If you do nothing else while visiting Kauai, take a boat or air tour along the Na Pali coast. Considered one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, the towering cliffs and hidden valleys of Na Pali are unforgettable—whether you view them from a whale-watching catamaran or the cockpit of a tour plane.
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Kauai, the Garden Island, is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. It’s less developed than Oahu and Maui, and has a laid-back, “small town” atmosphere. An abundance of white sand beaches, soaring cliffs, and dramatic waterfalls make Kauai a nature-lover’s paradise, and despite its small size, there are plenty of things to do on Kauai. Here are six must-do activities while you’re on the Garden Isle.
Tour the Na Pali Coast
Hike the Kalalau Trail
One of the most adventurous things to do on Kauai is to hike the Kalalau Trail, a challenging hiking trail across the Na Pali. Explore hidden valleys and hike up to stunning waterfalls, but be warned—the Na Pali trail is not for the inexperienced hiker.
Visit Wailua Falls
You don't have to hike miles to see beauty on Kauai. A short drive from Lihue, the county seat of Kauai, lies Wailua Falls. Simply park your car, walk the few steps to the viewing area, and admire one of the most famous double-tiered waterfalls in the world.
Explore Waimea Canyon
Kauai is an island of ever-changing scenery. Drive up to Waimea State Park to view what Mark Twain called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” then stay on the road to look down into the rainforest-filled Kalalau Valley. It’s hard to believe that two such different environments are only a few minutes’ drive from each other.
The White Sands of Polihale
Polihale Beach and State Park is where you'll find the longest stretch of white sand beach in the state. It is the last beach on the west side of the island and the beginning of the Na Pali Coast. Watching the sunset from Polihale is one of the most memorable things to do on Kauai, and one of the most romantic.
Watch Monk Seals at Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach Park is one of the most popular locations on Kauai, where you can picnic, swim, snorkel and boogie board. It’s also one of the few locations where you can see the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and watch turtles bob in the waves.