Kauai Things to Do | Top Kauai Activities for Families
Kauai is Hawaii’s oldest inhabited island, and despite its small size, was the only island not conquered by Kamehameha the Great when he unified Hawaii. Often called “the Garden Isle” of Hawaii, Kauai is also distinctly different topographically from other Hawaiian islands.
An outdoor adventure paradise, much of Kauai today is still accessible only by sea or air. This makes scenic locations completely unspoilt and allows tourists to feel like real 18th Century explorers when visiting different parts of the island.
Things to do in Kauai for Families with Children
Families who love adventure will love Kauai. The island’s biggest attraction, the Nā Pali Coast, encompasses 17-miles of steep sea cliffs hanging above slithers of unspoilt white sand beaches.
Accessible on foot by hiking, the beauty of the Nā Pali Coast is unparalleled anywhere else in Hawaii. However, to really get the best views, family groups can also take charted flights along the iconic coastline.
Kauai Things to Do – Visit Polihale State Park
Just before the start of the Nā Pali Coast, Polihale State Park also makes for scenic family-friendly excursions.
Famed for its 17-miles of shoreline, Polihale State Park allows families to feel like true castaways. This is thanks to the fact that visitors often have beaches and beauty spots entirely to themselves. Many visitors also remark on spectacular sunsets which can be viewed from Polihale State Park. As a result, many families choose to picnic and camp in the area. However, this will require a permit.
Kauai Activities for Watersports Lovers – Snorkel at Tunnels Beach
Snorkeling and swimming in areas like Polihale State Park is possible. However, due to the remoteness of the area, there are no lifeguards stationed along the shoreline. Thankfully, Kauai beaches like Tunnels Beach are watched over by local lifeguards. Even better, snorkeling offshore around Tunnels Beach, can bring even novice snorkelers up close and personal with beautiful corals, sea turtles, and colored Pacific Ocean reef fish.
Trek the Waimea Canyon
Did you know that Hawaii is home to its very own Pacific Grand Canyon?
10 miles long and 3,600ft deep, the Waimea Canyon was originally carved out by the ebb and flow of Kauai’s beautiful Waimea River. Here, family visitors can take in spectacular scenery similar to that of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. However, many consider the Waimea Canyon more beautiful. Specifically, thanks to several lush tropical waterfall backdrops, and even the occasional water rainbow.
Easily accessible by families, the Waimea Canyon features several beautiful lookout posts and is free to visit year-round.
Visit Kauai’s Coconut East Coast
The East side of Kauai is often underrated from a scenic perspective. However, the former coconut plantation areas of Kauai offer just as many family-friendly activity pursuits. These include kayaking down the Wailua River, visiting lava rock ocean pools, and hiking to local sacred sights like Poliahu Heiau.
There is no shortage of family-friendly things to do in Kauai. However, it should be remembered that not all kinds of activities are suitable for young children. At the Nā Pali Coast, for example, only expert hikers should attempt the 17-mile long Kalalau Trail in full.
It is also worth noting that ocean currents around Kauai, can be noticeably stronger than on other Hawaii islands. This being the case, try to only take to the water where lifeguards are available.