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Things to do in Kauai: visiting The Garden Isle

Read about Things to do on Kauai

Kauai, the fourth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, is aptly named The Garden Isle. It’s a veritable feast for the senses, awash with luscious green featuring a rainbow of botanical colors to make your head spin. Our guest author Richard Atkins takes us through some of his favourite things to do in Kauai, including the best excursions, outdoor adventures and places to stay.

Oceanfront at the Grand Hyatt

Top things to do on Kauai

The Star Na Pali Sunset Cruise on Kauai

Star Na Pali Catamaran trip on Kauai

Star Na Pali Catamaran trip on Kauai

Starting at 2 p.m, you embark onto a 65’ Star Class luxury catamaran while your Captain lays the ground rules for a safe and enjoyable cruise. As the boat heads out to sea, you’ll hear a commentary with comic flair on the history of Kauai and its oceanfront inhabitants, from old sugar cane factories to longtime residents with colorful histories. If you’re lucky, you might see whales breaching or dolphins keeping up with the catamaran just for fun. During the cruise, you’re waited on hand and foot by an attentive crew who serves delicious hors d’oeuvres and refreshing drinks.

Na Pali Coast in Kauai

Na Pali Coast in Kauai

The centerpiece of this adventure comes when the colour streaked mountains of the Na Pali Coast come into view. At this point, you’ve seriously stepped into other-worldly territory as you honestly won’t believe your eyes. Captain Roy points out some movies that have filmed here like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean or television shows like Fantasy Island. The surf and turf meal is spectacularly delicious and dessert is served just about the time sunset comes upon you. The sunset cruise is $149 per person. More info: Captain Andy’s Star Na Pali Sunset Cruise

Kauai’s Only Underground Tubing Adventure

Kauai Backcountry Adventures packs you and your group in a van as you travel through historic Lihue Plantation land deep within the Kauai countryside. Chelsea, our fearless leader talked generously about all things Kauai, and prepared us for an invigorating tubing adventure through underground irrigation tunnels that were miraculously hand dug in 1870.

Kauai tubing

Kauai tubing adventure

Donning a miner’s helmet to light up the dark tunnels, you gently glide through the canal spinning around in the changing current. But don’t worry because the caves are high enough not to elicit claustrophobia. At the end of the journey, a tasty picnic lunch awaits at a nearby swimming hole where the rest of the crew serenades you with their smooth Hawaiian vocals and ukulele! The experience costs $106 per person. More info: Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Visit Waimea Canyon

Waimea canyon in Kauai

Waimea canyon in Kauai

A trip to Kauai would not be complete without a visit to Waimea Canyon. It’s the Grand Canyon of Hawaii and a spectacular site to see. You can make the scenic drive to the site or take one of many helicopter tours that take you deep within the bowels of the canyon for a bird’s eye view. Check out this Waimea Canyon Half Day Tour in Kauai | More info: Waimea Canyon State Park

More things to do on Kauai

Koloa Town Main Drag

Koloa Town

Koloa Town is great for shopping, coffee shops, ice cream, great food trucks in the park with the roosters and the wonderful La Spezia for elegant, Italian fine dining.

Another quaint little town for great window shopping is Hanapepe which has a weekly, Friday night festival and art night.

On the North Shore, Hanalei is a lively hub for dining, galleries, beach combing and the historic Waioli Huuia Church and Mission built in 1837.

Turtle Cove in Princeville is spectacular, but not for the faint of heart as it is a trek for serious hikers only.

Aloha Massage Kaua’i is by far the best massage service on the island and no matter where you are on the island, they will come to you. We had a glorious couples massage with seasoned therapists, Teri and Koi who tailor the massage to your own request, from Swedish to deep tissue.

The abundant roosters of Kauai

The abundant roosters of Kauai

If you’re looking for a tour to see the island highlights in one day, check out this Best of Kauai Tour

Photo-ops around the island include Wailua and Opaekaa Falls, Spouting Horn, the Allerton and McBryde gardens, the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge and last but not least, those abundant, noisy but protected roosters!

Wailua Falls in Lihue

Wailua Falls in Lihue

Where to Stay on Kauai – Hyatt Resort and Spa

The Kauai Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa is the brand’s flagship property worldwide. That means they’ve pulled out every stop to make their guests as comfortable and entertained as humanly possible. And even though there’s plenty to do and see on Kauai, one could be content just to remain at their 50 acre complex and still experience the best vacation of their lives.

One of the pools at the Grand Hyatt

One of the pools at the Grand Hyatt

The property is situated steps from the ocean coupled with a myriad number of inviting pools, a saltwater lagoon and tropical environments created for your ultimate pleasure. The rooms have a wonderful, island feng-shui with tropical prints, exotically carved wood headboards and an oceanfront lanai to while away the hours.

25 yard lap pool at the Grand Hyatt

25 yard lap pool at the Grand Hyatt

If you need to relax and listen to some music while sipping a cocktail and smelling the salt air, the seaview terrace fits the bill. However, for a different kind of zen-like relaxation, the Anara Spa’s open-air setting takes advantage of nature and all its healing powers. Treatment rooms have their own private garden and fountain. There’s also a 25-yard lap pool with open-air lava rock showers, steam room, sauna and whirlpool. Fitness classes, yoga, a salon that offers hair and nail service and treatment rooms complete your spa experience.

Oceanfront at the Grand Hyatt

Oceanfront at the Grand Hyatt

For those of you who just can’t sit still, the concierge can arrange nearby activities such as snorkeling, surfing, hiking, scuba diving and even a trail ride along the ocean supplied by riding stables adjacent to the property. If you’re a golf aficionado, the Poipu Bay resort golf course is also across the way and is ranked number one in all of Hawaii. If you want to keep the kids entertained, Camp Hyatt has an endless array of activities for kids ages 3-12 from Hawaiian crafts to group sports!

Sushi At Stevenson's Library at the Grand Hyatt

Sushi At Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt

After a long day in the Hawaiian sun, you’re probably ready for a wonderful meal so don’t despair. Between Tidepools surf and turf, Dondero’s Italian delicacies and Stevenson’s Library for scrumptious sushi, the culinary delights are the best Kauai has to offer. But, if you’re into Lu’au’s, they occur on Wednesday and Sunday evenings and are a total blast!

Check prices and book for Kauai Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa or if that’s not right for you check out these other Hotels on Kauai.

Sunset at Poipu

Sunset at Poipu

About the author:  Richard Atkins is a travel writer, photographer, playwright, actor, composer/pianist and can be reached at: seaofclouds@att.net

Photo Credits: Photos by Richard Atkins.

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Read about Things to do on Kauai

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenn
    June 4, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    I’m loving the vibe on Kauai. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while now. Seems less commercial than Maui.

  • Reply
    Kyla Jocson
    June 5, 2018 at 4:32 am

    The Wailua Falls looks so breathtaking! Oh how I would love to spend a vacation there. Thanks for sharing the pics 🙂

  • Reply
    kuldeep dogra
    June 6, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Wow what a stunning images. I liked all the pics that you shared. thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    yliac @ Travel Buzz
    June 10, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Hi Heather, Nice article its a beautiful island. If you make any travel vlogs you can also submit your video urls to https://travelbuzz.video/

  • Reply
    Joanne @ Travel Visa UK
    June 14, 2018 at 2:05 am

    Amazing pictures!! it looks like you had lots of fun!

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