top things to do in lihue hawaii tourism travel tips

10 Things to do in Lihue, Hawaii

Let us assist you with finding the top things to do in Lihue, Hawaii. We will list plenty of vacation ideas and tourist tips to check off your bucket list. Featuring a vast variety of landscapes and natural attractions, the island of Kauai is an exotic escape for travelers. Lihue itself is the second-largest town on the Hawaiian island and home to numerous historical spots and natural wonders. Whether touring the area by foot or by air, let the possibilities wash over you as you explore this tropical region. When you click on an affiliate link below and buy something, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. To assist with your exploration while in The Garden Island, here are the best things to do in Lihue, Hawaii.


10. Traditional Luau with Dinner and Champagne Reception

A show not to be missed, one of the most festive experiences to be had with a visit to the Hawaiian Islands is a traditional luau. It starts off our incredible list of the top things to do in Lihue. Luau Kalamaku will present to you a Hawaiian feast featuring live music and vibrant cultural performances. The cast will take the stage to tell the amazing story of their legendary voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti along with one of the longest sea roads of Polynesia. Receive admission to a champagne reception and a Lei greeting upon arrival, along with premium reserved luau seating for a 4-course dinner of local specialties at the Plantation house by Gaylords. Once there, you will have the opportunity to visit the galleries and boutiques of the property. Afterward, join in on a torchlit walk to the pavilion and your reserved table. Next, feast on a unique menu featuring fish, meats and produce. Included will be local fruits and vegetables from Kilohana Plantation’s 60-acre orchard and agricultural park. While you’re enjoying your meal, a captivating performance will start featuring hula and fire dancers, along with a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Bedazzled as you observe their ceremonial dances, live ritualistic music, fire poi balls and fire knife dancing.

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9. Samoan FireKnife Experience

Looking to learn something new while you’re away to impress all your friends and family at home? Through Legacy Entertainment Productions, you’ll get to learn all the tips and tricks with a Samoan FireKnife class. Lasting about an hour and a half, guests will get to first learn the history and art of Fireknife Dancing, as well as learn all the basic moves and then see a full demonstration. With over ten years of experience, your professional teacher will show you all the in’s and out’s in this educational workshop, first without fire. Once you are feeling confident enough, you will have the opportunity to showcase your newly acquired skills with a real Fireknife. You can even make a video to show off on your social media twirling the FireKnife around. Making it to our look at the best things to do in Lihue, this authentic cultural experience is sure to be enjoyed and not to be missed out on.

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8. Kauai Movie Adventure

Movie buffs and nature lovers can combine into one with a very unique journey from Polynesian Adventure as you will get a backstage pass to where Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed. An ideal journey for young or old, families or groups of friends, this expedition will showcase Kauai’s most stunning locales and scenic locations. Round-trip hotel transportation will be included from most Kauai locations, as well as expert and live narration from your tour guide and driver. Not only will you get to see the famous locations firsthand, but you will even view video clips of those notable films. You can also enjoy a complimentary lunch at Tahiti Nui in Hanalei (where George Clooney filmed The Descendants.) Tour highlights include: Ahukini Landing (Pagan Love Song and Donovan’s Reef were filmed), Lydgate Beach (Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii,) Opaekaa Falls (Wackiest Ship in the Army and Blue Hawaii filmed here,) Kilauea Point Lighthouse Overlook (famously seen in the flick Lilo and Stitch,) and Kapa’a Town (scenes from Jurassic Park where filmed.) Finally, a stop to Hanalei and the Hanalei Pier which is a charming little town and home to Puff the Magic Dragon and location shots in the movie South Pacific.

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7. Kauai’s South and East – Sightseeing Tour

Kauai Soul Travel will take you for an unforgettable trip off the beaten path to see iconic landmarks and scenic lookouts along the Southern and Eastern coast of Kauai. This 6-hour history and nature lover tour included travel in an air-conditioned vehicle, along with bottled water and a lunch. Start in Wailua and pay a visit to Nounou Mountain (aka the Sleeping Giant) where they will share the legend behind the mountain. Next, stop by Wailua River State Park which is a sacred area, then view two ancient Hawaiian temples of worship, ‘Opaeka’a Falls and Wailua River (the largest river in the state.) Fans of the 70s hit tv-show “Fantasy island” can view the Wailua Falls close-up. After that, drive through the famous Maluhia Road Tree Tunnel as you make your way to Spouting Horn where water produces a plume of spray. Afterward, pay a visit to Koloa for lunch where you will find an abundant number of food trucks with local ingredients to choose from. Later on, make a stop at a wildlife reserve in Lihue which is home to Menehune Fish Pond, where many Hollywood movies have filmed. Finally, you’ll end up at Kela’s Glass Gallery, which sells original works of glasswork from a variety of local artists.

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6. Paddle Kauai Jungle Streams and Hike

There’s no better way to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Hawaii than with an outdoor excursion from Outfitters Kauai. Not only will you get to kayak through Hawaii’s tropical river, but you can enjoy some hiking along the way, in addition to some zip-lining and swimming. You will be outfitted with the best equipment available, including padded high-back backrests and quality paddles. It all starts as you will need to walk at least two miles of rugged trail and you should be prepared for sudden showers and muddy trail conditions. En route, you will encounter some wild animals in the rainforest along with stunning scenery. Next, take a seat in a two-person kayak as you wind through Wailua River. Paddle through the clear waters and navigate through black and red mangroves. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the ins and outs along the way, along with some fun facts about Wailua Valley State Wayside Park, including its unique botanical plant life and its ancient cultures. A dry bag and day back will be included, as well as lunch, snacks and beverages. Cap it all off as you continue another mile on foot to a magnificent 100-foot-tall waterfall.

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5. PowerLine Zipline

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Gain a new perspective of Hawaii from new heights by way of the skies on a zip line adventure from Outfitters Kauai. Glide gracefully side-by-side with a buddy or family member as you race each other on each line. Averaging about 2.5 hours, the both of you will fly down four zip lines equalling almost two miles of spectacular scenery. The longest in the Aloha State, your adrenaline will get pumping as you will reach speeds up to 50mph at times. Soar like a bird as you experience an unrivaled frenzy gliding skin deep across the lush jungle vegetation. All safety gear and helmets will be included, as well as bottled water and cookies. Feel the power as you leap from the launch tower and race over a 3000-acre private working cattle on three zip lines which get progressively longer. The exhilaration only ramps up more as you switch to a Superman-style harness for the fourth zip. You will then climb a 5-story tower and then soar on a 4000′ Fly Line zip line. Sharing smiles with your partner, you will surely have years’ worth of stories, photos and memories from this exciting day.

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4. Entire Kauai Island Air Tour

An unparalleled perspective and an unforgettable experience of Kauai await you with an aerial tour from Air Ventures Hawaii. See for yourself the incredible sights of breathtaking coastlines, captivating canyons, cascading waterfalls and so much more. Hotel pick-up and drop-off will be included, along with noise reduction headsets, in addition to narration by a professional and highly trained pilot. All you need to do next is step on their GA-8 Airvan airplane and have them take care of the rest. Make sure your camera is ready, as the plane’s slower speed allows optimal exposure time for viewing Kauai’s best features. Important landmarks to be seen include Kilauea Lighthouse (largest frigate bird sanctuary,) Menehune Fish PondMaluhia Road Tree Tunnel, Waita Reservoir (largest reservoir on Kauai) and Captain Cook’s Landing in Waimea. With miles and miles of stunning coastline, you get to see spectacular scenery including Nā Pali Coast State Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, Wailua Falls, Hanakapiai Falls, Hanalei Bay and Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Park Falls.)  Additionally, filming locations for iconic movies including Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong and South Pacific. A perfect pick with our things to do in Lihue list. Don’t you agree?

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3. Vintage Biplane Tour of Kauai

Be sure to get your camera ready! Soar to new heights and take a ride of a lifetime from Air Ventures Hawaii. Fly over the Garden Isle’s geography, from its scenic coastlines and iconic movie locations to red ravines and spectacular canyons. This open-cockpit plane features side-by-side passenger seating, as well as cloth helmets and goggles, along with two-way communication with your pilot. Arrive at Lihue Heliport (LIH) and depart from a biplane (think Snoopy and Woodstock) and take flight for the skies. Major geographic points include Manawaiopuna Waterfall (aka Jurassic Falls,) Honopu Arch, Spouting Horn, Olokele Valley, Waimea CanyonKilohana Crater and Mt. Waialeale. See legendary landmarks such as Kilauea Lighthouse, the 5-Star Grand Hyatt HotelKauai Beach Resort, Kauai Beach Villas, Coco Palms Resort (where Elvis filmed “Blue Hawaii”) and the Wailua Golf Course. Glide along breathtaking beaches such as Cathedral BeachShipwreck Beach, Kealia Beach, Polihale Beach (the largest beach in Hawaii,) Poipu Beach Park, Lawa’i (home of Tattoo and Mr. Roarke’s “Fantasy Island” TV show) and Hanamaulu Beach Park (where Harrison Ford filmed “6 Days, 7 Nights”.)

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2. Deluxe Waterfall Safari

Say “Aloha” to Hawaii as you will get to see the island from a different perspective from an exhilarating aerial flight from Safari Helicopters. Increase your thrill and see more than you could ever imagine as you will get off to a flying start and take to the sky. Through his aerial adventure, you’ll get to see and observe memorable sites which may not be available through a ground tour. In this 60-minute tour, a state-of-the-art helicopter will cover over 100 miles of stunning Kauai scenery where scores of Hollywood directors have tried to capture its unmatched beauty in their films. With over 30 years of experience, safety and satisfaction will take on the highest priority as you get whisked off to the sky above you. The soft background music will relax you as your knowledgeable pilot will give you some history and facts about the area.  You’ll get to see iconic locations such as Nā Pali Coast State Park with its iconic cliffs, Mt. Waialeale which is considered to be the wettest area in Hawaii and Waimea Canyon State Park which is considered “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This very personal experience will leave you utterly speechless with its commanding views and level of professionalism.

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1. Kauai ECO Adventure Helicopter Tour

Dubbed as “the most spectacular helicopter tour in all of Kauai,” get a bird’s-eye view of the entire island in just under an hour with an aerial adventure from Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. They take the top position with our exciting look at the best things to do in Lihue. With over 70% of the island being inaccessible by land, Kauai’s true beauty can be best seen from the sky. From cascading waterfalls and tropical rainforests to dramatic sea cliffs and majestic canyons, this experience will simply take your breath away. Make your way to Lihue Heliport (LIH) and hop aboard a state-of-the-art Airbus helicopter and be whisked above the grounds. Tour narration will be completed by trained pilots who are State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides. Explore the magnificent Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as “Jurassic Park” falls, fly over Olokele Canyon and Waimea Canyon, often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” where you will catch sight of dozens of cascading waterfalls. Next, view the sculpted green valleys and 3,000-foot sea cliffs of the Nā Pali Coast, then turquoise-blue waters of Hanalei Bay and the Princeville Resort area. Lastly, weather permitting, is Mt. Waialeale, a dormant shield volcano and is considered one of the wettest places on the planet.

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Best Online Travel Deals hopes we’ve helped you to narrow down some of these travel tips, cheap getaway options, what to do and the best things to do in Lihue. If you’re looking for the best places to stay, you should consider staying at the Marriott’s Kaua’i Beach Club or Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons – Kalanipu’u. We hope you have an awesome time in the Aloha State!




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