Kauai attractions – Activities in Kauai

It can be hard to decide how to spend your day on Kauai.  Enjoying the land?  Enjoying the sea? There are so many things to do.  Here are some of your many options for activities on the beautiful island of Kauai:


For some back country fun, try an ATV tour.  There are couple of different tour operators on the islands, taking you to different areas.  Not only are ATV tours fun, some of the scenery is astounding.  

  • Kipu Ranch Adventures – 1-808- 246-9288


There are many fabulous golf courses on Kauai.  From Kiahuna Golf Club

and Po’ipu Bay Resort on the south to the challenging Kaua’i Lagoons Course in Lihue, to the wonderful Princeville Prince and Makai courses on the north, you’re sure to have a great, challenging golf experience.  Our favorite is the Princeville Makai course. 

There are also some good public courses if you’re looking for more economical round of golf, including the Wailua Municipal Course.  When we take the kids on vacation and they want to enjoy a short round, we take them to the 9 hole Kukuiolono course down in Kalaheo.  With green fees of under $10 for the entire day, for affordable fun this little course can’t be beat.

  • Princeville Courses -  1-808-826-3580 / 1-808-826-5070
  • Kukuiolono Course – 1-808-332-9151

For unbeatable golf deals, order the Hawaii Golf Deals pass for huge discounts on green fees.  Pay for the number of days you want to golf during your stay, and enjoy unlimited golf on each of those days.


If biking is your thing, you can find a variety of paths and trails to meet your ability on Kauai.  For an easy ride you can take the paths or lanes that circle most of the island.  For mountain biking there are many dirt roads around Po’ipu or a great area up by the Keahua Arboretum at the end of Hwy 580.  There are also trails and dirt roads aplenty up around Koke’e State Park. If you want uphill or downhill, head up Waimea Canyon.  


Hiking on Kauai could have a website all its own.  Unfortunately we’ll just offer a brief paragraph on it here.  

Kauai offers some truly amazing hiking opportunities ranging from an easy path down to Queen’s Bath to strenuous all day hikes through Koke’e and Waimea Canyon, or a trek taking several days on the breathtaking Kalalau trail.  

Lots of information on hiking trails is available at Koke’e State Park, as well as in various guide books.  Gear is available for rent or for purchase at a couple of different locations on the island.

  • Kayak Kauai -  1-808-826-9844
  • Pedal n Paddle -  1-808-826-9069

Horseback Riding

Horseback rides on Kauai can be an exhilarating experience. There are several different stables on Kauai that each offer a different type of ride, from ocean bluffs to forest reserve, and are available for beginners to highly experienced riders.


Your first trip to the islands simply cannot be complete without attending a luau.  A luau is a celebration and it preparation actually starts many hours earlier when the pig (the main dish at the feast) is prepared, wrapped in Ti or banana leaves and put into the imu (underground oven).  There it cooks all day to perfection.  The luau officially starts when the pig is ceremoniously removed from the oven.  Traditional dishes at a luau include the kalua pork, lomi salmon, fried rice, sweet potatoes, macaroni salad, coconut cake, rice pudding and more.

There are a number of good luaus on the island, each of them a little different.  Most of them are claiming “most authentic”.   The following three I recommend for different reasons.  For good food, I preferred the Drums of Paradise Luau at the Hyatt.  For entertaining dancing, I preferred the luau at the Coconut Beach Hotel, though the seating is very cramped.  For the overall aloha experience, I like Smith’s Tropical Paradise.  The gardens are lovely, the atmosphere is friendly, the seating isn’t too crowded, and the show is well done and a lot of fun.  

Botanical Gardens

Kauai has some lovely botanical gardens, great for a leisurely stroll or a quiet afternoon.

Limahuli Garden, which is on Kauai’s north shore in Ha`ena, emphasizes rare and endangered plants of Hawai`i, plants of ethnobotanical value, and the preservation of natural ecosystems. Tucked into the Limahuli Valley, the garden has majestic views of Kauai’s north shore and mountains steeped in legend. Both guided and self-guided tours available.  (808) 826-1053

Located in the Lawa`i Valley on the south shore of Kaua`i, McBryde Garden is home to major research and conservation collections and specimen plants, including the world’s largest collection of threatened and endangered plants of Hawai`i. National Tropical Botanical Garden headquarters and science, conservation, and education facilities are located at this site. Guided tours available. Reservations required. (808) 742-2623

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden, Allerton Garden is a masterwork of landscape design. This once-private estate offers a variety of sights, smells, and sounds. Hidden among the lush tropical foliage are gravity-fed fountains and pools, statuary, and other surprise features.
Guided tours available. Reservations required.  (808) 742-2623.

READ  The Island of Maui