Fun things to do in Kauai

  • Pier at Hanalei Bay
    Pier at Hanalei Bay
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Kauai

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    Dry Cave

    by pamstravels Written Feb 1, 2005

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    This dry cave is one of several sea caves located in the area. The cave, which is about 300 yards deep, used to be much larger but the 1957 tsunami partially filled it with sand. Legend states that Manini-holo, chief fisherman of the Menehune (little people) dug this cave in search of the supernatural beast, akua, who had been stealing their fish. In actuality, the ocean used to be much higher and these caves were formed from thousands of years of ocean waves beating against the lava and etching away the rock.

    Bring a flashlight to see the intricate details of the ceiling of walls of the cave. I don't belive the markings on the walls inside are real petroglifs, as you can see the spray paint drippings! Just remember, there are a million tons of rock above your head!

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    Kapaa

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 1, 2009

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    The first thing I remember from Kapaa town is the colorful front walls of the several stores. It used to be one of the previous century plantation towns (till 1960) but now is more focused on tourism. There are many stores to rent a surf board here or book other tours and even pubs for you that prefer to live during the night (but you’ll miss the real attractions in Kauai). It seems most of the tourists choosing the east side are here. Just a few miles before Kapaa you will see rows of coconut trees, the place is called Royal Coconut Coast (pic 1). Our hotel was located near here where the Coconut Market Place also located.

    There are several beaches near Kappa. There is a scenic view stop just north of Kapaa (pic 2). It is the spot where the Kapa’a beach is and as you can see in the picture there is a path for bicycles and joggers. The Kapa’a beach park is located next to the town’s center, a 1.3km long beach with picnic shelters and bathrooms.

    Further north you can swim at Kealia beach (pic 3). It means salt land and there are many small areas of salt because of the waves. It is a 1.2km sandy beach with no facilities at all. The high waves didnt allow us to enjoy it much but the bodyboarders seemed to have fun there.
    We continued drive north to Anahola for the Anahola beach park. It is located at the town of Anahola, a 1km long beach with many facilities like picnic tables, bathrooms, lifeguard etc I have read that it gets packed the locals but what we found was a deserted beach.

    After mile 14 we tried to see the King Kong’s profile on the mountain but still when I look at my pic 4 I try to understand where he is :) Just a bit north from there, after mile 15, you can also see the Hole In The Mountain spot, where depending the time of the day you can see the sunrays go through it It used to be bigger and more obvious.

    There is always traffic betwen Lihue and Kapaa so use the bypass road after mile 6 on Kuhio Highway.

    Coconut plantation at Wailua scenic view after Kapa'a Kealia beach King Kong's profile
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    Beautiful Churches

    by pamstravels Updated Feb 7, 2005

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    In Hanalai Valley there is a beautiful old church called Wai'oli Hui'ia Church that is a deep green matching the surrounding countryside. Kauai's first settlers from the "outside" world were a pair of missionaries, Reverend William Anderson and his wife, Mary Ann. In 1837, they built the Waioli Mission House which still stands today and is one of the many tourist attractions in the Hanalei area. By 1841, the congregation was sufficient to build an impressive structure, the Waioli Church, which still stands as a tribute to early Hawaiian/American architecture.

    Great photo op. I wanted to explore this location and walk around the mission that is behind. Since there are no public facilities at the mission we didn't stay for very long. By this time we had been on the road for a little while.

    Wai'oli Church, Hanalei Kauai
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Kilauea Point Lighthouse - Bird Refuge Kauai

    by pamstravels Updated Feb 14, 2005

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    This is a historic lighthouse in the small town of Kiluaea on the north shore of Maui. The lighthouse is on the most northern point in the state of Hawaii. Built in 1913 it has the largest clamshell lens that shines 90 miles into the sea. It is also a national wildlife refuge where you can see many birds such as albatross and red-footed boobies. (It is hard not to laugh you say that name! Sounds like something out of Flintstones)

    Kilauea Lighthouse Kauai
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Birdwatching
    • Beaches

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    Kalalau Lookout

    by pamstravels Updated Feb 1, 2005

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    Na Pali (Cliffs in Hawaiian) is beautiful awe inspiring site! Kalalau Valley, the largest valley on Na Pali. This point and the less frequented Pu'u o Kila Lookout provides the greatest views of the Pacific. The Kalalau Valley was inhabited until 1919. The Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile hike down steep seacliffs, through waterfalls and to the ocean, is one of the most popular in the world. Views from the lookout change minute to minute depending on the ever-present clouds. If the clouds are coming from inland, they usually disappear quickly. However, if there is a cloud bank moving in from the ocean, it usually lasts indefinitely. At 4,000 foot elevation, the air here is much cooler than along the coast or in the valleys.

    There are two viewing points past the Waimea Canyon observatory. Go to the upper one and walk carefully down the slippery path to the right. That is where the best pictures can be taken.

    Kalalau Valley
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park

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    Waimea Canyon

    by pamstravels Written Jan 29, 2005

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    Also called Grand Canyon of the Pacific. To get there you have to drive up a 19 miles winding road and you never know what the weather is going to be like at the top of one of the wettest spots in the world. We got there and the clouds were hiding the view so we drove to the top to see the Na pali view. When we came back down the clouds had lifted slightly but what we saw was worht the wait!

    Waimea Canyon Floor

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    Kilauea

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 1, 2009

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    One morning we drove north. We turned right between 22 and 23 mile and we approached Kilauea town, actually the area with stores (pic 2) and cafes so we had our breakfast there. It used to be another plantation town, a big sugar company had its base here at the end of 19th century and closed down in 1971. We drove a bit more to reach the Kilauea National Wilflife Refuge. Before the entrance there is a lookout spot where you can stop for a while and take some nice pics of the historic lighthouse (pic 1). It was built in 1913 and had the largest clamshell lens in the world.

    To see the lighthouse from close distance (and get inside) you have to drive a bit down the road, park (for free) and pay the entrance fee ($5). Some visitors think that they will walk in the park but you will be allowed only to walk the path that will take you to the Kilauea Point Historic Lighthouse. Some tourists dont like that (and feel cheated) but we have to respect (and understand) that this is a refuge of wildlife and yes they need to be protected. So some signs (pic 3) are there for you and not the birds because they can’t read :) With good lenses and cameras you can admire the rare birds though, like the five species of sea birds. The view from the area around the Lighthouse is great anyway, you can check the small island (pic 4) that houses many of them or the Kaapea (Secret) beach (pic 5) on north shore. With binoculars you may see whales and dolphins at the ocean. There is also a small info kiosk with many photos and displays and a souvenir store with some nice books also. The refuge is open daily 10.00 to 16.00 and some days they offer small guided hike to Crater Hill. We missed that because of the breakfast earlier :(

    On our way back we stopped at the end of Kolo road to check the Christ Memorial Episcopal church. It was built in 1941 with lava stone walls but the cemetery next to it dates from the end of 19th century when a Hawaiian Congregational church was here.

    It was time to reach Kuhio Highway again which you will understand is the highway that you will drive most of your time in this island as it covers a looong way.
    Directions:drive north on Kuhio Highway. Kilauea town is at the right hand after mile 23. Lighthouse is at the end of Kilauea Road

    Kilauea historic lighthouse Kilauea store sign at refuge view from lighthouse Kaapea(secret) beach
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching
    • Whale Watching

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    Hanalei bay

    by mindcrime Written Nov 29, 2009

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    Exiting the Princeville we stopped at the Hanalei Valley Overlook. Pic 1 shows a familiar image of Kauai because every book and postcard includes this one. It’s really beautiful to look down the gorgeous valley and the Hanalei river splitting the numerous green fields and mountains around it. The hawaian people have grown taro in the valley for many centuries If you want to see the Hanalei town there is another viewpoint just a kilometer north from the right side of the road.

    Dont miss the Historic Hanalei bridge (pic 4), now old and rusty but beautifully standing there. It was built in 1912, one among 7 onelane bridges on the 560 Highway. Watch out and respect the rule which is the first car on the bridge has priority and the same cars with the cars that follow.

    After eating something light at the beautifully located Dolphin restaurant (check my restaurant tip) we walked a bit along the river and getting jealous of those in the river (pic 2) we visited the Wai’oli Hui’ia church (pic 3) in Hanalei town. It is a green wooden building that was built in 1912, The bell tower houses the original mission church bell. Right next to the church is the Wai’oli Mission Hall that was built in 1841 from the first missionaries that arrived in Hanalei. By the way, the town of Hanalei is small enough but seemed a lively surf town with many restaurants along the main road. Check again if you have gas at your car and continue along the 560 highway, a scenic route with green on left side and the ocean at your right hand (pic 5).

    Hanalei Valley lookout calm waters of the river Wai���oli Hui���ia church Historic Hanalei bridge scenic route

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    Kilauea Point

    by kyoub Written Jun 17, 2004

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    There is an old lighthouse up on the point.
    It is a national Wildlife Refuge.
    There are so many seabirds that you can spend hours watching them.
    Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebird, red and white tailed Tropicbirds, & Aaalbatross,
    You will see the Nene here also.

    Lighthouse
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Birdwatching

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    Secret Beach

    by agapotravel Written Feb 25, 2007

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    Secret Beach is so deserted! If you are looking for a beach that isn't crowded, then this is it. On the flip side of that, there are some people that get a little too comfortable with all that privacy.....we stumbled upon some naked sunbathers.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Beaches

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    Sprouting Horn

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 21, 2005

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    Sprouting Horn is a well known phenomenon on the south shore of Kauai. It is a dual lava tube about ten feet from the shoreline that is powered by wave action. One tube breathes air, making a loud eerie gasping sound while the other tube sprays salt water, sometimes up to 30 feet or more. The sprout is said to be more dramatic at high tide, and on large south-swell days. It was fantastic when we were there.

    According to Hawaiian legend a giant female lizard or dragon once terrorized the entire south side of the island. A brave young warrior named Liko was fishing along the south shore one day when he was attacked by the dragon. Liko speared the dragon in the mouth and the wounded beast chased him into a lava tube. Liko escaped, but the poor dragon was trapped there forever. The dragon's breath can still be heard coming from the tube to this day.

    Visitors are warned to be very careful if they venture onto the rocks around the blowholes. Some unwary souls have been either sucked into one of the lava tubes, or washed out to sea by an unexpected high ocean wave.

    Sprouting Horn, First Phase Sprouting Horn, Second Phase Rainbow at Sprouting Horn

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    Kamukila Hawaiian Village

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 2, 2009

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    Kamukila Hawaiian Village is small theme village actually, in fact you can see how a Polynesian village looks like with thatched huts and some native craft making (you see demonstrations of them). There’s a small guided tour and it doesn’t take more than 30’. The entrance fee is only $5 ($3 for children) and they are open 9.00 to 16.30 Monday to Saturday. It is really nothing really special, I have to say that I found it kind of boring except the funny legend they told us about the name Kamukila which is a lizard that was supposed to gather every precious stone in the island and that explains why you can’t find any of them in our days in Kaua’i. :) By the way, this village used in the movie Outbreak.

    The guys that run the place offer canoe rides which is a good reason to visit the place. There different things to choose from like
    -Canoe ride to Secretfalls for $30 (45’ the guided paddle to trail or 3 hours selfguided hike to waterfall),
    -Canoe ride to Swimming Hole for $20 (1 hour guided paddle and swim),
    -Canoe ride to Fern Grotto for $20 (1 hour guided paddle and walk).
    -You can also have your own kayak all day for $35 (don’t forget to bring your own lunch).

    Kamukila Hawaiian Village river next to Kamukila Hawaiian Village
    Related to:
    • Kayaking
    • Rafting
    • Theme Park Trips

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    St Raphaels Church

    by mindcrime Written Nov 29, 2009

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    St. Raphael’s church is the oldest catholic church in the island of Kauai. It was founded in 1841 by Robert Arsenius Walsh who did the first Mass on december 25 of the same year. Walsh established the parish two years after Catolics were granted religious freedom in Hawaii. of the first catholic missionaries that arrived in Hawai’i in 1827 but they forced to leave due to the earlier seeds of anticatholicism that the Protestant Missionaries had planted.

    You can see the relics of the old church (pic 1) but the one that stands there today was build in 1854 (but it was blessed in 1856) and renovated in 1936. It is simply decorated inside (pics 2-3). There were no visitors inside and noone that could give me more info about the church but on our way out I noticed some simple leaflets that have some general historical info.
    We walked a bit around and visited the small cemetery (pic 4) of the church where are buried some of the first Portuguese immigrants that settle on Kauai. The last burial in this cemetery occurred at about 1935

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    "Queen's Bath" ~ Nature's Own Pool

    by clws Written Apr 27, 2004

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    The Queen's Bath is located on the North Shore in the Princeville area. It is abslolutely beautiful. This is our favorite place to watch the Sunset's in Kauai. In the summer months we enjoy snorkeling in the Queen's Bath, which is a nature formed lava enclosed swimming hole that is fed from the ocean. In the winter though, this can be very dangerous! I would not attempt it in those rough waters! In fact, view from a distance during the winter, and do not get close to the ledges! It is a nice little hike down to the Queen's bath, can be slippery if it has rained, so be careful. From the Queen's Bath you can also see Bali Hai. Very beautiful!

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    Opaeka'a Falls

    by clws Written Apr 27, 2004

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    These valls are really beautiful. If you get to view them after a rainy time period, but after the red mud run off, they are absolutely gorgeous! Around 10:00am to 10:30 am is the best time. Well worth the visit! For those that love to hike and can stand a strengent hike, you can hike to the bottom of them.

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Kauai Things to Do

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