Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 fundamental Hawaiian islands, Kauai is thought for its lush, tropical panorama, epic seashores, and unmissable vacationer points of interest.

However which Kauai vacationer points of interest must you prioritize in your journey to Kauai? Let’s discover out, however first we’ll reply just a few generally requested questions on Kauai.

Is Kauai very touristy? 

In comparison with the islands of Oahu and Maui, Kauai is just not very touristy. It doesn’t have an enormous metropolis, like Honolulu, and doesn’t see the identical vacationers flocking to well-known locations just like the Highway to Hana in Maui. Actually, Kauai is even quieter than the Large Island, which is thought for being extra distant and pure.

Regardless of being the least touristy of Hawaii’s 4 main islands, Kauai nonetheless has all the infrastructure vacationers have to get pleasure from a vacation there. You’ll discover a world airport, a number of resorts and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island. 

What number of days do you might want to go to Kauai?

I imagine 5 days in Kauai is the right period of time. This lets you discover Kauai’s vacationer points of interest, spend time on the seashore, uncover the best places to eat in Kauai, and possibly even go on an journey or two. With 5 days, you’ll even have time to discover all sides of the island.  

Waimea Canyon, Kauai tourist attraction
Waimea Canyon, Kauai vacationer attraction

Do you might want to lease a automotive to go to Kauai? 

Sure, you do have to lease a automotive when visiting Kauai. Not like a few of the different Hawaiian islands, there may be not intensive public transportation obtainable in Kauai and a lot of the fundamental vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So you’ll want to e book your rental automotive upfront! 

Search for car hire options on Kayak.

Driving round Kauai is pretty simple, as there’s just one fundamental street that circles the perimeter of the island. Word that the street doesn’t totally circle the island; the Na’Pali Coast mountains on the northwest of Kauai prohibit a street from passing by way of. You’ll additionally need to keep alert for any street closures on account of flooding. 

Discover Kauai at your individual tempo with this narrated, self-guided driving tour.

If you happen to’re not wanting or capable of lease a automotive, be part of a guided bus tour to greatest discover Kauai. 

The place must you keep in Kauai?

The preferred areas to remain in Kauai are Poipu within the south and Princeville within the north. Whereas Princeville lodging costs are barely cheaper than Poipu’s, the realm does see extra rainfall and is farther from a few of Kauai’s greatest vacationer points of interest. Nonetheless, I imagine the north shore seashores are higher for swimming.

The south shore seashores round Poipu are rockier and resort costs are larger, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s fundamental websites. There’s additionally the choice to remain in Lihue or Wailua on the east aspect of the island. Lodging right here isn’t as plentiful however it’s cheaper. 

High 5 Kauai vacationer points of interest

Waimea Canyon State Park & Kokee State Park

Absolutely the can’t miss vacationer attraction in Kauai is the Waimea Canyon. Heralded because the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon State Park and the adjoining Kokee State Park offers you epic views of jagged coastlines, towering mountains, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls and lovely lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll need to dedicate no less than half a day to driving by way of these two parks. Word that there’s just one street out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical street that you just drove in on. The street also can get fairly windy, so pack your nausea treatment in the event you get carsick.

Alongside the way in which, there will likely be a variety of official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance charge to the parks. There are additionally a variety of mountain climbing trails you possibly can head out on to higher discover the panorama. 

Associated tour: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Private Tour

Waimea Canyon State Park & Kokee State Park
Waimea Canyon State Park & Kokee State Park

Makauwahi Cave Reserve

Situated down a dust street on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is dwelling to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave and is the right place to find Kauai’s numerous terrain. From the higher car parking zone you’ll trek down a hill, stopping usually to absorb views of the ocean and jungle. Alongside the way in which, you possibly can peel off the path to hit the seashore or go to the resident tortoises. 

When you’ve reached the cave, you’ll need to crawl on fingers and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is just a few ft lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. If you happen to time your go to proper, you’ll have the ability to communicate to one of many cave guides who can level out totally different rock formations and the house of the uncommon cave wolf spider. 

Associated tour: Private Tortoises, Caves, and Cliffs South Shore Hike

Makauwahi Cave Reserve, Kauai tourist attractions
Makauwahi Cave Reserve, Kauai vacationer points of interest

South shore seashores 

Kauai isn’t nearly mountain climbing, jungles and mountains – you must make time to hit the seashore as nicely! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled on your alternative of seashore to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and enjoyable at. The highest south shore seashores embrace Child Seashore, Kiahuna Seashore, Shipwreck Seashore and Poipu Seashore.

Poipu Seashore is constantly ranked as one of many prime seashores on the planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there isn’t any higher place to look at the sundown! Plus, in the event you’re fortunate, you might spot a monk seal lounging on the sand.

Word: In my expertise, the south shore seashores appeared rocky and the waves weren’t so calm. If that is your expertise too, I recommend carrying water footwear and solely venturing additional out in the event you’re a robust swimmer. 

Poipu Beach, Kauai tourist attraction
Poipu Seashore, Kauai vacationer attraction

North shore seashores 

We are able to’t let the south shore have all of the enjoyable! After all, you’ll need to spend a while on the north shore of Kauai and provides their seashores a attempt too. I discovered the northern seashores to be extra calm, sandy and family-friendly than the southern ones. At many I discovered I might stroll out over 100 ft from the shore and the water would nonetheless solely be at my hips. 

The preferred seashore on the north shore is Hanalei Seashore, that includes an extended pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seashore, a extra peaceable spot recognized for nice snorkelling. Tunnels Seashore is one other one which snorkellers will need to hit up. And in the event you’re searching for a seashore off the crushed path, take a look at Hideaway Seashore, accessible solely by a steep path. 

Associated tour: Private Wildlife, Beach Hike with Snorkel Option

Hanalei Beach, Kauai
Hanalei Seashore, Kauai

Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls

As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one remaining cease you might want to make in your solution to the airport. You’ll be able to’t go away Kauai with out trying out just a few extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and undoubtedly well worth the detour. These have been a few of the most lovely and luxurious waterfalls I noticed on all the island.

If you happen to’re simply in it for the views, each waterfalls have designated parking areas the place you possibly can pull up and benefit from the surroundings from a lookout level. Nonetheless, if you wish to rise up shut and private, you can even hike to the falls and expertise them from a complete different degree

Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls, Kauai
Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls, Kauai

Bonus: Exploring the Na’Pali Coast! 

After Waimea Canyon, the Na’Pali Coast could be the preferred and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast may be troublesome. If you happen to’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there may be nonetheless lots to see and do in Kauai that may blow you away.

One choice for visiting the Na’Pali Coast is to hike the Kalalau Trail through Haena State Park. The one solution to entry this path is on-foot and superior reservations and permits are required. If you wish to do all the path, it’s a 22 mile spherical journey hike that requires an in a single day tenting keep. 

If you happen to’re not up for an extended hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve just a few extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You’ll be able to take a ship, small airplane or helicopter. Boats go away from the south or north of the island, relying on the time of 12 months, and are out on the water for just a few hours. 

Word that these waters are notoriously tough and in the event you’re vulnerable to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour won’t be a enjoyable choice. The Na’Pali Coast airplane and helicopter rides may also be a little bit bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly expensive. 

Tree Tunnel in Kauai, Hawaii
Tree Tunnel in Kauai, Hawaii

Different Kauai vacationer points of interest you’ll need to go to

After all, there’s a lot extra to see and expertise in Kauai than simply the 5 websites above. When you’ve got time, listed below are just a few extra Kauai vacationer points of interest so as to add to your itinerary: 

  • Kauai Espresso Firm: Go on a free impartial strolling tour to study espresso manufacturing in Kauai after which pattern a few of their favorite brews! 
  • Hanapepe: Kauai’s largest little city, Hanapepe is a good place to find native outlets and eating places, in addition to stroll throughout the swinging bridge. 
  • Spouting Horn: Try this blowhole on the south shore that erupts like a geyser each time a wave crashes into the shore. 
  • Maha’ulepu Heritage Path: For individuals who don’t wish to hike, this coastal strolling path is the right choice to discover the seaside views of the south shore. 
  • Tree Tunnel: As you drive alongside the island, you’ll inevitably drive by way of the Tree Tunnel, a cover of Eucalyptus timber that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel. 
  • Kilauea Lighthouse: An exquisite spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and possibly spot a whale. It’s additionally dwelling to a chicken sanctuary, which you’ll be able to pay to enter. 
  • Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: One of the crucial in style luaus on Kauai provides a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you possibly can discover earlier than showtime. 
  • Ziplining or mountain tubing: If you happen to’re feeling adventurous, why not swing along the trees or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has a number of choices for thrill seekers! 
Kauai Coffee Company in Kauai
Kauai Espresso Firm in Kauai

With this record in hand, I’m positive you’re getting excited on your journey to Kauai. Ensure to tick off as most of the above Kauai vacationer points of interest as you possibly can!


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