16 May 5 Things You Can’t Miss When Visiting Kauai
On our most recent trip, we had the privilege of calling Kauai “home”. We had an entire week to explore the island’s mysterious caves and grottos, try local cuisine, and marvel at the legendary Hawaiian sunsets. After fitting as many activities as we could into each day, we thought we’d share a few of the things that you just can’t miss when visiting Hawaii’s “Garden Isle”. Check out the highlights of our trip below!
1. Fern Grotto
Only accessible by boat (we toured with Smith’s Kauai), Fern Grotto is one of Kauai’s most famous landmarks. It is located on the windward side of the island, which is known for being extraordinarily lush. Covered in an abundance of flourishing ferns, it’s easy to see why this lava rock grotto is an extremely popular spot for weddings and vow renewals.
While visitors are no longer permitted to climb up into the grotto due to new safety and environmental regulations in place, there is still an option to see the grotto by kayak for those seeking a little more adventure than the standard tour!
2. Waimea Canyon
Also known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon offers a striking view of plant life, rust-colored soil, and a towering waterfall. It took about 20-minutes to drive to the top, and the trip was completely worth it. Waimea Canyon is known for its ever-changing views, depending on the clouds and time of day you make your visit.
3. Napali Coast
Seeing the Napali Coast by boat was probably the most memorable experience of our trip. Our tour was hosted by Captain Andy’s, and we loved every minute of it!
Altogether the tour was about six hours long, and approximately 80 miles roundtrip. Throughout the cruise, we were lucky enough to spot pods of spinner dolphins, snorkel the beautiful coral reef, and see the coast’s dramatic spires. This is a tour that definitely lives up to all of the hype, so be sure to make it a priority during your stay.
4. Mountain Tubing in Hanamaulu
One of the most unique excursions on the island of Kauai is the mountain tubing tour in Hanamaulu with Kauai Back Country. This tour is a “lazy river” of sorts that winds through the irrigation canals of old sugar plantations, which also means passing through tunnels that are almost 60 feet below ground! This activity lasts about two hours total, with unforgettable glimpses of the Lihue area. We would recommend this excursion to anyone and everyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure while you’re there.
5. Kalamaku Luau
Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without detailing our favorite luau of the trip. Even the locals will tell you that the Kalamaku Luau is a must! This luau is a bit different than a standard luau, with more of a “Cirque du Soleil” vibe. The performance itself lasted about an hour and told the story of how Kauai was first settled. We got the chance to try Poi for the first time during this luau and highly recommend it to any foodies!
We can hardly wait to pay Kauai another visit, and will be living through our camera roll until then. Have any recommendations that we need to get added to our list for next time? Let us know in the comments!
All images have either been provided by the travel agent or are licensed under the Creative Commons.