There are many islands to choose from when traveling to Hawaii. Each island has it’s own personality and own vibe. Having explored Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii, we chose Kauai as our next adventure.
Kauai, the northernmost island in the archipelago is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. Its verdant rainforests, cascading waterfalls, pristine beaches and dramatic cliffs make it a haven for enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its ambiance and welcoming locals Kauai offers a retreat for those seeking relaxation or adventure. Discover the five must do activities on this enchanting island.
Exploring Kauai’s Beaches
Kauai boasts some of the worlds most incredible beaches. From the sands of Poipu to the awe-inspiring cliffs of Na Pali Coast there is something to suit every preference. Whether you desire a spot for unwinding or an exhilarating location for surfing Kauai has it all. Notable beaches include Hanalei Bay, Anini Beach and Kalapaki Beach.
Hanalei Bay is a true paradise that offers something for everyone. Whether you are a beach lover, a water sports enthusiast, or someone seeking a peaceful retreat surrounded by natural beauty, Hanalei Bay has it all. From its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters to its vibrant culture and warm hospitality, this hidden gem on the north shore of Kauai is truly a destination worth exploring.
Anini Beach, with its pristine turquoise waters, soft sandy shores, and abundant marine life, it offers an idyllic retreat for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers alike. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water activities like snorkeling and kayaking, or simply looking to unwind under the shade of a palm tree, Anini Beach has something to offer for everyone. Its secluded location and tranquil atmosphere make it the perfect escape from the crowds, providing a sense of serenity that is hard to find elsewhere.
One of the nice aspects of Anini Beach, like Hanalei Bay is that there is no shuttle, plenty of parking and no hiking to get to this beach. Also, there are areas to cook and eat and gather with family and friends if you want. All around, Anini is one of our favorite beaches in Kauai.
Kalapaki Beach is truly a hidden gem on the island of Kauai. With its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and a wide range of activities, it offers an unforgettable experience for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a fan of water sports, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the serene atmosphere, Kalapaki Beach has something to offer everyone.
Embarking on Kauai’s Trails
For hikers Kauai presents itself as a paradise with an extensive network of over 50 miles of trails awaiting exploration. From the Kalalau Trail to the challenging Awaawapuhi Trail there are options catering to all levels of expertise. Popular trails encompass the Kalalau Trail itself along, with the Awaawapuhi Trail and Nounou Trail.
The Kalalau Trail is a breathtaking and challenging adventure that should be on every hiker’s bucket list. With its stunning coastal views, lush foliage, and secluded beaches, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts. Although it requires physical fitness and careful preparation, the rewards are well worth the effort. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, the Kalalau Trail will leave you in awe of the beauty of Kauai’s rugged coastline.
We recommend at least doing the first 2 miles to the beach. Be careful though, the trail has been named one of the most beautiful, and dangerous hikes of the United States.
The Awaawapuhi Trail is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Offering breathtaking views of the Na Pali Coast, lush forests, and unique geological formations, this trail provides an unforgettable experience for hikers. While it may be challenging at times, the reward of reaching the stunning Awaawapuhi lookout is well worth the effort.
The Nounou Trail is a hidden gem on the island of Kauai, offering breathtaking views, challenging terrain, and a sense of adventure for hikers of all levels. Whether you are a seasoned hiker looking for a new challenge or a beginner seeking a memorable hiking experience, Nounou Trail has something to offer. From the panoramic vistas of the Makaleha Mountains to the lush greenery of the Sleeping Giant, this trail showcases the natural beauty of Kauai like no other.
A tip when hiking. Be aware that many hikes have water crossings through small rivers and streams. No knowing this and wearing hiking shoes, it became apparent that they were the wrong choice. A good sturdy water-shoe is probably the best choice of footwear.
Enjoying Water Activities in Kauai
Kauai is a destination for water enthusiasts. Whether you’re into snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding there’s a range of options to suit everyone’s interests. Don’t miss the chance to explore Tunnels Beach for snorkeling opportunities embark on a kayaking adventure along the picturesque Wailua River or try your hand at stand up paddleboarding at Hanalei Bay.
Surfing is a way of life in Kauai. From before sunup to after sundown, there are surfers of all ages riding the waves. It is really great to see and experience a 55-year-old surfing next to a 16 year old both having a great time.
We chose the kayaking along Wailua River and snorkeling along the Na Pali Coast and in the waters off of Anini Beach. Both were outstanding and a lot of fun.
Immersing Yourself in Kauais Natural Splendor
Kauais beauty is unparalleled. Offers something truly captivating for every visitor. Discover the rainforests of the Na Pali Coast or marvel at the breathtaking cascades of Waimea Canyons waterfalls. Be sure to include must visit spots like the awe Na Pali Coast, the Waimea Canyon and take in the stunning views from Kilauea Lighthouse.
Be aware that the Kilauea Lighthouse is only open Tuesday through Saturday when we were there. Check and make sure it is open to visit.
Embracing Kauais Rich Cultural Heritage
Kauai is a melting pot of culture that never fails to captivate visitors. Immerse yourself in hula dancing performances. Indulge in unique culinary delights that will satisfy your taste buds. Experience culture by attending a lively luau celebration exploring local museums that showcase the islands history and heritage and uncovering hidden gems among Kauais rich historical sites.
Planning Your Trip, to Kauai
Kauai is quite a destination for travelers worldwide. It’s no wonder why, given its beauty vibrant culture and abundance of activities. To ensure you have a time in Kauai it’s essential to plan by considering factors like the time of year the specific activities you’re interested in and your available budget. With planning in place, you can maximize your experience, on this island paradise. Create unforgettable memories.
Remember, reservations are a must. If you want to park and ride the shuttle to some hiking trails, you need a reservation. Restaurants on the island need reservations as well. Don’t be caught wanting to do something or go someplace and cannot because you failed to make a reservation.
Keep in mind that Kauai is expensive. Compared to the mainland, grocery prices, gas prices, excursion and shopping prices are at least 40% higher and in some cases double. Almost everthing on the island has to be imported and being officially the most remote islands on earth, 2400 miles away from any continent, it is expensive.
Our Final Word
Kauai offers a plethora of incredible experiences that will leave any visitor in awe. From exploring breathtaking natural wonders like the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon to immersing oneself in the rich cultural heritage of the island, Kauai truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, this tropical paradise is sure to exceed your expectations.
One of our favorite things to do was to go to the Wishing Well Coffee Shop in the mornings (and afternoons and evenings) for a coffee in Hanalei. It is a relaxing place to sit and have an acai bowl or just a coffee and plan your next activity.
So pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable journey, and discover the best of Kauai – a destination that will undoubtedly leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
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