hawaiiblogger #alohastate #hawaiinei #gohawaii #alohavibes #luckywelivehi #glimpseofhawaii #livealoha #luckywelivehawaii #hawaiistagram #kauai #kauaihawaii #kauailife #kauaistyle #kauailove #kauaiadventures #kauaiaswhy #visitkauai #discoverkauai
Once getting to the highest public access point of Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Lookout, you can take photos like normal people or go on a daring ridge-line hike (closed to the public). When the weather is just right, the view from here can be impeccable!
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The dreamiest view of Na Pali Coast. Unreal cliffs and crystal clear waters. We've visited Kauai a few times but this was the clearest day we’ve ever seen on the coastline. We had a chance to take a quick dip in front of this picturesque spot for a quick break. If you read our recent blog post about a boat tour in Kauai, then you know that @napalipirates took us on a most epic adventure through multiple sea caves and a snorkel spot. Another thing we loved about the tour was how our captain and crew were enviornmentally responsible throughout the tour and stopped by floating debris to pick it up! 🙌🌊🗑 #take3forthesea #wanderlustylexkauai . . . . . #lethawaiihappen #havealohawilltravel #hawaiiblog #hawaiitag #visithawaii #hawaiilife #hawaiiblogger #alohastate #hawaiinei #gohawaii #alohavibes #luckywelivehi #glimpseofhawaii #livealoha #luckywelivehawaii #hawaiistagram #kauai #kauaihawaii #kauailife #kauaistyle #kauailove #kauaiadventures #kauaiaswhy #visitkauai #discoverkauai
Every good thing has an end and at the end of Waimea Canyon is something even better (IMO): the cliffs of Na Pali Coast. A place of movie making and Hawaiian History. If it’ll be your first time visiting Kauai, see Na Pali Coast by a boat tour – up close and personal to the massive sea cliffs!
If you’re having the trouble choosing between Kayaking or Ziplining, why not do it both? An all in one safari with Outfitters Kauai! All in one day, we: kayaked, hiked, zipline, jumped into a river, saw famous movie locations, swam in those movie locations and zipline into a watering hole.. This was nothing short of epic; the epitome of adventure!
For a more calming time, take a picturesque drive to the North Shore of Kauai where you can find the famous wet and dry caves and where the Na Pali Coast 12 mile hiking trail begins! There is also a beach just across the caves where you can play and relax (careful of bigger waves in the winter).
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📍Kauai The sweet shores of Polihale, West side of Kauai. Been to East & West coast beaches in the U.S., the Caribbean, and throughout the shores of other neighbor Hawaiian islands but this beach is truly my favorite. Only island with sand dunes which can rise up to 100ft/30m. It's the most western beach open to the public in Hawaii. Perfect for sunsets with no obstructions and best of all there's so much sand and freedom out there that your nearest neighbor may be a mile away from you; this stretch is 7miles/12km long. So much to be said about this beach that this photo will have to do. Cheers to my favorite beach I've ever been to! -@reddkh #wanderlustyledrone #wanderlustylexkauai
It’s an obvious one but being able to watch a Hawaiian sunset is magical regardless of what island. On Kauai, the western beaches like Barking Sands/Polihale beach is our favorite spot to squeeze in a romantic sunset on an empty beach.
8) CHECK OUT THE SCENERY HANALEI BAY
Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the North Shore of Kauai. It’s a gorgeous place with a two mile stretch of beach, beautiful mountains which offers a breathtaking scenery!
Kauai is known as ‘the Garden Isle’ and there’s no way it could be as beautiful without cascading waterfalls! Wailua Falls is a double waterfall that’s easily accessible for cars where you can step out, look over the ledge, and take a quick photo.
If a beach day is in the schedule, add snorkeling to the list. A great spot for snorkeling is Tunnels Beach on the North Side of Kauai because of the shallow reefs, abundant sea life, and a gorgeous green mountain backdrop!
These are our top ten highlights of things to do in Kauai! We hope readers are able to do a few things on this list! Our top pick would have to be a Na Pali Coast experience, of any kind, as it really deserves it’s a place amongst the natural wonders of our world! Mahalo for reading!