Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 primary Hawaiian islands, Kauai is understood 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 a number of generally requested questions on Kauai.

Is Kauai very touristy? 

In comparison with the islands of Oahu and Maui, Kauai isn’t 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. The truth is, Kauai is even quieter than the Huge Island, which is understood for being extra distant and pure.

Regardless of being the least touristy of Hawaii’s 4 main islands, Kauai nonetheless has the entire infrastructure vacationers have to take pleasure in a vacation there. You’ll discover a world airport, a lot of accommodations and retailers, and even a Goal and Costco on the island. 

What number of days do you could go to Kauai?

I imagine 5 days in Kauai is the proper 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 could hire a automotive to go to Kauai? 

Sure, you do have to hire a automotive when visiting Kauai. Not like a few of the different Hawaiian islands, there may be not in depth public transportation out there in Kauai and a lot of the primary vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So remember to e-book your rental automotive upfront! 

Search for car hire options on Kayak.

Driving round Kauai is pretty straightforward, as there’s just one primary 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. You’ll additionally need to keep alert for any street closures as a consequence of flooding. 

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

When you’re not wanting or capable of hire a automotive, be a part of a guided bus tour to finest discover Kauai. 

The place must you keep in Kauai?

The most well-liked 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 finest vacationer points of interest. Nevertheless, I imagine the north shore seashores are higher for swimming.

The south shore seashores round Poipu are rockier and lodge costs are increased, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s primary websites. There’s additionally the choice to remain in Lihue or Wailua on the east facet 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 provides you with epic views of jagged coastlines, towering mountains, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls and beautiful lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll need to dedicate at the very least half a day to driving by 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 simply drove in on. The street may also get fairly windy, so pack your nausea medicine should you get carsick.

Alongside the best way, there will likely be quite a few official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance charge to the parks. There are additionally quite a few 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 house to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave and is the proper place to find Kauai’s various terrain. From the higher car parking zone you’ll trek down a hill, stopping usually to soak up views of the ocean and jungle. Alongside the best way, 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 palms 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. When you time your go to proper, you’ll be capable to communicate to one of many cave guides who can level out completely 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 climbing, jungles and mountains – it’s important to make time to hit the seashore as effectively! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled to your selection of seashore to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and stress-free at. The highest south shore seashores embody Child Seaside, Kiahuna Seaside, Shipwreck Seaside and Poipu Seaside.

Poipu Seaside is constantly ranked as one of many high seashores on this planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there is no such thing as a higher place to look at the sundown! Plus, should you’re fortunate, it’s possible you’ll 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 should you’re a robust swimmer. 

Poipu Beach, Kauai tourist attraction
Poipu Seaside, Kauai vacationer attraction

North shore seashores 

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

The most well-liked seashore on the north shore is Hanalei Seaside, that includes a protracted pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seaside, a extra peaceable spot identified for excellent snorkelling. Tunnels Seaside is one other one which snorkellers will need to hit up. And should you’re on the lookout for a seashore off the overwhelmed path, try Hideaway Seaside, accessible solely by a steep path. 

Associated tour: Private Wildlife, Beach Hike with Snorkel Option

Hanalei Beach, Kauai
Hanalei Seaside, Kauai

Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls

As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one remaining cease you could make in your option to the airport. You’ll be able to’t depart Kauai with out trying out a number of extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and positively definitely worth the detour. These had been a few of the most stunning and plush waterfalls I noticed on your complete island.

When you’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. Nevertheless, if you wish to stand up shut and private, you too can hike to the falls and expertise them from an entire different stage

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 could be troublesome. When you’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there may be nonetheless lots to see and do in Kauai that can blow you away.

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

When you’re not up for a protracted hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve a number of extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You’ll be able to take a ship, small aircraft or helicopter. Boats depart from the south or north of the island, relying on the time of 12 months, and are out on the water for a number of hours. 

Word that these waters are notoriously tough and should you’re vulnerable to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour won’t be a enjoyable possibility. The Na’Pali Coast aircraft and helicopter rides will also be just a little 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

In fact, 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 a number of extra Kauai vacationer points of interest so as to add to your itinerary: 

  • Kauai Espresso Firm: Go on a free unbiased strolling tour to study espresso manufacturing in Kauai after which pattern a few of their favorite brews! 
  • Hanapepe: Kauai’s greatest little city, Hanapepe is a superb place to find native retailers and eating places, in addition to stroll throughout the swinging bridge. 
  • Spouting Horn: Take a look at this blowhole on the south shore that erupts like a geyser each time a wave crashes into the shore. 
  • Maha’ulepu Heritage Path: For many who don’t prefer to hike, this coastal strolling path is the proper choice to discover the seaside views of the south shore. 
  • Tree Tunnel: As you drive alongside the island, you’ll inevitably drive by the Tree Tunnel, a cover of Eucalyptus timber that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel. 
  • Kilauea Lighthouse: A phenomenal spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and possibly spot a whale. It’s additionally house to a chook sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter. 
  • Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: Probably the most common luaus on Kauai presents a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you possibly can discover earlier than showtime. 
  • Ziplining or mountain tubing: When you’re feeling adventurous, why not swing along the trees or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has a lot of choices for thrill seekers! 
Kauai Coffee Company in Kauai
Kauai Espresso Firm in Kauai

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

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