Kauai is an incredible place to spend a vacation. Known as one of the nicest (if not the nicest) island in Hawaii, Kauai offers visitors ample things to do and see while enjoying its tropical beauty and rich culture. One of the best ways to visit Kauai is to stay in one of the many Hawaii luxury homes found there. Staying in a luxury home ensures you have access to all of the amenities and comforts you could want, while also having an authentic Hawaiian experience. While many tourists will simply opt for a blase experience in a hotel, traveling should be so much more than seeing the sights and leaving. To fully immerse yourself in the local culture and history (and to eat at all the best restaurants) staying in a real home is your best bet for having the most satisfying experience.
But what should you do with all of your free time once you get to this majestic little island? Kauai has so much to offer that it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Read on for our list of top ten things you should do and see while visiting Hawaii’s best island.
See Waterfalls in Hanapepe
While this little province might not make everyone’s list, it makes ours for one simple reason: Waterfalls. This gorgeous jungle-filled town is best known for its wild rushing rivers, waterfalls, and the incredible hand-built swinging pedestrian bridges that cross them. It’s also a creatively rich place filled with artists and art museums, making for the perfect combination day trip of time spent outdoors and basking in the arts.
Watch Surfers in Hanalei
This scenic town surrounded by fields and mountains has some of the best surfing on the island, and it’s easy to be charmed into spending a day on the beach watching world-class surfers catch the waves. Head to the bay for the best surfer-watching, and don’t forget to turn around and admire your surroundings, as this is truly one of the most beautiful spots on the island.
Zipline in Princeville
If you’re not afraid of heights then you may want to check out the ziplining tours in Princeville. Princeville offers visitors a variety of activities to choose from including golf, yoga, and some of the nicest beaches on the island. But a zipline tour is a great way to see the island from above and admire the rich colors and layout of its geography.
Hike in Waimea
You can’t visit Kauai without seeing its world-famous canyon. Often compared to the Grand Canyon in size and scope, this canyon is by far one of the most interesting geologic features of the island. Stop by for a tour or hike down into the canyon to take incredible photos of its red and green features. Either way, be sure not to miss out on this amazing natural landmark during your trip.
Snorkel in Koloa
Technically you can snorkel in most coastal regions of the island, but Koloa is a favorite for its calm waters and abundance of tours offered by locals. It’s also an incredibly friendly and charming beach town, offering other activities for visitors, including ziplining. Snorkeling in Koloa is sure to be a great experience, and many visitors are even lucky enough to see a sea turtle or two when venturing out.
Kayak in Kalihiwai
To enjoy some of the calmest and most scenic waters of Kauai, head to Kalihiwai. This incredible outdoor haven offers a wide variety of things to do and see to get visitors outside admiring the natural beauty that is Kauai. With ample opportunities for outdoor fun including hiking, waterfall viewing, and surfing, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this little town. One of the best ways to see it is to kayak. With many kayaking tours being offered daily, it’s easy to spend a few hours paddling around and admiring the scenery.
Wander in Alakai
Alakai Wilderness Preserve is another place you shouldn’t leave the island without seeing. One of the main protected land areas on the island, it’s a great place to hike around and experience the raw beauty of the island. Walking the trails you can almost imagine what the island felt like hundreds of years ago before all the building and development. These rainforest trails will also take you past amazing waterfall views perfect for the avid photographer.
Relax in Anahola
If you need a down-day, head to one of the beaches in Anahola. Anahola has some of the most amazing views from its beaches with the mountains just beyond the sand. Filled with parks and places to take in the scenery, it’s also a famous surfing town. Pack a picnic and spend the day relaxing on the beach while watching the surfers and admiring the landscape.
Shop in Kapaa
Kapaa is a favorite among visitors and with good reason. This little shopping hub has all the commodities you’d expect and is the perfect place to buy your souvenirs for friends and family back home. The beaches and surfing round off the experience, and a few nearby restaurants serve up delicious mainland style food all day long.
Eat in Koloa
If you haven’t tried any local cuisine, be sure to add Koloa to your list. Famous for its fish markets and fusion style restaurants, this little town is a great place to get your fill of fresh fish and dishes before leaving the island.