I’ve spent the last few days in Kauai with my husband’s family, basking under the sun, enjoying the beaches, snorkeling, and hiking parts of the Napali Coast. Here are a few family friendly activities and spots to visit
Snorkeling at Poipu Beach
We’ve come across an assortment of fish, all surprisingly large at Poipu Beach. There’s a shallow, sandy area protected by the rocks that’s a great entry point where you can avoid the sharp coral. On multiple days, we saw angel fish, parrot fish, butterfly fishes, wrasses, and a sea turtle. If you don’t have gear, walk a few minutes over to Nukumoi Surf Shop.
Hike to Hanakāpī‘Ai Beach
This is a 4 mile round trip hike to one of our favorite beaches in Kauai so far. Keep in mind, if you’d like to drive to the trailhead, be sure to reserve a parking spot a month in advance or purchase shuttle tickets, which run $15/person. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes, with the last pickup at 5pm. The hike can be slippery and muddy in the rain, but the beach is worth it. This is considered one of the most dangerous beaches in Hawaii so leave your snorkeling gear behind.
Sunset & stargazing on the beach
One of the best things about being in Hawaii is the accessibility of the beaches. We stayed within walking distance to Poipu Beach and came to watch the sunset a number of times. And if you stay out long enough, you can see the stars as well.
Load up at the fruit stands
Since we’ve been here, our biggest group budget by far has been allocated to the local fruit stands. We’ve even come to know one of the owners by name. We’ve found some of the sweetest longan, lychee, mango, dragonfruit, pineapple, rambutan, and bananas here. Our favorite spot is Koloa Fruit Stand. Head back and make fruit smoothies!
Kayaking & hike to the wailUa river waterfall
We booked tandem kayaks at Kayak Kauai as we preferred to go without a tour guide. The trade-off is that you’ll need to strap on kayaks to your car roof to transport across the river. The crew will provide the gear and help you the load, but the unloading will be up to you. We had two sedans and were fine. We kayaked for a little over an hour before we beached our kayaks and hiked in to the falls. Despite being a secret waterfall, there were several people along the trail. Bring hiking sandals to trek through the mud and river crossings!
The best shaved ice can be found at Wailua Shaved Ice. I loved “Da Mango One”, made with mango juice and fresh fruit. They also had Triple Coconut and Honey Guava. All are made with local fruits. This is a great stop after kayaking!
RoaDtrip to waimea canyon
Considered by many to be the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon offers scenic views regardless of the weather. There are several scenic stops along the way, which makes for a leisurely rest day between all the active days. Everywhere we’ve gone on Kauai, we’ve always run into chickens. This one kept me company at the view point.
Until we visit again, farewell Kauai - for now.