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 sand. This is a great place to go for a long day at the beach, but you'll want to bring water and food. Kawailoa is a bay and offers the most protection from the wind which can often get strong out here. Maha'ulepu Beach are a nice break from the busy resort area of Poipu. There aren't any lifeguards out here so always be careful in the ocean. To get here, drive past the Grand Hyatt Kauai until the road turns to dirt. You'll see the CMJ Stables sign as the road turns to dirt and a gate with a sign that states the gates are locked at 6 p.m. Keep following it for a few minutes and you'll first come to Gillin's, second Kawailoa, and the last and most secluded, Ha'ula.
Lydgate Beach Park truly has everything you could need for a day at the beach - two protected natural swimming pools, spectacular snorkeling, white sand, amenities, lifeguard, and an amazing playground for children. This is where snorkel lovers will have the time of their lives. The underwater worlds in nearly always pulsing with life, and offers views of colorful tropical fish. The calm pools are perfect for children or anyone else who would prefer to not get knocked around by waves. Lydgate is a great place for a full day at the beach or a quick snorkel stop. It's also centrally located on the east side so it doesn't require driving far out of your way.
A lovely hike with great views, the Kuilau Ridge Trail is pretty gentle at first but is at a consistent incline, which can be a bit tiring. About half an hour up the trail you'll come to a picnic area and this is a great place to enjoy a lunch. This spot also has wonderful views down into a valley and if it's a clear day you'll be treated to a great view of Mount Wai`ale`ale. Keep going past the picnic area for a few minutes and you'll be rewarded with a nature stroll like no oter, with amazing views, lush foliage, and coastal views. Turn around a the wooden bridge and head back. The whole hike should take about three hours. It starts about 1 3/4 mile past the Kaua`i Research and Extension Center. Head up Kuamo`o Road and you'll see the trail head marker on the right side.
Hanapepe is a true art town. The small historic town, which surprisingly once served as the most bustling town on the Garden Island, is filled mostly with art galleries selling locally made art and locally crafted jewelry and housewares. Each and every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. the west side town opens its doors to invite the public - both visitors and locals alike - to enjoy a night of socializing and entertainment in the name of art and creativity. Music can usually be found somewhere along the strip of art shops, as well as appetizers, chatting with new friends, and buying and window shopping of art. Dress up or go casual, either way art night is not to be missed while visiting Kaua`i.
This large, crescent-shaped bay on the North Shore hosts a number of enviable beaches, which all share golden sands and clear, calm waters. The bay is protected by coral reefs, and along its two-mile stretch, folks soak in the sun, build sandcastles, and learn to surf. Water activities include everything from fishing to windsurfing, swimming to kayaking, scuba diving to boating. During the winter, waters get a little rougher, but conditions at such beaches as Black Pot and Waikoko remain manageable throughout the year. Watch locals tear up the waves at Pine Trees, a surf break along the beach, or just spend the day playing in the waves.
For an amazing two hour sunset sail around Kauai's South Side, hop aboard with Blue Dolphin Charters. With the established company you will sail along the coast of beautiful Poipu enjoying food, cocktails, and romantic sunsets. While cruising along the coast of Kaua`i's resort area, you'll see an amazing sunset over forbidden Ni`ihau in the distance. You can also look for whales in season, and although various tour companies prefer a slightly varied season, this company prefers December through March to look for whales. Rates run at $62 for those 12 years old and up and $53 for ages 2 to 11.
Experience the best surfing with the Grand Master of Surfing himself, the famous Titus Kinimaka. From beginner to experienced riders the Hawaiian School of Surfing is run by native Kauaian's with a rich surfing tradition that dates back to the 1950's. All instructors are experienced lifeguards and watermen. They'll take you to surf in Hanalei Bay and other reef breaks around the island, depending on experience. A stand-up surfing lesson costs $65 and they will provide the following: 12 foot soft top stand up board and 72 inch staff aluminum paddles. Titus Kinimaka is a professional surfer, stuntman and adventurer. Titus has been sponsored by Quiksilver Since 1981 and has traveled the globe as their ambassador. In 2000, Titus founded the Hawaiian School of Surfing and has built it into one of the most prolific schools in the Islands with over 6000 lessons taught in the last 12 months alone.
Take a low impact walk through a rainforest that leads you to two waterfalls along the Kapa'a Stream. You could go along the stream for a while, so it's hard to say exactly how long it is, but it's a quick few minutes from the trail head to the stream, covered by a tree canopy sparkling with streams of sun light. It's another 20 minutes or so to the falls, but it's gorgeous from the start. It's a pretty easy walk, but it's on a narrow sometimes muddy trail through bushes, and the mud can be slippery if it's wet, so just go slow. This isn't the best waterfalls for swimming, the enjoyment is mostly in the hike, but it's a lovely and usually completely private walk, except for the mosquitoes.
Just north of Waimea Canyon and 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 to pig hunting to trout fishing (with pre-arranged licenses). Temperatures at this elevation are a bit cooler than elsewhere on the island, so you'll want to dress accordingly. Plus, nature trails crisscross the landscape, and camping is available. The park also features a lodge, museum, and visitors center where you can check park conditions before venturing onwards. Visitors can even camp or stay in a bunk room here.
Na Pali Explorer does just that, they explore the Na Pali Coast but they are based out of the west side in Waimea. Their tours are offered on a 26 foot RIB, a 48 foot RIB, or a 46 foot inflatable hull RIB. Exploring the ocean and Na Pali Coast with this company can be done in various ways. The include dolphin and whale sightings, shore landings to explore secluded beaches, snorkeling, a visit to an ancient fishing village, sea cave explorations, and all kinds of coastal views. The different tours that are available depend on season and wave size.