Best Outdoor Activities and Adventures on Kauai Island in Hawaii

There's no doubt that the best Kaua`i has to offer is found outdoors. As the oldest of all of the Hawaiian Islands, Kaua`i has had generations to develop a variety of terrains thanks to geological transformations and has become the most scenic island. From its lush and green mountain ranges, to rocky valleys and long white sand beaches, Kaua`i offers something for every type of outdoors person. You can view the 3,000 foot elevations of Waimea Canyon to the 5,148 foot high Mount Wai`ale`ale, the wettest place in the world.

On the Garden Island, you have plenty of options for outdoor activities, and 10 Best is here to guide you right to them. Dive into the Pacific for spectacular swimming at Ke`e Beach on the North Shore. Or for a more safe and protected snorkeling experience, jump into the pools at Lydgate Beach Park. If you're looking for waterfall viewing, kayaking, a luau, or a Hawaiian cultural experience, Waialua River State Park will fulfill all of these needs on its own.

Inland at Koke`e State Park, two of the most spectacular views on the island are offered at the vistas at the end of the road, not far from Waimea Canyon, otherwise known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Down in Poipu, visit Spouting Horn to watch the ocean explode from a hole in the cliffs.

Whichever you choose to do on Kaua`i, never, ever forget to bring a camera. And remember, with an island this small, it's not impossible to see it all.

Wailua Falls
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Many visitors recognize these twin falls as the ones pictured in the opening sequence of the "Fantasy Island" TV show. Their dramatic, 80-foot double tumble is the subject of many tourist photographs, a distinct difference from the days when...  Read More

Spouting Horn
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Arguably one of Kauai's most popular natural sites, this geyser-like attraction delights visitors with its spectacle and energy. Incoming surf rushes into an ancient lava tube and is forced upward and outward in a dramatic display of sea water....  Read More

Poi'pu Beach Park and Brennecke's Beach
Photo courtesy of jade eckardt


Thanks to its proximity to South Shore resorts, this stretch of beach gets a good amount of traffic. It doesn't hurt, of course, that it boasts abundant sunlight, soft sand, incredible views, and a good mix of surf and gentle shallows. Families...  Read More

Ke'e Beach State Park
Photo courtesy of jade eckardt


Located at the western end of Ha'ena State Park, this spectacular beach is a North Shore favorite. Offering a protected swimming environment (thanks to offshore reefs), the beach is at its best in the summertime, when waters are serene. The...  Read More



Reservations are required to tour the ocean with Lahela Sportfishing. Leaving out of the Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue, Lahela takes guests out on the 34 foot Lahela, which is the only fishing boat on Kauai certifies by the Kauai Coast Guard and...  Read More

Glass Beach
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


On the west side, Glass Beach proves that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Here the black and gray sand beach is blanketed in a thick layer of colorful beach glass that offers hours of treasure hunting and sparkles beautifully....  Read More

Koke'e State Park
Photo courtesy of jade eckardt


Just north of Waimea Canyon, inland from the Na Pali Coast, lies this rugged state park, spread across 4,345 mountainous acres. Especially popular with nature lovers, the park offers terrific scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, from hiking...  Read More

Mahaulepu Beaches
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


To visit three beaches that are off the beaten path on the South Side, venture out to the Maha'ulepu Beaches. Consisting of three beaches named Gillin's, Kawailoa Bay, and Ha'ula Beach, the beaches offer privacy and a great expanse of white...  Read More



Sunshine Helicopters offers the "Ultimate Kaua`i Adventure," which leaves out of Lihue before 8:30 a.m. The tour flies over Waimea Canyon, Mount Wai`ale`ale (the wettest place on earth), and the nearby Alaka`i Swamp as well as Wailua Falls....  Read More

Ni`ihau Helicopters
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Fly to Hawaii's Forbidden Island of Ni`ihau, owned by the Robinson family, the same owners of the helicopter company. Hop on the chopper mid-morning and then across the west side channel to the desolate island. Here you'll explore beaches,...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade