With so much to enjoy, we had a tough time narrowing down what to do on this beautiful island. Here’s some of our favorites from our recent trip…
Helicopter Tour (Open Door)
I get car sick and sea sick, and I’m really not too fond of heights, but I don’t think Christian would have ever let me live this one down if we didn’t do it together. After all was said and done, I’m so glad that he pushed me to get on a helicopter with Jack Harter Helicopter Tours. This was honestly the best experience we probably had in Hawaii, and with a rainy island like Kauai, we ended up doing this on the absolute perfect day. You get to take in so many incredible views of the Napali Coast, and you get to see parts of Waimea Canyon that you can’t view from anywhere else but a helicopter.
Tip: Enjoy some ginger candies before your flight and wear sea sickness bands if you’re prone to motion sickness. If you start to feel queasy, focus on the sights and on the horizon, not spending too much time looking at your phone or camera screen. It’s totally normal to feel nervous before the flight, so try to embrace your nerves and think about how amazing the experience is going to be.
Kayaking on Wailua River and Hiking to Secret Falls
If one of the things on your list is to swim under a waterfall, you definitely shouldn’t miss out of this one. It’s a nice scenic paddle up the Wailua River to Secret Falls (and being from Florida, it was great to kayak on a river without the fear of alligators 🐊). The hike is relatively moderate, but it also depends on weather. We didn’t have much rain when we went so the path was pretty dry, but I can image when there’s been some rain that it would be quite muddy. Be sure to pack water and a lunch or snack, and we’d recommend wearing water shoes for the hike and swim to protect your toes from the rocks. Overall you should give yourself about 4-5 hours if you’d like to spend some time relaxing at the falls. You can rent a kayak from a number of places right on the river (we rented from Wailua Kayak and Canoe). We’d recommend reserving yours at least a couple of days in advanced.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Known as the “Grand Canyon” of the Pacific, the drive through this park was one of the highlights of our trip, and a bonus, it had many amazing lookout spots right along the road. We didn’t have too much time for hiking, but apparently there are some pretty incredible trails. If you have a full day to spend out there, pack a lunch and snacks, and be sure to do some exploring. If you’re planning a half day, get an early start to the park and on the way back, take a stop over by Hanapepe Bay at Kauai Chocolate Company – you will not be disappointed. If you’re hungry or could go for a nice brewsky after all the Waimea Canyon goodness, try Kauai Island Brewery & Grill right across the street.
One thing we didn’t get to do, but that’s on our list for next time:
Visit Princeville and check out Queens Bath, a natural pool, on the North Shore of the island (we stayed in Poipu on the South side at the Grand Hyatt – highly recommended).
Any other suggestions for our next trip to Kauai, or questions for us? Feel free to comment below 🙂