Can’t-Miss Kauai Activities and Adventures

I think it’s fair to say that if you’re looking for a Hawaii island for adventure you won’t be disappointed by the top Kauai activities. Whether you’re looking to get out on the water, explore the islands interior, or get to know it’s agriculture you’ll enjoy exploring the best activities in Kauai, Hawaii.

Now you might be heading to Kauai for relaxation but you’ll also want to make sure to add at least one or two of these Kauai activities to your trip’s to do list.

Sailing the Na Pali Coast

If there is one adventure you take on your trip to Kauai, Hawaii it needs to be seeing the Na Pali Coast. It is one of the most unique places in the world and it’s gotten harder and harder to access.

As of writing this (March 2019), you can only access the Na Pali Coast via a boat or a helicopter since rains have damned roads and trails that haven’t been repaired yet.

On top of seeing the untouched coast you’ll get a chance to be out on the water and likely see some of the islands wild life. We went during whale season and got to see a dozen or so very active humpback whales.

But since this is an out of the world type of place you’ll definitely want to add it to your list of Kauai activities. We sailed with Capt. Andy’s and their crew was amazing, especially with the one of us that got seasick in our group.

Have Your Own Jurassic Park ATK Adventure

What I didn’t know until we got to Kauai is that a ton of films have been filled on the island. A few it’s best known from including Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

These scenic areas are that you’ll want to see but you can’t just drive up to. That leads to one of my favorite Kauai activities we got to try. Taking an ATK ride through Kipu Ranch.

Off-roading in the red mud (sometimes it’s dirt but not on our trip) was so much fun. It felt like the Indian Jones ride at Disneyland but you’re actually in control. And the sights show you a completely different side of the island.

You’ll want to check out Kipu Adventures, we did their waterfalls picnic tour and it was pretty much the perfect length.

Enjoy the Best Activities in Kauai, Hawaii for Foodies

Another way to adventure on Kauai is by exploring it’s culinary world. The island itself has a significant amount of agriculture on it ranging from coffee to sugar to cattle and so much more. This allows you to explore so many different local products.

I’m a huge coffee nut and while I’ve done coffee tastings before I’ve never been able to tour a coffee estate. That’s because Kauai Coffee Company is the only coffee estate in the U.S. It was almost like taking a winery tour and it was a great chance to ask questions, taste a ton of coffee, and take in a beautiful day.

If you’re into exploring liquors you should stop by the Koloa Rum Company for their free rum tasting. It’s a great way to get to know the different flavors you’ll find around the island and maybe some you want to bring home.

And even if you don’t take one of these tours you can still enjoy the best spots to eat on Kauai on your won.

Get to Know Kauai’s Old Towns

It will feel like you will find more cute old buildings around the island than you do new spots. It’s one of the things that gives Kauai its vibe.

Taking time along your visit to explore some of the old towns on the island is a must do in Kauai activities. In them you’ll find some of the best spots to eat around the island, cute boutiques, and just plain unique finds.

Head to the north side of the island to find Hanalei Town. Here you’ll find a lovely beach at Hanalei Bay. You’ll want to try some of the tasty food trucks or grab a coffee at the Hanalei Bread Company.

On your way to or from Waimea Canyon you’ll want to stop in Hanapepe Town. We didn’t know until we arrived but you quickly recoginize it, this town was part of the inspiration for Lilo & Stich and is where their home is based on.

On top of that, you can walk across their swinging bridge, eat one of my favorite meals on the island, and explore some cute shops.

Drive or Hike Along Waimea Canyon

Breathtaking water falls, scenic vistas, red dirt contrasting a vibrant green and so much more is what you’ll find when you explore Waimea Canyon.

One of the Kauai activities that is a must no matter how long or short your visit is, is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”.

One of the great things about the state park that includes the Waimea Canyon is that you can explore it no matter what your activity level. If you’re just looking to drive through for a morning you can still see most of the highlights.

Or if you’re more adventurous there trails for just about every level of hiker. You’ll want to head over to the Kokee Museum for a list of trails and their current conditions.

Even More Kauai Activities to Explore

Over all, you’ll find such a range of activities whether it’s a little adventure, taking in the island’s sites and history, or tasting your way through it’s food scene.

Whatever is your travel style you’ll find activities on Kauai that are perfect for you.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.