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Things To Do In South Shore Kauai

Soak Up The Sun At Anini Beach

5 Things to do on the South Shore of Kauai, Hawaii

Known as one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, its surprising that this one tends to be less crowded than the southern beaches.

Anini beach is located on the North Coast, fairly close to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Its one of the best places to spend the day relaxing, snorkeling, and wading through the calm waters. This Beach has services, including a parking lot, bathrooms, showers, and a boat launch nearby.

Swim At Tunnels Beach

Probably my favorite beach on Kauai, Tunnels Beach on the North Shore is a wonderful place to go snorkeling or scuba diving. It has a very large and shallow reef full of colorful fish.

However the real highlight at Tunnels is the very dramatic jagged green mountains in the background. If you want that perfect Hawaiian postcard photo for Instagram, this is the place to get it!

The parking sucks though, and spots fill up quickly, so get there early or youll have to park half-a-mile away. Waves get big and rough here in the winter, so the snorkeling gets dangerous .

Drink A Sunset Cocktail

Princeville Resort is currently closed until 2022 when it will reopen as 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.

Princeville Resort is one of the most desirable places to stay in Kauai. We didnt stay here, but we did splurge on a cocktail at the bar to enjoy the mountain and ocean views at sunset.

Cocktails cost from $16++ and come with tasty Japanese-style bar snacks. You can also order sushi . Note that the sun disappears behind the mountains before the actual sunset time so get there earlier .

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Go Mountain Tubing In Lihue

This is one of the coolest off-the-beaten-path activities on Kauai. Hop on a four-wheel-drive vehicle and traverse the former Lihue Plantation lands as you ride deep into Kauais pristine forest, where your tubing adventure begins!

Enjoy breathtaking vistas while your guide shares information about the island. When you arrive at the launch site, grab a tube, don a headlamp, and jump in the gently flowing waters.

At the end of your adventure, you will be guided to an enchanting picnic area nearby for a delicious lunch and a cool dip in a natural swimming hole.

Eat A Hawaiian Poke Bowl

The 20 Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii For Nature ...

Poke is my favorite Hawaiian food, and I even learned how to make fresh ahi-tuna poke with a professional chef once. So whenever I visit Hawaii, I cant resist a chance to eat plenty of this diced raw fish Hawaiian cuisine.

I usually go for the traditional style made with sashimi grade ahi tuna, sweet onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped macadamia nuts, and scallions. Its sooooo good! You can find it at many restuarants and some dedicated food trucks on Kauai.

I suggest heading to some of the local markets, like in The Ishihara Market in Waimea, which some consider the best poke joint on the island. Try a mix of fish flavored with shoyu, citrus, and spicy mayo. You can even find quality poke at the islands grocery stores too.

Kauai Food tour

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Best Stargazing On South Shore

Hi! We are staying on the south shore just after Christmas. I searched the forums and couldnt find any great answer.

Are there any particular beaches or other areas that are great for star gazing? Just looking to get away from resort lights. Thanks in advance!

4 replies to this topic

You could drive up to the Spouting Horn area. There are no resorts or lights there at night. There is a parking lot and I would imagine you could get a good view of stars from there & not have to drive a great distance.

If you’re staying in Poipu and you don’t want to drive too far then do what Brenda said. The Spouting Horn area is the end of Lawai Road and the parking lot will be empty. Not much in the way of “light disturbances” down there. If you don’t mind driving further than do what 22kauai said – head West. I’d say pull off the road at Kekaha Beach Park.

Back when I had perfect vision and didn’t need contacts or glasses I was absolutely floored by how many stars and huge clusters of stars I saw even in places like Kaanapali on Maui. Even with a new prescription for glasses which I get every year I have never been able to really see what I could way back then.

Kayak Down The Wailua River

The Wailua River is a 20-mile river that runs through Kauai and exits at the East Shore.

Its the largest river on the island, and the only one navigable by anything larger than a man-powered boat. This means there are plenty of activities like water skiing, cruising, and tubing that can be seen on the river.

If youre looking for a little adventure, Kayak Wailua provides visitors with five-hour tours, which includes a pleasant trip down the river, through the jungle, and a route to a hidden waterfall!

Another popular place along the Wailua River is Fern Grotto, where you can experience a river cruise, a beautiful nature walk, and a celebration of the islands rich culture!

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Top 10 Things To Do For Free In Poipu Plus A Few More

Heres a look at the south shores Top 10 FREE Things to do year around, plus 5 more. With nearly perfect weather, the endless blue Pacific Ocean, lush tropical jungle, color reef fish, various ocean activities such as surfing, SUP and kayaking, plus beautiful beaches and majestic cliff walks there are plenty of free places to experience in Poipu and within the neighboring communities.

Kauais Glass Beach & Cemetery

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This unique beach is located in the town of Eleele, in an industrial part of the island. Instead of regular sand, this beach is covered in small pieces of multicolored sea glass! Sea lions also like to hang out here, so you may catch a glimpse of them too.

The beach isnt big, and its not a nice place for sunbathing , but if youre already in the area, it can be an interesting stop for a photo. Make sure to check out the nearby cemetery too, with old red headstones carved in Japanese writing.

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Hike A Portion Of The Kalalau Trail

If a total of 22 miles sounds like its out of the question, all is not lost! The good thing is that there are alternatives to the full hike which gives you the opportunity to get a taste of the Kalalau Trail without committing to the whole thing.

  • Hike Kee Beach to Hanakapiai Beach Take on the first two miles of the Kalalau trail starting at Kee Beach. The first section will be tough as you climb over rocks and uneven, muddy ground, but the path does get flatter as you go further in. Youll end your hike at Hanakapiai Beach and then make your way back.
  • Hike Kee Beach to Hanakapiai Falls After the first two miles where youll reach Hanakapiai Beach, you have the option to continue for two more miles on a side trail to Hanakapiai Falls. The path is usually muddy and rocky, so sturdy hiking boots are a must. In the end, youll be rewarded with a 300-foot waterfall and a freshwater pool to swim in!

Snorkel And Swim At Poipu Beach Park

Looking for calmer waves to play in? Poipu Beach Park is the main beach on the south shore and its well equipped with toilets, picnic tables, and a childrens play area. Its also a great place to spot sea turtles and monk seals lounging on the beach!

Here the water is protected by a reef, meaning youll get some pretty awesome snorkeling opportunities. Its also ranked as one of the safest beaches in the US.

Pro Tip: This beach gets pretty crowded with tourists, so if youre looking for peace and quiet, check out another beach or visit early.

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Day Trip To Waimea Canyon

Hop in the car and drive about 1 hour to get to Waimea Canyon, one of Kauais biggest attractions. Its nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and its simply stunning.

Park your car and head over to the viewing platform to get an epic view of the canyon and take your photos. Youll even be able to see a waterfall!

If you are looking for an adventure, there are tons of cool hiking trails to do there with lots of great photo ops. In fact, its one of the top places for hikes near Poipu.

And if you dont want to drive, you can take a guided tour of Waimea Canyon. Check out the latest prices and more details.

Hike To The Top Of The Sleeping Giant

11 Epic Things To Do In Kauai, Hawaii

The Sleeping Giant is a 3.5-mile moderate hike atop Nounou Mountain.

The trail and mountain get its name from the sleeping giant shape the hill creates from the perspective of the city of Kapaa below.

We began hiking at 5:00 am with headlamps in order to reach the top for sunrise. The trail was slippery , there were lots of switchbacks, and we had to turn around sometimes because the trail forks off into false paths.

However, despite all these setbacks, its well worth the effort the sun revealing itself over the ocean to light up the town below is something we will cherish forever.

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Best Things To Do In Kauai

Kauai is my favorite Hawaiian island and Ive explored it thoroughly. Some of my favorite activities on the Garden Isle are listed below.

Whether youre looking for memorable hikes, where to snorkel, or how to see the best of Hawaiis lushest island, youll fall in love with paradise. Heres what to do and where to go on your Kauai itinerary

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

With a historic lighthouse, breathtaking ocean views, and a chance to see seabirds and other local animals in their natural and protected habitat, Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is another one of those things to do in Kauai that really shouldnt be passed up.

The sea beyond the coast is also protected as National Marine Sanctuary waters, home to seals, sea turtles, and humpback whales, which are prevalent in the winter months. The Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1913 and operated as a manned station until the 70s when it was automated.

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Check Out The Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

On the list of family-friendly, non-beach related Kauai activities is visiting the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kilauea.

The lush gardens are gorgeous and offer a splendid variety of exotic flowers in all colors, shapes and sizes. The 120+ bronze sculptures are also a bit of a surprise.

Kids, especially, are drawn to the 16-foot Jack and the Beanstalk fountain in the childrens garden.

The venue offers tour options including a self-guided walking tour, a seasonal bird tour, a family tour and several others.

Best Things To Do In Kauai Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii – Top Things to Do | Everything You Need To Know

Kauai, also called the Garden Isle, is our favorite of the Hawaiian Islands. With its waterfalls, beautiful beaches, tropical resorts, and stunning coastlines, Kauai is pure paradise. In this guide, we cover the best things to do in Kauai with tips to have the best experience.

Currently, there are travel restrictions in place to visit Hawaii. for the full details.

Overview of Kauai

Kauai is the second oldest of the Hawaiian Islands . It was formed five million years ago as the result of a volcanic eruption.

Kawaikini, at 5,243 feet is the highest peak on the island. Mount Waialeale, just a bit shorter, is famous for being one of the wettest spots on Earth, getting well over 400 inches of rain per year.

Not far from Mount Waialeale is Waimea Canyon. Its much drier here and this immense canyon is referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Many people are very familiar with the gorgeous Na Pali Coast. This 15 mile stretch of coastline is spectacular to see and visit, whether you do it from the sky, by boat, or on foot.

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Learn About Monk Seals

Theyre cute and gentle, weigh from 400 to 600 pounds, have folds of skin around their neck and tend to live alone.

Were talking about monk seals.

You often see monk seals snoozing on the sandy beaches in Poipu Beach Park, on the south coast of Kauai.

But theyre endangered.

One of the sad facts about Hawaii is that the population of monk seals one of only two mammal species native to Hawaii has shrunk to less than 1,200 monk seals.

You can discover more about them through the Monk Seal Education Program. Its offered weekly at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, in partnership with the Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program.

Learn about the biology of the seals and what to do when you spot one, and go on a short easy walk to the beach to view the seals from a safe distance.

Meditate At Kauais Hindu Temple

Between the jagged peaks, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife, a visit to Kauai feels a bit like a spiritual experience in and of itself. Which makes the Kauai Hindu Temple a perfect addition to this tropical paradise.

The hand sculpted, white granite Iraivan temple overlooks the banks of the Wailua River before a backdrop of the Kapa Mountains. About 35-40 minutes from Kukuiula, people from all walks of life come to admire the peaceful scenery and impressive architecture.

The temple features a rare 700-pound quartz crystal and impressive granite sculpture of the six-faced deity, Lord Shanmuga, standing in front of a giant banyan tree. The monastery asks that guests dress modestly by wearing loose fitting attire and covering legs and arms.

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Mahaulepu Heritage Trail & Makauwahi Cave

Kauais southern coastline, stretching from Keoneloa Bay to Kawailoa Bay, features a fascinating hike along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, with a treasure-trove of geological and cultural sites. This website takes you on a virtual tour of the trail and provides information on significant points of interest, along with notable plants and wildlife in the area. Ready to go?

Makauwahi Cave Reserve At the center of this reserve is the largest limestone cave and the richest fossil site in Hawaii. The reserve is also a uniquely preserved archaeological site and a living museum to the past and to the future. On abandoned farms and quarry lands surrounding the cave, native plants and animals have returned through innovative restoration techniques. Acres of restored forest land, dune vegetation, and wetland habitat feature almost 100 species of native plants, including many endangered species, as well as endangered waterbirds and an underground ecosystem of blind cave invertebrates. Visit for more information.

The Historical Town Of Koloa

Best Beaches on Kauai

The ancient town of Koloa offers an excellent look at the birthplace of the Hawaiian sugar industry. Since its inception in 1835, the sugar mill thrived for over a hundred years before finally closing down in 1996. It has now been declared as a National Historical Landmark. Start by taking a tour of Koloa Sugar Mill, which marks an important chapter in the history of Kauai. The sugar mill is located at the center of Koloa and is surrounded by numerous art galleries and dining options.

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Take A Hike At Waimea Canyon

If youre interested in doing a hike at Waimea Canyon, here are two great options:

Cliff Trail: 2 miles roundtrip, easy

  • The Cliff Trail is a great option for beginners, families or first time visitors of Waimea Canyon. Keeping to the ridge top, this trail provides beautiful views of the canyon. Park at the Kokee State Park entrance off of Kokee Road and take Halemanu Road to the beginning of the Cliff Trail.

Canyon Trail: 3.4 miles round trip, moderate

  • One of the most popular and scenic trails in Waimea Canyon, the Canyon Trail branches off of the Cliff Trail and takes 2-3 hours to complete. This short but rather tiring hike takes you through a beautiful forest, leads you to two awesome viewing areas of the Waimea Canyon, and ultimately brings you to Waipoo Falls.

On our most recent trip, we did the Canyon Trail. It was such a fun hike with a pretty darn good payoff. I mean, look at that view! After soaking up the sights and sounds, you can have a little swim in the waterfall behind you!

Shop At Warehouse 3540

Warehouse 3540 is a warehouse filled to the brim with hip, artisan stalls selling locally-made goods. Its the perfect spot to do some souvenir shopping as well as to grab some delicious food.

There is also a coffee counter inside a small camper trailer within the warehouse. Right out front are various food trucks.

The warehouse is located 10 minutes northwest of Poipu and is well worth a stop when youre driving along the southern coast of Kauai. They also host a farmers market on Friday mornings here!

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Looking For More Things To Do In Kauai

Theres something on Kauai for every vacationerwhether youre looking for family fun, honeymoon memories, retiree relaxation, or simply a new experience.

Be sure to book your visit to Makana Charters to see the NaPali Coast of Kauai from the most beautiful vantage point possiblethe ocean! Right now you can get 10% off your cruise.

We cant wait to see you on your visit to Kauai!

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