21 Fun Things To Do In Kauai (Hawaii)

If you want to experience something a bit different, consider taking a trip to the Island of Kauai.

The Island is one of the most charming islands in Hawaii and offers various activities that will keep you entertained for a long time.

Known as the Garden Isle of Hawaii, the Island of Kauai is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys having unlimited fun.

Some of these fun activities and destinations include the Na Pali Coast’s Sea cliffs, the Sleeping Giant Mountain, and the white sand beaches.

The article covers the best things to do in Kauai (Hawaii).

Where Is Kauai?

Kauai, the Garden Isle, is considered the second-oldest of the Hawaiian Islands. With an area of over 562.3 square miles, it’s the fourth-largest Hawaiian Island and the 21st-largest Island in the US.

It’s also home to the Na Pali Coast State Park and the Waimea Canyon State Park.

According to the US Census Bureau, the Island of Kauai comprises census tracts 401 to 409 of the county, except for Niihau, Lehua, and Kaula islands. In 2020, the census showed that Kauai had more than 73,000 people.

The origin of the Island of Kauai can be traced back to the passage of the Pacific Plate through the Hawaii hotspot. It’s believed that the Island was formed around five million years ago.

Things To Do In Kauai (Hawaii)

As we mentioned earlier, Kauai is full of exciting activities. The Island is the perfect destination for tourists. These are some of the exciting things to do in Kauai;

1. Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

This is the oldest national wildlife refuge on Kaua’i, located in the Hanalei River Valley.

It houses various water birds, such as the Hawaiian duck, moorhen, and Hawaiian goose. Five of these birds are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The refuge also houses 45 other bird species. It’s an excellent place for bird lovers to gather and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. The area’s wooded hills and valley provide bird lovers with amazing views. 

Address: The Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge is situated at Ohiki Road, Kapaa, HI.

2. Kamokila Hawaiian Village

Kamokila Hawaiian Village is a popular attraction in the area, a reconstructed Hawaiian village located near the Wailua River.

A tour of this village takes you through 14 thatched-roofed huts that are part of the village.

Other structures in the town include a birthing house, a doctor’s house, and a canoe house. 

Address: This village is situated at 5443 Kuamo’o Road, Kapaa, HI.

3. Kauai Museum

Photo by Richard N Horne via Wikimedia

This museum promotes Kauai indigenous and immigrant cultural heritage.

Visitors visiting this museum are exposed to native Hawaiian life, geology, the Hawaiian monarchy, et cetera. Tours in this museum are primarily self-guided.

The museum exhibits work by various local sculptors, artisans, and artists. It is a healthy combination of local artistry and Hawaiian history. 

Address: The Kauai museum is at 4428 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766.

4. Kauai Whale Watching

Another exciting and adventurous thing to do in Kauai is whale watching. Whale watching is arguably one of the biggest tourist attractions on this Island.

Some tours bring tourists to open waters to observe whales and dolphins playing without compromising their safety or freedom.

However, to satisfy their curiosity, some marine wildlife approaches the boats with the tourists allowing tourists to take perfect pictures of these beautiful animals.

Experienced guides are available to answer whatever questions you might have. The tours are usually available from December to the end of March. 

Address: You can go Whale Watching at Princeville, Kauai, HI.

5. Kauai Glass Beach

This beach used to be the dumping ground for trash. For several years it served as a dumping ground for glass bottles.

Nature turned these glass bottles into pieces of stunning sea glass hence the name glass beach.

However, due to the continued harvesting of the glasses by glass collectors, the sea glass available has been severely depleted.

Besides the sea glass, it is essential to note that there are other equally important attractions in the area.

One of these attractions includes the lava beds located on the beach’s southern end, where the sea glass has been merged with the lava rocks, resulting in a spectacular masterpiece. 

Address: This beach is at Ula Street, Eleele, Kauai, HI.

6. Allerton Garden

The Allerton Garden on the South Shore of Hawaii’s Island of Kauai was established by a group of gardeners over 80 years ago.

Over the years, it has been transformed into various plants. As a result, it is regarded as one of the 50 most beautiful architectural landscapes in the world.

Some of the garden’s notable features, such as the Moreton Bay fig trees, have been featured in various movies.

In addition, the garden contains exotic plants and water features. Guided tours of the garden are available to the public. 

Address: The Allerton Garden is at 4425 Lawai Road, Koloa, HI.

7. Fern Grotto

The Fern Grotto is located in the Wailua River on the Island of Kauai. It features a lava rock structure covered in luxuriant ferns. Due to its acoustics, the area is used for various live music performances.

Although the walls of the natural structure are reinforced, visitors still need to go through the water to reach the area. 

Address: The Fern Grotto is at Wailua River State Park, Nalu Road, Kapaa, HI.

8. Grove Farm Museum

The Grove Farm Museum is a 100-acre plantation celebrating the history of sugar cane production in Kauai.

It features various structures, including an original plantation house, an office, a guest cottage, and a plantation worker’s home. This active farm also has grazing pastures, gardens, and banana trees. 

Address: The Grove Farm Museum is at 4050 Nawiliwili Road, Lihue, HI.

9. Haena State Park 

The Haena State Park is located on the northernmost section of Kaua’i’s north shore. It features various facilities and activities for both locals and visitors.

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the turquoise sea caves. Other activities at the park include beachcombing, winter surfing, and shore fishing.

Although swimming is not allowed, this area is a must-visit for those who want to see the Na Pali Coast.

It also has a hiking trail that’s about 11 miles long. The public can additionally explore a nearby dry cave by flashlight.

Address: The Haena State Park is situated right along State Highway 56, Kapaa, HI.

10. Limahuli Garden and Preserve

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is another popular attraction in Kauai. This beautiful garden and preserve are situated on the island’s north side, offering a tranquil and beautiful setting.

Its natural beauty and impressive mountain backdrop make it one of the most popular attractions.

This preserve features a waterfall and stream that spans 800 feet. Various attractions exist, such as historical taro terraces and diverse exotic flora.

Address: Limahuli Garden and Preserve is at 8301 HI-560, Kapaa, HI 96746.

11. Mountain Tubing Adventure

In Hawaii, the Mountain Tubing Adventure allows riders to explore the former sugar plantation in Lihue.

In 1870, Chinese laborers constructed several tunnels, flumes, and ditches to transport water from the rainforest to the sugar cane fields.

Before the trip begins, the guides will ensure that everyone has the proper equipment, such as helmets, gloves, and headlamps.

A vehicle will then take them to the Island’s interior, where they’ll stop at an overlook for a glimpse of the Waialeale Crater.

After a brief demonstration, the riders will proceed to the next section of the mountain. 

Address: This attraction is located at 3-4131 Kuhio Highway, Lihue, HI.

12. Na’Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

The Na’Aina Kai botanical gardens on the Island of Hawaii’s Kauai sit on over 200 acres of land with various gardens.

The garden was established in 1982 by Joyce and Ed Doty after they moved to the Island.

Initially, the Dotys started a small landscaping project on their property, which quickly grew into the massive garden today.

The gardens contain numerous bronze sculptures. They are also considered one of the country’s largest collections of this type.

The gardens are visited with a guided tour. Some of the gardens include the formal gardens, the forest garden, and Kaluakai Beach. 

Address: The The Na’Aina Kai botanical gardens is at 4101 Wailapa Road, Kilauea, HI.

13. Napali Coast State Wilderness Park

One of Hawaii’s most beautiful state parks is the Napali Coast State, Wilderness Park. It features various natural features such as sea cliffs, waterfalls, and streams.

The park’s visitors can also enjoy a variety of hiking trails. One is the Kalalau Trail, which connects Kalalau Beach with Kee Beach. 

Address: This park address is located at 9565 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, HI.

14. Old Koloa Town 

Photo by Kevin Oliver via Flickr

The Old Town of Old Koloa is a plantation-era village located on the southern portion of Hawaii’s Kauai Island.

This area features various shops and restaurants related to the area’s sugar plantation history. Besides, visitors can enjoy multiple services such as tattoo shops and art galleries. 

Address: This town is situated at 5300-5500 Koloa Road, Koloa, HI.

15. Polihale State Park

The Polihale State Park is located on the western part of the Island of Kauai. It features a remote beach accessed through a dirt road.

Those willing to go through a long and challenging hike can enjoy the beach park. The large, sandy beach is used for picnics, tent camping, and bond fires. 

Address: The Polihale State Park is located at Lower Saki Mana Road, Waimea, HI.

16. Kilohana Plantation Estate

Photo by Robert Linsdell via Flickr

The Kilohana Plantation Estate on the Island of Kauai is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the 1930s.

It was given to the wife of the Grove Farms sugar plantation owner by the late Gaylord Wilcox.

This lavish Tudor-style home features over 15,000 square feet of living space and several unique features. 

Address: The estate is at 3-2087 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, HI.

17. Koke’e Natural History Museum

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

Visiting the Koke’e Natural History Museum is one of the fun things to do in Kauai.

It is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys learning more about the various facets of the Island’s ecology and climatology. It is located near the Kokee State Park campground. 

Address: The Koke’e Natural History Museum is at 3600 Kokee Road, Kekaha, HI.

18. Lawai International Center

One of Hawaii’s most famous Buddhist temples is the Lawai International Center, located in Kalaheo, on the Island of Kauai.

This historic site is just off the Kaumualii Highway. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the United States and the only one outside Japan. 

Address: The Lawai International Center is at 3381 Wawae Road, Kalaheo, HI.

19. Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail

The Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail is a coastal trail along the south shore of the Island of Kauai in Poipu.

This section of coastline is part of the Island’s history which is not been developed.

The Malama Mahaulepu manages the trail and is working to preserve this natural area for future generations. 

Address: The Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail is at 4334 Rice Street, Lihue, HI.

20. Jack Harter Helicopter Tours

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

Another exciting thing to do in Kauai is to ride a helicopter, Jack Harter Helicopter tour allows you to explore the Island’s various natural wonders.

These include the Tunnel of Trees, the Waimea Canyon, and the Mt. Waialae volcano.

In addition to these, other highlights of the tours include the Wailua Falls and the Na Pali Sea cliffs. 

Address: The Jack Harter Helicopter Tours is located at 4231 Ahukini Road, Lihue, HI.

21. Koloa Rum

The award-winning distillery of the same name is located in Lihue, near the town of Kalaheo on Kauai Island.

Koloa Rum company started producing its products in 2009 at the Kilohana Plantation. The company’s single-batch rums contain various tropical flavors, such as coconut, coffee, and dark rum. 

Address: Koloa Rum is at 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue.

Best Time To Visit Kauai 

The best time to visit Kauai is in April and May. The weather is usually excellent, and the demand for accommodations is low until early June because rates are at their lowest at the same time of year.

Cost Of Traveling To Kauai 

For a week, a trip to the Island of Kauai costs around $1,066, and a two-week trip costs around $4,263.

Two people can go to the Island for about $4,300, while a two-week trip for two people costs approximately $8,200.