Aerial shot of turquoise water, beach and green mountains

Things to do in kauai

Explore the island’s natural beauty, breathtaking sights and annual events

Few places on earth are blessed with as much unspoiled natural beauty as Kauai – home to stunning beaches, majestic mountains, and cascading waterfalls. Tucked along the island’s gorgeous western shore, Waimea Plantation Cottages offers a peaceful home base from which to explore all that the Garden Isle has to offer.

Check out Waimea Canyon, one of Kauai’s most iconic natural landmarks, or tour the Kauai Coffee Estate.

Cruise along the water or take a helicopter trip to see the Na Pali cliffs. Interested in a little retail therapy? The Shops at Kukui'ula are just a short drive away. A full calendar of events, including farmers markets, athletic competitions, festivals and cultural celebrations, ensures you’ll never be bored.

If you’d like additional advice on things to do, see and experience in Kauai, please don’t hesitate to ask us. 

Attractions

Dolphin swimming next to boat

Kauai Activity Desk

Distance from Hotel: in our lobby

We’ve curated our top choices to Catch the Best of Kaua’i with companies we know and trust to provide an excellent experience!

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park

Distance from Hotel: 7.8 miles

The "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" features plenty of scenic lookout points via Koke'e Road; stop and gaze at the red cliffs and verdant vegetation.

Swinging bridge over water

Swinging Bridge, Hanapepe

Distance from Hotel: 7 Miles

First built over 100 years ago (and rebuilt in the 90s), the Swinging Bridge is suspended over the pipe suppling water to Hanapepe Town.

Coffee mugs

Kauai Coffee

Distance from Hotel: 9 Miles

Tour the plantation and sip a cup of perfectly brewed Kauai coffee.

Kōkeʻe Museum

Distance from Hotel: 15 miles

On the way to Waimea Canyon is a small charming museum showcasing the natural and cultural history of Koke’e State Park and Waimea Canyon.

Pier and sun setting over ocean

Hanalei Bay

Distance from Hotel: 55 Miles

The largest bay on the North Shore, Hanalei Bay features almost two miles of beach, flanked by mountains.

Surfboard in sand next to ocean

Lihue Town & Kalapaki Beach

Distance from Hotel: 24 Miles

There are plenty of shopping and dining possibilities in Lihue Town; Kalapaki Beach offers opportunities to surf, boogie board and paddle board. 

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Distance from Hotel: 28 Miles

Located at the south end of the Wailua River, Wailua Falls is a stunning 80-foot waterfall that divides into two streams.

Clothes hanging at store

The Shops at Kukui'ula

Distance from Hotel: 17 Miles

Shop, dine and explore the art galleries at the island's foremost retail destination. Be sure to visit the weekly culinary market, too!

Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park in Waimea on the Island of Kauai

Fort Elizabeth

Distance from Hotel: 3 Miles

Built in 1817 by the Russian-American Company to establish a trading and fueling station.

Kekaha Beach, located on the far west side of Kauai

Kekaha Beach

Distance from Hotel: 4 Miles

Long, wide sandy beach known for beachcombing, fishing, surfing & sunsets, The beach has a picnic area and has lifeguards on duty. 

Salt Pong beach on Kauai’s Western shore

Salt Pond Beach

Distance from Hotel: 7 miles

Salt Pond Beach Park is a great beach to snorkel with fairly calm waters in a semi protected bay off the ocean. This beach is a perfect place to bring the family and an excellent location for small children to play.

Events

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Annual Robbie Burns Supper

Located right here at Waimea Plantation Cottages, this event celebrates the birthday of Robert Burns, the acclaimed Scottish poet.

Kilohana Long-Distance Canoe Race

Catch a glimpse of traditional Outrigger canoes going head to head in this annual race, which is part of the Waimea Town Celebration.

Kauai Bon Dance Festival

One of the most anticipated events of the summer, Kauai Bon Dance occurs over nine weeks at different locations throughout the island.

Kauai Orchid and Art Festival

Tropical orchids take center stage at this Festival, which is held every March and features great music, food, a silent auction and even painting workshops.

Fresh vegetables, carrots and beets at farmer's market

Hale Puna Farmers Market

This Market takes place under the old monkeypod tree at the historic Hale Puna House (formerly known as the Gulick-Rowell House) near the Kauaʻi Veterans Memorial Hospital. Street parking available.

Kauai Chocolate & Coffee Festival

Celebrate chocolate and coffee at this unforgettable festival! From samples to workshops, displays and entertainment, there's plenty here to satisfy your cravings.

Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run/Walk

Enjoy the beauty of Kauai's South Shore as you race one of four different courses, geared toward different skill and experience levels.

Annual Kauai Hospice Concert in the Sky

Commemorate July 4th at Lihue’s Vidinha Stadium with family fun, great food, live entertainment and fireworks.

Eo E Emalani I Alakai Festival

Paying homage to Queen Emma's life and accomplishments, this event features Hawaiian music, dancing and chants.

King Kamehameha Celebration Hoolaulea

The King Kamehameha Celebration Hoolaulea takes place in June, and is part of a week-long celebration of Hawaii's first ruler.

Aerial shot of rainbow over mountains and ocean in background

Heiva I Kauai

2021-07-31 00:00:00 - 2021-08-01 00:00:00 : 10:00am - 5:00pm

This annual event provides a venue for performers of all ages to present talent, skill and cultural knowledge to an audience of more than 1,000 attendees daily.

Legs of runners during race

Kauai Marathon

2021-09-05 00:00:00 : 6:00am - 2:00pm

The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon are among the most beautiful destination races in the world, and take place every September.

People at lookout over cliff and valley

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