The oldest island in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai is a beautiful vacation destination with luxurious beaches and breathtaking sunsets. If you’re looking for a destination with more natural beauty than showy tourist attractions, Kauai is the place for you. Outdoor enthusiasts from all around the country and the world head to Kauai for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Whether you’re looking to swim, hike, kayak or relax on the beach, Kauai has something for you. Here are some of the best things to do in Kauai:
Na Pali Coast
Kauai may be a pricey destination, but the beautiful views you get when you’re hiking the Na Pali Coast are priceless. This 15-mile expanse of steep, rocky coastline is so beautiful that a trip to Kauai is incomplete without visiting it. While the Na Pali Coast is a beautiful hike, it’s also very strenuous and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. If you choose to view the coast by renting a kayak or catamaran, expect to have to navigate the often rough waves of the north shore. A helicopter tour is most likely the best way to view Na Pali, though it is pricey. If you drive to the end of route 550, you can get a wonderful view of Na Pali’s cliffs.
If you’re a traveler who prefers to go off the beaten path, head to Kalapaki Beach. This beautiful beach is often overlooked by a lot of tourists. Because of its hospitable tides, Kalapaki Beach attracts a lot of local surfers. If surfing isn’t your thing, you can take a swim at Nawiliwili Bay, where the beach is sheltered by points and breakwaters. There is also the option to rent a kayak or sailboat, or even to take a catamaran cruise.
Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park
If you visit Kauai, you need to visit Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, this deep gorge is 10 miles long, one mile wide and about 3,5000 feet deep. Whether you want to hike down one of the trails or drive through the canyon and make a few lookout stops, there are many ways to experience this stunning canyon. Make sure to go on a clear day so that you can see the canyon’s vibrant colors and get maximum visibility.
The Kalalau Trail is truly a life-changing experience, but it’s not for beginners. This 11-mile hike will take you through rocky inclines, red mud and raging streams. If you’re an experienced hiker who has the endurance to make it through, you should definitely hike this trail. The paths are challenging and the scenery is rugged, but once you’ve completed the trail you will have a sense of accomplishment. Just make sure to wear some sturdy hiking boots and some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
If you’re an adventurous traveler, Kauai is the ideal travel destination for you. A trip to Kauai is bound to provide you with exhilarating experiences that you won’t soon forget.