19 Jul 2023
Welcome to Kauai, where adventure and natural beauty meet to create an extraordinary vacation experience. Kauai is a treasure trove of unique activities that promise to delight and captivate every traveler. From exploring the dramatic Napali Coast to immersing yourself in the island's vibrant culture, Kauai offers a myriad of one-of-a-kind experiences that will leave you in awe. Add these unique Kauai activities to your list of things to do during your vacation for an unforgettable getaway.
7 Best Hidden Gem Activities & Attractions to Try in Kauai
1. Go Shopping
Whether you're looking for a special gift or souvenir to take home, there are plenty of places to shop. Some of the most notable are Old Koloa Town and The Shops at Kukui'ula. Old Koloa Town is the original plantation-era shopping village in the heart of Historic Koloa Town. You'll find a variety of unique boutiques, art galleries, and dining options to fill your afternoon.
The Shops at Kukui'ula on the South Shore of Kauai is the island's premier shopping destination. Find the perfect dress for dinner at Mahina, a contemporary women's boutique, or pick up all your surfing essentials at Poipu Surf. The choices are endless! You'll also find many dining options, including Eating House 1849 by award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi, Merriman's, and Table at Poipu. On Wednesdays, stop by the Kauai Culinary Market featuring plantation foods brought to Kaua‘i during the sugar plantation days from diverse cultures and continue to be enjoyed by residents and visitors today.
2. Rum Tastings at Koloa Rum Company
Koloa Rum Company has been serving the "Spirit of Aloha" since 2009. Crafted from pure cane sugar and rainwater from Mount Waiʻaleʻale, Koloa Rum Company was the first distillery on the island of Kauai and continues to bring people together by creating memories and sharing The Spirit of Aloha. Try out some of Koloa Rum Company's products when you stop by! Rum tastings are every hour and must be booked online.
Sip on a classic Mai Tai, Pineapple Passion Cocktail, Rum Punch Cocktail, and more. And if you're looking to take some back to your Kauai vacation rental, the Company Store offers a full range of their single-batch, premium Hawaiian rums, ready-to-drink cocktails, as well as tempting rum cakes, rum fudge sauce, Hawaiian Kukui Mai Tai Mix, and souvenirs.
3. Go Ziplining with Koloa Zipline
Ziplining in Kauai is an exhilarating adventure that allows you to soar through the island's lush landscape. One of the most popular ziplining tours in Kauai is with Koloa Zipline. Rated as the #1 zipline tour on TripAdvisor, Koloa Zipline offers the longest ziplining tour in Kauai, including three of the longest individual ziplines on the island! The tour takes thrill-seekers on an adventure of a lifetime through the lush Kauai jungle. You'll even see Hoary Head Mountain Range, the Waita Reservoir, and the Koloa Sugar Mill from above! This is one of the best ways to explore the Garden Isle from a different perspective.
4. Explore the Na Pali Coast
The Na Pali Coast is known for its dramatic coastline and breathtaking scenery. A boat tour is one of the best ways to experience the Na Pali Coast. Cruise at sunset for a romantic sunset sail, snorkel the blue waters of the coast and admire the wonderful sea life, during whale watching season, charter a boat and catch a glimpse of one of the ocean's most powerful creatures.
5. Take a Cooking Class at Monkeypod Jam
Dive into the culinary world and experience Kauai through your tastebuds with Monkeypod Jam cooking classes. If you're interested in learning about local cuisine, the Kauai Local Favorites cooking class was made just for you. This class focuses on the historical and cultural significance of 4 much-loved dishes at the local Kauai corner stores - Kauai Style Musubi (Vegetarian Option), Somen Salad (Pescatarian/Vegetarian), Ahi Poke Bowls (Pescatarian), and Mochi (Vegetarian).
Other classes include the Farm Tour Cooking Class, where guests will enjoy a private tour of one of the South Shore’s only regenerative farms with Monkeypod Jam founder Aletha Thomas and the Farmers Market Cooking Class, where you can tour one of Kauai’s favorite farmers' markets and then create a memorable, multi-course, seasonal dinner.
6. Embark on a Movie Tour
Immerse yourself in the magic of Hollywood by taking a movie tour in Kauai, where the stunning natural landscapes have served as the backdrop for numerous iconic films including Jurassic Park, Blue Hawaii, Lilo and Stitch, and more! If you want to take a self-guided tour, Go Hawaii has a great list of films and their filming locations for you to create your own itinerary. And if you're a Jurassic Park fanatic, these are the 5 Must-See Filming Locations in Kauai that you need to visit.
Walk in the footsteps of your favorite actors and discover the movie magic that has made Kauai a beloved destination for film enthusiasts.
7. Relax on the Beaches of the South Shore of Kauai
And, of course, no vacation to Kauai is complete without a day on the beach. The South Shore of Kauai has many family-friendly beaches, including Keiki Cove, Brennecke Beach, and Poipu Beach. Bask under the Hawaiian sun, swim in the mesmerizing blue waters, and build sandcastles in the sand. Whatever you choose, we can't think of a better way to enjoy your getaway than a beach day with your loved ones. Be sure to pack your reef-safe sunscreen, towels, and beach chairs!