Completely free things to do on Kauai. There’s something for everyone in this list.
|Guide Series: Free Things Hawaii
For most travelers, a vacation to Kauai, Hawaii is anything but cheap. From the plane tickets and rental car to the hotel and food, you’re right to worry that Kauai will easily empty your wallet. So let's go over some of the things that are completely free to see and do on Kauai.
See A Waterfall
If you're coming to Kauai then seeing a waterfall should be on your list. The beauty here is that seeing a waterfall is incredibly easy. Just head over to Wailua Falls in Lihue which is Kauai's drive up waterfall option as you can literally drive up and see it. This is the same waterfall you may have seen in the opening credits for the television show Fantasy Island. Ze plane! Ze plane! Another crowd favorite is Opaeka'a Falls in Kapaa.
It’s commonly called "The Grand Canyon Of The Pacific" and a must see for any visitor. Sure, it's not as big as its mainland cousin, but it's an incredibly unique, geological wonder that stretches 14 miles long by a mile wide and drops more than 3,600 feet. Don't worry, you don't have to do any real hiking, though you can hike trails if you want. Instead, come here just for the scenic lookout and amazing views. Find it at: Waimea Canyon
Watch Cliff Jumpers At Shipwreck Beach
Keoneloa Beach (Shipwreck's Beach) is a nice beach but the swimming is often too rough for most. Instead, come here and watch the cliff jumpers do their thing. I don't recommend trying it yourself (as being hurt or killed on vacation isn't fun) but it's plenty safe to watch others throw caution to the wind and take a serious leap of faith. Find it at: Keoneloa Beach (Shipwreck's Beach)
Collect Sea Glass
In the picture above you’re looking at a beach covered in sea glass, not sand! Sea glass, or beach glass, is simply glass that washes up on the beach. Much of it has been tumbling around the ocean for years or even decades and comes out very smooth (because we humans are lazy, messy creatures and much of our trash ends up in the ocean and why we have the disaster that is The Great Pacific Garbage Patch). Finding and collecting beach glass is a fun hobby for some and if you want to hit the mother lode then check out Glass Beach.
It's one of Kauai’s most photographed spots for good reason, it's neat to see! It's not the only blow hole you'll find in Hawaii but this one has a pretty neat legend behind it which you can read about on our Spouting Horn Park / Spouting Horn Blowhole page.
Got kids? Then don't miss Lydgate park and playground which is actually three different things all in one location in Kapaa. First, it has Lydgate Beach Park which is a great beach for kids since it’s fully protected from the open ocean. Second, it includes Lydgate Kamalani Park I which is a fun park with climbing equipment and swings and all of that fun stuff kids love. Third, you'll also find Lydgate Kamalani Park II here which is a really cool and very unique climbing structure / plaything with slides. It’s several stories tall and just an odd and fun thing that kids love.
Free Hula Show
A free hula show in Hawaii? It's true! Head over to Poipu Shopping Village in Koloa any Monday or Thursday at 4:30pm for a free hula show with live Hawaiian music. You can find another free hula show, performed by the students of Halau Hula o Leilani at the Coconut Marketplace on Wednesdays at 5:00pm and Saturdays at 1:00pm.
This is a botanical garden that is located at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation but open for anyone to enjoy. The property was a wedding gift to Hector and Alexandra Moir from Alexandra’s father. Land on a Hawaiian island is a pretty sweet wedding gift for sure and sure beats the toasters and blenders most get! Alexandra began the garden in the 1930's and it opened to the public in the 1950's. It's full of orchids, coconut trees, plumeria, succulents, water lilies, and even a koi pond. Find it at: Moir Gardens
Kauai Coffee Company
Love coffee or just like to see how stuff is made? Either way, the Kauai Coffee Company has you covered. Stop by their estate to learn all about how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed. They have a free, self-guided walking tour as well as an onsite museum and store where you can buy coffee (among other things). Hey, this is a free thing to do at least until you choose to buy their tasty coffee!
Rum TastingFree alcohol? Yup, Kauai has that too. If you're 21 years of age or older and want to learn all about the history of rum and how it's made then make a stop at the Koloa Rum Tasting Room & Company Store. Not only can you buy their various rums, but you can also taste a few free of charge. It’s also tasty stuff (coffee flavored rum anyhow?) and you'll likely walk away buying some which means spending money. But it was free up until that point at least! Tastings are done on every hour and half hour starting at 10:00am daily and run until 2:00pm to 7:30pm depending on the day. Learn more at Koloa Rum Tasting Room & Company Store which also links to their site with hours.
Snorkeling Anini Beach
It always feels like a cheap cop out to list a beach as a free thing to do but I have to list Anini Beach Park because it's incredibly unique and can be a great place to snorkel. It has the longest fringing reef in Hawaii which creates a lot of safer and calmer water compared to beaches that are more open to the ocean. It's also very long so there are plenty of places to spread out. In many areas, the water is also quite shallow (five feet and less) which makes it a good place for beginner snorkelers. Find it at: Anini Beach Park
Maniniholo Dry Cave
It’s a dry cave at the side of a road in Haena. Not the most exciting of activities for everyone, but if you've always wanted to explore a cave (spelunking or caving to you diehards) it's fun to see. Kids are more likely to enjoy exploring this than you are but if you're heading to Ha'ena State Park for Ke'e Beach Park already then check it out and snap some cool photos.
If you want to take a look at how the ancient Hawaiians used to farm their fish then checkout the Menehune Fishpond in Lihue. It’s interesting to see such a massive project like this since it would have been a major bit of engineering to create this pond without heavy machinery. With that in mind, did the Hawaiians really create it or are the Menehune responsible for its creation like the legend says? Find it at Menehune Fishpond
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