Five things to do in Kauai (for the particularly lazy)
If lying comatose on a lanai while sipping your favorite cocktail is generally your thing, then this post is for you.
The suggestions stay clear of hiking, kayaking, surfing, diving, snorkeling, standup paddling, etc. (which are all highly recommended activities to do in Kauai). They do involve getting off your behind, and some walking and driving…but offer disproportional pleasure vis-a-vis the pain.
Here’s my list:
Free: Drive up to the Koke’e State Park
I say the Koke’e State Park, because you have to drive past the Waimea Canyon to get there.
No matter, which part of the island you are staying in, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ is totally worth the drive. Each of the multiple lookout-points along the way offer a different perspective of the stunning landscape – the chiseled brown and orange rocks, the verdant greenery and the snaking streams far below.
Don’t end your journey there though… head on up to the lush landscape of the Koke’e State Park and to one of the wettest spots on earth, for spectacular vistas of Kalalau Valley. I could talk about the various hiking trails, but then I wouldn’t be catering to my audience.
Budget: Dig into a fresh fruit frosty at Banana Joe’s
Take a break from shave ice and try out the banana or pineapple frosties (one helping is enough for two) from Banana Joe’s fruit stand, located in north shore near the town of Kilauea. Who needs ice cream when you can have this cold and creamy yummilicious dessert made with just frozen fruits and fruit juices. And while you’re at it, you could pick up some fresh local produce and exotic fruits too.
Indulgence: Enjoy a sunset sail with dolphins and whales along Na Pali Coast
The Napali Coast is often ranked as the number one thing to do in Hawaii. And for good reason. The rugged cliffs, secluded beaches and cascading waterfalls on the northwest of Kauai are a magnificent sight to behold, and have been featured in many Hollywood movies. The most common way to access them is via boat tours (the more adventurous go for hiking or guided kayak tours). Depending on the season, you’ll likely also get to see dolphins and humpback whales as you sail down the coast. A sunset cruise includes dinner, a glass of champagne and unlimited mai tais (which actually contain alcohol!)… making it a pretty good deal (at ~$100+pp).
Luxury: Participate in the champagne sabering ritual at St. Regis, Princeville
Spend the day in beach bliss at the scenic Hanalei Beach Park, and then head on over to the St. Regis, located in the perfectly manicured Princeville resort area. The “ceremony”, which is a St. Regis signature tradition, involves a dramatic uncorking of a bottle of bubbly using a saber, and is open to all guests. No free drinks unfortunately, but there is a specially priced champagne ritual menu on offer… to be enjoyed along with a magical Hanalei Bay sunset. Arrive early to get a table with a view.
Splurge: Witness Kauai by air
If driving involves too much effort or spending four hours on the sea is not your thing… or just because you can… then splurge on a helicopter tour, Jurassic Park style.
Since much of Kuaui is uninhabited and inaccessible by car, the aerial route presents a fantastic (though somewhat expensive at ~$200+pp for one hour) way to witness its several wonders. But, as even people who are afraid of flying have vouched – this one is a must-do.
P.S. Do your research and pick sailing and helicopter tour operators with a good safety record and positive traveler reviews.