Everyone views their vacation differently. When visiting Kauai, activities are quite important. Active vacationers plan for months to locate the right adventure destination so that they can hike, bike, surf, climb, or otherwise take part in their favorite adventure activity. Others are simply eager to escape from the daily rat race, arriving at their destination with the hopes of relaxing, reading a good book, eating some fine food, and soaking up the sun.
Still, others are searching for a nice combination of both relaxation and activity, and Kauai has tremendous choices. There's plenty of time to lie on the white sandy beaches one day and hike the trails of the Waimea Canyon the next.
Many activities are designed for the most adventurous among us while others are suitable for visitors of all ages. Check out the many Kauai activities available to those planning a visit to the Garden Isle.
Beaches - What could be better than a day in the sun on one of Kauai's world-renowned beaches? How about a little swimming, playing beach volleyball, enjoying a picnic with your kids, or just taking a stroll through the white sand? The beaches are the sole reason that many visitors choose Kauai. Don't forget to spend a little time relaxing in the bright Hawaiian sun!
Scuba Diving - Avid scuba divers visit Kauai by the thousands each year to experience the fantastic marine life found in the waters surrounding the island. Experienced divers will delight in the varied dives that challenge their skills and children can experience their first scuba diving adventure in the clear waters of the Pacific. Diving centers offer lessons for the beginning diver and refresher courses for those who haven't done any diving for awhile.
Snorkeling - In Kauai, activities largely center on the water and snorkeling is a favorite choice of both young and old. The best snorkeling in Kauai is found inside the Garden Isle's protected lagoons. Many species of fish that live here can't be seen anywhere else in the world. Even beginning swimmers young and old can learn to snorkel, making this a great family activity. Check out Lydgate Park near Wailua, Poipu Beach Park on the South Shore, and the Tunnels, Anini Beach, and Ke'e on the North Shore.
Kayaking - For a peaceful boating excursion, give kayaking a try. There are plenty of gently flowing rivers in Kauai that allow for great kayaking, the most popular being the Wailua River on the eastern shore. This river takes paddlers through the ruins of ancient Hawaiian villages and past lush tropical vegetation and picturesque waterfalls. Also check out the Huleia River near Poipu Beach or the Kalihiwai or Hanalie Rivers in the north.
Zodiac Raft Tours - Our overview of Kauai activities wouldn't be complete without mentioning Zodiac tours, a trip in a rigid hull inflatable raft, designed to explore the rugged Na Pali Coast. Short of hiking the Kalalau Trail, this is the next best way to see the northern coast.
Surfing and Windsurfing - The gentle tradewinds of Kauai make it a great place to hang ten. While the most experienced surfers may travel to Hawaii's other islands with their huge championship waves, Kauai is a good place to learn the basics of both surfing and windsurfing. Several companies offer lessons for beginners as well as workshops and clinics.
Fishing - Among the most favorite of all Kauai activities is deep-sea fishing. Anglers can take advantage of a number of group charters or organize a private fishing party for their family or friends. Be ready to catch lots of tuna, ono, and mahi mahi.
Hiking - Of all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai offers the best places to hike. There are so many trails from which to choose and many companies offer guided tours of some of the best sites. There's the 11-mile Kalalau Trail to Na Pali for experienced hikers, treks to the Waimea Canyon, and a number of easier hikes past waterfalls and through rainforests. Hiking can also be combined with kayaking for a multi-sport adventure. Ask the folks at your kayak rental center if they help you locate the best hiking-kayaking combination.
Biking - The many state parks of Kauai provide the perfect place to enjoy a bicycle tour. Guided riding tours take biking enthusiasts to Koke'e State Park or the area around Waimea Canyon. Early morning is a great time for a bike ride and many bike tours offer wonderful Hawaiian coffee and fresh fruit and muffins as a part of their morning tours.
Horseback Riding - In Kauai, activities on the beach aren't limited to sunning and sand-castle building. Horseback riding is a common beach activity, and visitors can enjoy galloping through the sand at some of the island's most picturesque beaches. Also check out guided rides through Princeville Ranch or find a stable that offers a variety of trail rides.
ATV Tours - Explore the backcountry of the interior of the island on a rugged ATV tour that takes guests through tropical forests, past picturesque waterfalls, and through old sugar cane plantations. Picnic lunch is usually included.
Helicopter Tours - In Kauai, activities aren't confined to the ground. Get a whole new perspective of the Garden Isle from up in the air. Helicopter and other fixed-wing aircraft tours are a great way to see some of Kauai's best sites including the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeala, and Wailua Falls. Guides are well-versed in Kauai geography, history, and folklore.
Ultralight Tours - The truly brave will want to pilot these flying vehicles on a tour of Kauai. Activities like these aren't found everywhere and those who are willing can enjoy an incredible adventure.
Luaus - Everyone that comes to Kauai should experience the ultimate in Hawaiian entertainment.the Luau. These festive traditional events combine great native food with the best in Hawaiian music and dancing. You may even get to be a part of the entertainment! Get your hula skirt ready! Be sure to include a Luau in your Kauai vacation plans
Information on great Kauai activities and to find tour companies that offer
many of the activities listed above
Kauai activities including a comprehensive list of beaches and state parks