Kauai

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in Kauai

‘Anini Beach

If you’re learning how to windsurf, this protected blue lagoon is the place to do it. The long reef also makes this the best snorkeling spot on Kauai, and shells abound for beachcombers.

HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches/anini_beach.php
Tags: beach | surfing | snorkeling | things to do | outdoors

Attend a luau

Kauai may not have much in the way of nightlife, but a night at a lu‘au is an evening well spent. Fire knife dancers and an energetic hula show will get you on your feet after filling up on kalua pig and poi.

Princeville Resort Lu‘au, 5520 Ka Haku Rd., HI, 808-826-9644, www.princevillehotelhawaii.com
Tags: family | things to do | culture | culinary

Bike the canyon

Hop on a cruiser bike and ride 12 miles down the awe-inspiring Waimea Canyon. Hot blueberry muffins and coffee prepare you for the early morning adventure.

Outfitters Kauai, Poipu Plaza; 2827 A Poipu Rd., HI, 808-742-9667, www.outfitterskauai.com
Tags: biking | editor pick | things to do | outdoors | adventure

Chocolate farm tour

See how the cacao orchard grows, and better yet, taste its delectable offerings. The tour ends with samples of the world’s rarest single-estate dark chocolate bars.

Steelgrass Farm, Wailua Homesteads, HI, 808-821-1857, www.steelgrass.org
Tags: family | trendy | things to do | tour | culinary

Helicopter tour

Soar above the magnificent coastline and tilt toward cascading waterfalls on a helicopter tour. The unique bird’s eye view is worth the price. Tours take you to Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale Crater, the wettest place on Earth.

Air Kauai Helicopters, 3651 Ahukini Rd., HI, 800-972-4666, www.airkauai.com
Tags: editor pick | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors | tour

Kalalau Trail

The less rigorous first 2-mile segment of the challenging Kalalau Trail deposits you at Hanakapi’ai Beach. Great for day hikers, and you still get breathtaking panoramic views of the Na Pali coastline.

Trailhead at Ke‘e Beach, HI, www.kalalautrail.com
Tags: hiking | things to do | outdoors | adventure

Kalapaki Beach

At the foot of the Kauai Marriott Resort by Nawiliwili Harbor, crescent-shaped Kalapaki is one of the safest swimming beaches. Its gentle wave action is also perfect for beginning surfers. In between sets, gaze up at the majestic Haupu Ridge.

HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches
Tags: beach | surfing | things to do | outdoors | diving

Ke‘e Beach

Snorkel with turtles and colorful reef fish on the right side of the lagoon or fish for ulua on the left where it opens out to sea. At the west end of the oft-filmed beach is the trailhead for Kalalau Trail.

HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches
Tags: beach | snorkeling | things to do | outdoors | wildlife

National Tropical Botanical Gardens

Get to know the flora and fauna at the country’s only tropical plant research facility. Walk through the living collections at the 259-acre McBryde Gardens and the 80-acre Allerton Gardens.

3530 Papalina Rd., HI, 808-332-7324, www.ntbg.org
Tags: things to do | outdoors | gardens | national park

Poipu Beach

There’s something for everyone here – on the left, a protected sandy-bottom pool for family fun; on the right, an open bay for snorkeling, swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing. Wander two miles east to isolated Maha‘ulepu Beach for quiet exploration.

HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches
Tags: beach | family | surfing | editor pick | things to do | outdoors | diving

Polihale Beach

Seventeen miles of golden sand make this west side state park Hawaii’s biggest beach and a good option for desolation seekers. A sacred heiau (ancient temple) is at the far end of the hot, dry beach where the cliffs meet the ocean.

HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches
Tags: beach | things to do | outdoors

Pure Kauai

Pure Kauai acts not only as a leasing agent for stunning residences (from condos to full estates) but also as a super-concierge service. It creates individualized itineraries and offers adventure trips and romance packages, priced according to the accommodations. Starting with airport pickup, the impressive options include meals cooked by a private chef, surfing and paddle-boarding lessons, spa treatments, horseback riding, zipline tours, and hula lessons. Almost all the guides and experts are full-time staff members, and all are handpicked by Jones from among the best local pros. The company recently expanded to offer the same gamut of services through Pure Maui. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

4270 Kilauea Rd., HI, 866-457-7873, www.purekauai.com
Tags: romance | sports and adventure | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | things to do | tour

Saddle up

A leisurely way to explore the island’s back-country, horseback trail rides follow a fern-lined stream past wild orchids and fragrant guava to a hidden waterfall.

Silver Falls Ranch, end of Kamo‘okea Rd., HI, 808-828-6718, www.silverfallsranch.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | tour | horseback riding

Secret Beach

A 10-minute hike from the parking area through an ironwood forest leads to a marvelous golden sand beach. While it’s not really a secret anymore, it is still secluded – so secluded that a lot of beachgoers opt to go clothes-free.

take unmarked dirt road off Kuhio Hwy., 4 miles west of Kilauea town, HI, www.kauaiexplorer.com/kauai_beaches
Tags: beach | things to do | outdoors | naturist

Spouting Horn

What happens when an ancient lava tube opens out to sea? The incoming waves spew water up to 50 feet high. Catch rainbows in the spray during the late afternoon.

Spouting Horn, off Poipu Rd., turn right onto Lawai Rd. and continue 1.2 miles, HI, www.hawaiiweb.com/kauai/sites_to_see/SpoutingHorn.htm
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors

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