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Top Attractions in Kauai
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Tours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, popularity, user preferences, price, and bookings made through Tripadvisor.
*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.
What travellers are saying
- Breathtaking views and perfect day at the beach for the adults and teens. Can not go wrong with this bayWe had an amazing time taking in the views of the mountains behind us, the ocean and waves in front of us, watching the sailboats and kids paddle boarding while we relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of the island. You can’t go wrong visiting this bayWritten 14 August 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- We hiked the entirety of the kalalau trail down to kalalau beach. The trail was absolutely gorgeous with the view from every bend being exceeded by the following corner. There are fruiting trees along the trail; guavas, mangos, avocados, and oranges (all depending on the month), the view from kalalau beach is amazing as well with plenty of areas to explore and relax by, along with a nice sunset view that lights up the mountains.
The treachery of crawlers ledge is EXTREMELY over exaggerated it is a flat stone cutout from a cliff that is about 4 feet wide, most videos on YouTube are filmed with fisheyed or over the shoulder go pros making it seem worse. It is also not a total cliff but a steep edge, as someone who’s afraid of heights this was not a concerning section for me.
The difficulty of the trail itself isn’t horrendous if you pack smart and can comfortably run a few miles you will be okay. While the elevation change on the hike is significant, the inclines are steep and not bouldery so we found them to be typically shorter than other trails and not as taxing due to NO boulder scrambling. The treacherous portions of the hike consisted of cliff side loose gravel and river crossings which vary quickly and significantly depending on weather.
A couple recommendations:
- plan to do in one night if possible, we found it to be the perfect amount of time
- bring the means to treat more water than you would typically expect, we went through six liters a piece each way due to the heat and humidity
- bring a towel or chair preferably to sit on at the beach, there are a ton of ants and bugs on kalalau beach due to all the fruit trees and you want to keep sand out of your tent / hammock
- make sure you get your permits 90 days in advance, they sell out in minutes and THEY DO CHECKWritten 8 August 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- We stopped here after tunnels beach specifically to find turtles and it didn't disappoint. This is a turtle cleaning station so you don't even have to snorkeling far out. There is a lot of coral - all bleached - and not as many fish as tunnels but the turtles make up for it. We saw 3 green sea turtles and 1 hawksbill as well as a spotted moray eel. Parking wasn't an issue when we arrived at 9:30.Written 19 August 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Great short, but difficult hike to a beautiful view from the bottom of the falls. If you're going to disregard fence and danger signs, please respect the falls and local emergency personnel and wear proper gear for this decent and ascent. This is not a trip to take lightly.Written 28 June 2022
- The beauty of this lookout is amazing. Looks like something out of a storybook. You won't be disappointed driving up here.Written 3 August 2022
- Be sure to sign up and schedule the rum tasting! The 45 minute presentation tasting was the most fun I had the entire day. I'll definitely be back just for that...Written 29 July 2022
- My family has been to Kauai many times, but we took the Kauai Plantation Railway Tour for the first time during our last trip, and it was absolutely fantastic. We learned so much about the local history, and tasted delicious fruits from the orchard. Our lunch was great, too. Overall, it was a wonderful tour that made for a beautiful day that we will always remember.Written 17 August 2022
- This is a great trail with excellent views. My son and I really enjoyed it. It has numerous switchbacks which make it accessible to all. The feral chickens and roosters in the parking area made for some great photo's.Written 1 August 2022
- We loved this tour! Not only was the garden beautiful, but we were able to learn so much about native plants and chocolate. We also tasted delicious fruits and chocolate along the way. This was a wonderful experience!Written 16 August 2022
- Very rocky bottom which is great for snorkeling but not as great for swimming. Easy to bang your feet and ankles and cut them. But great for snorkeling.
A seal rolled up and situated himself on the beach while we were there and behaved very much as though the rest of the world ought to accommodate his 20 feet distance rule. And the rest of the world did indeed accommodate. He chilled for long enough that when we went back in the water he was still there relaxing on the beach. Beautiful moment.Written 15 August 2022
- Overall: this is a must do on Kauai!
4/5 because there was no parking so we had to park at the golf course which was $20 and a little far walk but nothing too bad
The queens bath itself was mediocre. We went during the summer and it was calm but water was green and very still. As we kept walking along the rocks it got better. There were other inclosed tide pools that had clearer water and less people. Warning: the tide is strong so don’t go in the water if you’re not a good swimmer.
We saw a bunch of turtles and little fish with amazing mountains in the background.
The hike down and up from queens bath isn’t too bad. It’s about 15min and not too strenuous. My group age range was 19-25 so we didn’t struggle at all but I can see it being hard for an older group of people but definitely still doable.Written 2 August 2022
- This beach was breathtaking. Maybe 20 people there when we went mid afternoon. The beauty and peace is worth the hike down the cliff. The waves were breaking strong so we only got in to our knees. No boogie boarding or swimming were possible.
The parking is tricky and feels like you are on private property but we found some. The trail in between 2 homes. Easy dirt trail at first then super steep down to beach. It was strenuous but our 9 year old managed okay. Calves were burning on the way back up! Would not be manageable if it had rained.
Definitely a highlight and a memorable adventure. Highly recommend checking it out!Written 14 June 2022
- We loved riding the paved Kauai bike path during our vacation. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the name of the bike rental shop we hired our bikes from as there was no name for the shop front and the owner said they don't actually want to go on Trip Advisor. However, we did hire our bikes easily for 2 hours near a car park facing the beach along the path, and it cost approximately $60 for our family of four. The coastline is really beautiful and it was an easy ride for our family. As other people said we simply wished this paved path was a longer distance. We highly recommend riding the Kauai Path!Written 26 June 2022
- Our family of four (our kids are 15 years old) went on this hike on the last day of our trip and I am so glad we did. The day after I was super sore and I don’t think I could have gone on our other adventures like the garden tours without extreme discomfort.
My husband and I are in our 50’s. Our lifestyle is pretty sedentary and I definitely did not physically condition myself enough for this hike. This is my biggest regret as I paid a high price for my lack of physical conditioning. I almost passed out multiple times!
That being said, there were many more physically fit people (including a young couple with two babies in carriers) who trotted by us like gazelles. Avid well conditioned hikers even trotted by on the trail in their bare feet! I would not recommend this for first-timers. Most of these hikers were locals who visited the trail multiple times.
There were a couple things that we did right as sedentary newbies:
1. We bought parking passes for the entire day. In my physical condition, we did not get to our car until after sundown. The last shuttle leaves at 7 pm. To get a much coveted parking pass, you have to be on the website at midnight 30 days beforehand. These passes sell out in less than a minute.
2. We brought a change of dry clothes. At my friend’s suggestion, we put them in freezer ziplock bags. This part of Kauai is notoriously unpredictable in terms of rainfall. We lucked out as it was very dry but we were prepared to wait out sudden rainstorms should they come along.
3. I brought bandages for blisters. I ended up using several.
4. I wore amphibious shoes that were good for stream crossings and had treads that were good for hiking.
5. Trekking poles. I used these a lot including steadying myself on the 5 stream crossings. Again, in dry weather they are not a problem but in rainfall they are dangerous.
6. Hats. Especially on the way back when the sun begins to set, there are several segments of the trail in direct sunlight.
Here are things I wish we had done differently:
1. Even with 2 1/2 liters of water in each hydration backpack, we ran out of water on the last leg of the hike coming back. I recommend bringing more than 2 1/2 liters per person to be safe.
2. The park opens at 6:30 am. We didn’t get there until 7:30 am and I regret this. Missing the green flash at sunset is a bummer. For first timers, I recommend getting there at opening. You will have more time at the falls to enjoy the view. We spent an hour but I would have liked to spend more time.
3. The kids had to use the bathroom at Hanakapiai beach. Apparently it is not kept up very well (they inform me this is the understatement of the century). I recommend using the bathroom at Ke’e beach before beginning the hike.
As many have said before, this was the highlight of the trip to Kauai. Yes, the view of the waterfall is totally worth the hike. And, yes, the water there is ridiculously cold but definitely a must after hiking for 4+ arduous miles. The last bit to the falls is basically rock climbing so I have no idea how the couple with the babies managed that part!
Just as importantly though, if you want to feel a part of this island and immerse yourself in Kauai, the trail itself is beautiful. I managed to find several lilikoi
fruit that were ripe and refreshing to eat along the way. Standing underneath the bamboo listening to them creak as the wind blew high above was a little startling as I kept wondering if they would fall on me! Walking among the lush greenery, the beehive ginger plants and the kukui trees, there is an otherworldliness and awe that this island inspires. This was both the hardest and best hike our family has been on.Written 15 August 2022
- Worth the trek from Poipu as it's a really nice snorkeling spot. Park at state beach parking and walk down the beach to tunnels. Don't use small alley parking as it's for the local fisherman and scuba companies to easily bring their gear down the beach. While the reef is completely bleached there are a lot of fish around and we also saw a pod of spinner dolphins.Written 19 August 2022
Frequently Asked Questions about Kauai
- The best day trips from Kauai according to Tripadvisor travellers are:
- Ni'ihau and Na Pali Coast Snorkel Boat Tour
- Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail
- Half-Day Kayak and Waterfall Hike Tour in Kauai with Lunch
- Intimate Waimea Canyon Half Day Eco Fun Tour from South Kauai
- Private Hawaiian Jungle Waterfall Adventure Wit Da Hawaiian Dundee