The Sights to See in Kauai Hawaii in One Day

The Sights to See in Kauai Hawaii in One Day

What are the sights to see on the Hawaiian island of Kauai? What can you see in one day?

Lots! The spectacular Waimea Canyon, the Spouting Horn, Opaekaa Falls, the Wailua River and the Fern Grotto.

Kauai was the fourth port of call on the Hawaiian and French Polynesian cruise. We docked in the town of Nawiliwili. Which is very pretty with bars, restaurants, hotels and a beach very close to the cruise terminal.  I wanted to see more than the beach, so I went on an all-day tour.

During the day we had sun and rain and when it rained it poured, so I recommend bringing an umbrella!

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is called the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ and it is spectacular to see. It does take just under two hours to arrive from Nawiliwili, but once you get there it is worth it and the drive is scenic.

The lookout viewpoint is 3400 feet above the canyons floor and the view is a stunning green over an earthy red tones of the volcano slopes. You realise how small you are compared to these giant mountains!


Spouting Horn

The Spouting Horn is a blow-hole that water sprays out of. It is fun to watch the tide come in and the water spurting water up high!

After the water excitement we headed for a delicious traditional Hawaiian lunch of fish, chicken, pork, rice and salad. Followed by pineapple and coconut cake.

Opaekaa Falls

On the way to the Wailua River we stopped to see the Opaekaa Falls, a 40-foot waterfall coming from the Makaleha Mountains.


Wailua River and Fern Grotto

The last part of the tour was a riverboat ride up the Wailua River to get to the beautiful Fern Grotto. On the riverboat we were entertained with live traditional Hawaiian singing and hula dancing.

To get to the Fern Grotto you have to walk through tropical forest, it has paths so it is an easy walk. The Fern Grotto was a beautiful cave with fern leaves and a water fall and was very tropical. The singers from the river boat sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song there for all you romantics!

What to Wear

It is always warm in Kauai so shorts and t-shirt and comfortable walking shoes as there is quite a bit of walking at the Canyon and Fern Grotto. Also, sunglasses, a hat, umbrella and a light weight rain jacket and a small backpack.

Essential Info

  • Weather: Year-round 18*C – 29*C
  • Language: English and Hawaiian
  • Currency: US Dollars
  • Recommendations: Wear sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella for the rain showers.
  • Bring your camera or smart phone and portable phone charger and selfie stick.
  • Drink lots of water, so bring your own water bottle to refill.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about what to see in Kauai in Hawaii, please share on Facebook and Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Have you been to Kauai? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

The Sights to See in Kauai Hawaii in One Day


  1. Cherene Saradar
    November 27, 2017 / 5:43 pm

    You are making me want to jump on a plane to Hawaii! Those year round temps are tempting! What is that little umbrella capsule thing???

    • November 27, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      I’m missing Hawaii! It is an ultra mini umbrella
      and anti UV, so perfect for Hawaii.

  2. December 7, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Iโ€™ve never been to Hawaรฏ but I love cruising. Which which cruise company did you take? Beautiful picture too ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Cruising to Hawaii is so relaxing! I went with Princess.

  3. December 7, 2017 / 7:16 am

    Very cool post! The diversity of the nature of the island is incredible ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. December 7, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    This place is absolute incredible and your post and pics make me to put this destination on my top list! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. December 7, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Hawaii is such stunning destination. There is so much to do there! If I ever go there, I hope I have more than just one day to explore, your photos make want to move there for good! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy travels,

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you! You can do a lot in one day, but luckily I have been a few times!

  6. December 7, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    Kauai is so beautiful. I went there almost 20 years ago, but never made it to Waimea Canyon. Your photos make me want to go back!

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Waimea Canyon was amazing and I highly recommend going to see it.

  7. December 7, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    Thank you for this! I am planning a Hawaii trip and this is the perfect guide to Kauai. I love the places and photos you included. Saving for later ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. December 7, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Wow what an amazing place to visit! Incredible that it can all be done in a day. I love beautiful waterfalls, and this one is no exception! I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii and this makes me want to go and explore even more. Definitely keeping this in mind for a trip! Thanks for sharing your great tips and beautiful photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you! I hope you get to go soon and experience for yourself.

  9. December 8, 2017 / 7:06 am

    Who knew you could fit so much in in one day? Those waterfalls look spectacular – I think thatโ€™s where Iโ€™d head first. Hawaii has been on my list for too long, I need to get there soon!

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:29 pm

      You can do a lot and this is why I love going on tours as you fit so much more in!

  10. vdaltonbanks
    December 8, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Kauai looks incredible! I would love to go to Hawaii one day. Waimea looks so stunning. That would definitely be where I started my day!

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:29 pm

      I highly recommend going to Waimea Canyon as it is spectacular!

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