Kauai’s pristine beaches, jaw-dropping waterfalls, untouched coastlines, and remote state parks set the bar high for beauty in the Hawaiian Islands. A week on the island will give you plenty of time to both relax and enjoy the fun stuff to do in Kauai.
Day 1: Admire the Na Pali Coast from Above
The sheer sea cliffs of Kauai’s northwest shore, known as the Na Pali Coast, extend for 16 miles from Polihale State Park to Ke’e Beach and are an unforgettable sight and absolute must see during your Kauai vacation. These emerald green spires rise as much as 4,000 feet of vertical grandeur over the ocean below. Narrow valleys, streams, and waterfalls punctuate the area, making it a lush, untouched region that is impassible by land vehicle. Admire this geographical wonder from the air aboard a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour, where you will also get a glimpse of other island attractions such as plunging waterfalls and the Mt. Waialeale Crater. Book your tour here.
Day 2: Surf at Hanalei Bay
This two-mile stretch of beach surrounded by mountains and punctuated by a picturesque fishing pier is considered one of the best on the island. The protected bay provides calm water ideal for water sports, especially during summer months. Swim, boogie board, stand up paddle board, or take a surf lesson on these gently rolling waves, and be sure to stay long enough for sunset.
Day 3: Cruise Among Sea Life
Dolphins, manta rays, whales (seasonal), tropical fish, and more can regularly be seen in their natural habitat in Kauai’s warm, tropical waters. Take a boat cruise to get up close and personal with Kauai’s amazing marine life, where you can journey alongside leaping dolphins and spouting whales in winter months. Some boat tours also offer offshore snorkeling and stops at secluded beaches. Check out tours with Capt. Andy’s here, one of the activities that top the list of fun stuff to do in Kauai.
Day 4: Attend a Luau
No Kauai vacation is complete without attending a luau. Enjoy traditional food, music, and dance and deepen your knowledge of the Hawaiian culture at Smith Family Garden Luau. Book your seats here.
Day 5: Hike in Waimea Canyon State Park & Koke’e State Park
Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Waimea Canyon is accessible from Kauai’s west coast. Driving up Highway 550 provides for a number of pull-off points, where you can stop to admire dramatic canyon and waterfall views. Continuing on Highway 550 takes you to the road’s end at Koke’e State Park, where trails take you to dramatic viewpoints of the Na Pali. To experience the true depth and beauty of Waimea Canyon, you can take on a number of hikes along the rim, or if you’re up to the challenge, to the bottom of the canyon (and then back up!). Hikes along the Awaawapuhi Trail or Nualolo Trail in Koke’e State Park afford some of the greatest Na Pali coastline views.
Day 6: Snorkel at Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach on Kauai’s sunny south shore has something for the whole family during your Kauai vacation. Vibrant marine life close to shore makes this an ideal spot for a family snorkel outing. The east end of the beach also has a tranquil protected pool perfect for children.
Day 7: Watch the Sunset During Your Kauai Vacation
Polihale State Park sits at the far west end of Kauai. This remote, windswept beach is ideal for watching the sunset. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic dinner as the sun sinks below the horizon.