Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer


a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

Kauai is full of amazing views and so much to see. If you’re visiting soon, you may be wondering what is the best way to see the great outdoors of Kauai. In this article, we will show you a few different options that are great for exploring the Garden Islands’ wild side. Read on to learn how to explore!

Kauai Has A Lot To See

The island of Kauai is full of interesting plants, animals, and geography. It’s home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world and has drawn researchers globally to learn more about this island. If you’re interested in learning more, read up on our guide to Kauai’s exotic plant life, or just learn about what makes Kauai so special in the first place.

While this post focuses on the best way to explore Kauai’s outdoors, we also have a good guide on the best outdoor activities that don’t require as much adventuring. Get out there and enjoy Kauai!

Rent a Four-Wheel-Drive Vehicle

When you rent a normal car, you have to stick to paved roads and stay cautious during your travels. By renting a truck or car with a 4-wheel-drive, your options open up a lot!

It allows you and your friends to go explore deeper into the outdoors, and take some adventurous hikes! Some hikes require a few miles of walking before you get to the good stuff – with a sturdy vehicle you can cut out some of the boring miles and get right to the good stuff.

Remember to do your research and rent from a location that allows you to go off of paved roads. Even if you rented a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, the rental contract may say that certain areas and activities are not allowed. Make sure you know the details before getting yourself into trouble!

As always, stay safe while driving and use caution. Just because you have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle does not mean you can get through anything. There are still plenty of places that are only accessible with dedicated off-road vehicles, and a traditional truck or car will most likely get stuck on those trails. Ask around and get quality information on the area before heading out.

Go Off-Roading With Real ATVs!

While we did mention renting a sturdier car to get the most out of the islands outdoors, there’s no better way to really get out into the wild than renting a real off-roading vehicle.

When renting an actual ATV, you can explore places that no other vehicles on the island can – and you can have a blast while doing it! ATVs were made to get muddy and take a beating, unlike the car you rented. These vehicles are equipped to handle whatever Kauai’s terrain can throw at you, and you are guaranteed to have a blast while doing it.

If you go off-roading with Kauai ATV, you get to explore some of the exciting film locations of Jurassic Park and other famous movies. We have some of the best off-roading vehicles that are available and are here to make sure you can explore Kauai to the fullest. Visit our tours page to book your trip or learn more about this adventurous opportunity!

Go For A Hike

There’s a reason Kauai is known as the best Hawaiian island for nature lovers. This island is home to some of the best-hiking destinations in Hawaii and you will be blown away by all of the options available to you. From an 11-mile hike in/hike out, to a 2-mile round trip, there’s a hiking trail for just about everyone!

To start, Kauai is incredibly diverse and the sides of the island have a ton of differences. The best way to plan your hikes is to first learn the differences between Kauai’s Northside vs. Southside. This helps you get a better understanding of the island and what parts of it sound the most appealing to you.

Some of our favorite hiking trails are:

  • The famed Kalalau Trail sits on the Na Pali Coast. A permit is required to go beyond Hanakapiai Beach but is well worth trying to get the permit if you can do the mileage.
  • The Canyon Trail is a great way to see the Waimea Canyons. These vast valleys are breathtaking and offer some of the best views of Kauai’s Canyons.
  • Pihea & Alakai Swamp Trail takes you through some interesting terrain and ecosystems. It’s best to avoid this trail during heavy rains!
  • The Nualolo Trail gives good views of the Na Pali Coast and gives a good perspective on its true size. It’s a long hike that requires you to be in good shape, so pack lots of water! You’ll be in the sun for the majority of the trail.

Helicopter & Boat Tours

While these activities are on the pricier side, they offer a view of the islands that is impossible to get with your own two feet or a car. If you can afford to spend the extra money, we do recommend at least doing one of these activities.

A boat tour will take you along the Na Pali Coast or snorkeling off-shore, and a helicopter tour can take you through Kauai’s canyons and valleys. Overall, both are special ways to see what the islands have to offer.

Explore Kauai and Join Us at Kauai ATV!

Now that you know some of the best ways to get out and explore the Garden Isle, pack your bags and have fun! Kauai has so much to offer and its natural beauty is one of the best things about it. Skip a day on the beach and head into the forest!

If you’re interested in an ATV/off-roading tour – reach out to Kauai ATV! We have the best equipment and the best trails for you to explore. Feel free to contact our staff with any questions or concerns about your trip to Kauai, and we look forward to seeing you! Thank you for reading!

  • Posted in: