Known as the Garden Island, beautiful Kauai is the northernmost of the major Hawaiian Islands. The colorfully flamboyant foliage, magnificent scenery, and numerous attractions make Kauai a popular holiday destination. Enjoy countless opportunities for sunbathing on the beach, fun in the water, hiking, horseback riding, and other recreational activities. Book a stay at one of many Kauai vacation rentals today. Here are the top things to do on the island of Kauai during each season.
Visiting Kauai in the Summer
In summer, the air is clear and hot, and the water is warm, so it’s the perfect time for swimming and water sports. Your list of what to pack should include shorts, swimsuits, sandals, and sunglasses. Kauai has picturesque soft sand beaches all around the island, including Anini Beach Park to the north, Kealia Beach to the east, Poipu Beach Park to the south, and Kekaha Beach to the west. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn the iconic Hawaiian sport of surfing by enrolling in private or group classes at Hawaiian Surfing Adventures at Hanalei Bay or Poipu Beach Surf School. Both facilities offer instruction to students of all ages.
For a spectacular boating adventure, take the Napali Snorkel Sail with Holo Holo Charters. You sail up the lovely Napali Coast in a luxurious catamaran, passing high rocky cliffs, secluded beaches, and waterfalls. When you reach a suitable spot, the captain anchors the ship and supplies you with snorkeling gear so you can explore the underwater landscape and view the colorful marine life. The Wailua River on Kauai is a great place for a kayaking adventure. At Kauai Kayak, located at the Wailua River Marina, rent a kayak and strike out on your own, or join a guided tour to the gorgeous Sacred Falls waterfall. Another great summer activity is ziplining high over the emerald tropical foliage. Koloa Zipline Adventure on the south shore has eight long lines that fly through a lush former sugar plantation.
Visiting Kauai in the Fall
In fall, the weather on Kauai is still warm, but occasional showers and breezes temper the heat. The west side of the island receives less rain than the northeast. The summer crowds have diminished at popular attractions near Kauai vacation rentals. It’s a pleasant season for golf, and Kauai has some of the world’s best courses. For instance, the award-winning Poipu Bay Golf Course, set on a plateau between emerald mountains and the deep blue Pacific Ocean, offers 18 holes in a lovely location. The renowned Ocean Course at Hokuala lies at the edge of the ocean amidst a forest of guava and mango trees and culminates beside a beautiful freshwater lagoon.
The moderate weather also creates excellent cycling conditions. Rent a bicycle at Kauai Cycle at Kapaa on the east coast and explore the island on your own. Alternatively, join the Waimea Canyon Bike Downhill Tour. You ride up the canyon to an elevation of 3,600 feet in a van, and then enjoy an easy, relaxing cycling trip down past the cliffs and forests of this spectacular canyon. Fall is also a great time for scuba diving, and Seasport Divers in Koloa provides the equipment, certified instructors, and guided boat excursions so you can take full advantage of the superb locations and underwater wonders around Kauai.
Visiting Kauai in the Winter
In winter, the rains increase and the surf becomes rougher, but the season remains very popular with visitors, especially from mid-December through New Year’s Day. Bring along an umbrella and a light jacket. Winter is whale-watching season on Kauai, as humpback whales enter the warm Hawaiian waters to breed. Kauai Sea Tours out of Eleele on the south coast takes you out to observe whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life while you partake of fine cuisine along with your choice of wine, beer, mai tais, or soft drinks.
Winter is also an ideal time for exploring Kauai’s diverse historical and cultural sites. For example, the fascinating Kauai Museum focuses on Hawaiian history and the works of local artists, while the Kokee Museum in Kokee State Park highlights the natural history of the region. The Grove Farm Homestead Museum in Lihue is set on a historic sugar plantation amidst tropical gardens and lush orchards, and tours of the museum and grounds offer a look at this key Hawaiian industry. For a uniquely Hawaiian experience, attend a luau on Kauai. The Smith Family Garden Luau in Kapaa offers an extravagant feast along with Polynesian pageantry in an amphitheater beside a lagoon.
Visiting Kauai in the Spring
Spring marks the beginning of the dry season on Kauai. The rains and winds have passed, the weather is perfect, and the winter holiday crowds have dissipated. It’s a great time to visit the parks and gardens around the island. Allerton Garden on the south shore, a member of the network of National Tropical Botanical Gardens, is a masterpiece of architectural landscaping. McBryde Garden in Koloa focuses on the preservation of rare plant species.
Take advantage of the clear weather and lack of crowds to visit the numerous film locations around Kauai. The island has been the backdrop for numerous famous movies, including Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong, and George of the Jungle. The Hawaii Movie Tour from Roberts Hawaii takes you to many of these locations. For an unforgettable horseback ride, head for Silver Falls Ranch in Kilauea for an equestrian experience in the midst of tropical forests, craggy mountains, and gorgeous waterfalls. Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers a unique and unforgettable mountain tubing tour that takes you through the tunnels and flumes of the irrigation system of the historic Lihue Plantation. Spring is also the perfect time for a spectacular overview of the island with Safari Helicopters.
What’s The Best Time to Visit Kauai?
Each season has its singular attractions on Kauai. The hot dry weather of summer invites water fun, the slightly tempered fall weather is perfect for golfing and cycling, and the winter season invites whale-watching and cultural excursions. However, for its ideal temperatures, clear skies, lack of crowds, and abundance of absorbing activities, spring is the best time to visit Kauai.
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