Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 most important 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 do you have to prioritize in your journey to Kauai? Let’s discover out, however first we’ll reply a couple of generally requested questions on Kauai.

Is Kauai very touristy? 

In comparison with the islands of Oahu and Maui, Kauai just isn’t very touristy. It doesn’t have a giant metropolis, like Honolulu, and doesn’t see the identical vacationers flocking to well-known locations just like the Street 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 get pleasure from a vacation there. You’ll discover a global airport, a number of accommodations and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island. 

What number of days do you’ll 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 seaside, uncover the best places to eat in Kauai, and perhaps 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’ll 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’s not intensive public transportation obtainable in Kauai and a lot of the most important vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So you should definitely ebook your rental automotive upfront! 

Search for car hire options on Kayak.

Driving round Kauai is pretty simple, as there’s just one most important highway that circles the perimeter of the island. Observe that the highway doesn’t totally circle the island; the Na’Pali Coast mountains on the northwest of Kauai prohibit a highway from passing by means of. You’ll additionally wish to keep alert for any highway closures as a result of flooding. 

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

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

The place do you have to 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 world 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 resort costs are greater, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s most important 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. 

Prime 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 will provide you with epic views of jagged coastlines, towering mountains, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls and lovely lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll wish to dedicate a minimum of half a day to driving by means of these two parks. Observe that there’s just one highway out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical highway that you simply drove in on. The highway can even get fairly windy, so pack your nausea medicine in the event you get carsick.

Alongside the best way, there shall be quite a few official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance price to the parks. There are additionally quite a few mountain climbing trails you possibly can head out on to raised 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

Positioned down a dust highway on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is residence to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave and is the right place to find Kauai’s various terrain. From the higher 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 seaside or go to the resident tortoises. 

When you’ve reached the cave, you’ll should crawl on palms and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is just a few toes lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. When you time your go to proper, you’ll have the ability to converse 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 – it’s a must to make time to hit the seaside as properly! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled in your alternative of seaside 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 high seashores on this planet and is actually one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there isn’t a higher place to look at the sundown! Plus, in the event you’re fortunate, chances are you’ll spot a monk seal lounging on the sand.

Observe: In my expertise, the south shore seashores appeared rocky and the waves weren’t so calm. If that is your expertise too, I counsel sporting water sneakers 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! In fact, you’ll wish 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 toes from the shore and the water would nonetheless solely be at my hips. 

The most well-liked seaside 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 excellent snorkelling. Tunnels Seashore is one other one which snorkellers will wish to hit up. And in the event you’re searching for a seaside 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 closing cease you’ll want to make in your strategy to the airport. You’ll be able to’t go away Kauai with out testing a couple of extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and undoubtedly well worth the detour. These had been a few of the most lovely and plush waterfalls I noticed on the 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 rise up shut and private, you too can hike to the falls and expertise them from a complete 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 most well-liked and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast might be tough. When you’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there’s nonetheless loads to see and do in Kauai that may blow you away.

One possibility for visiting the Na’Pali Coast is to hike the Kalalau Trail through Haena State Park. The one strategy to entry this path is on-foot and superior reservations and permits are required. If you wish to do the 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 an extended hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve got a couple of 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 a couple of hours. 

Observe that these waters are notoriously tough and in the event you’re susceptible to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour may not be a enjoyable possibility. The Na’Pali Coast airplane and helicopter rides can be just a little bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly pricey. 

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

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

In fact, there’s a lot extra to see and expertise in Kauai than simply the 5 websites above. In case you have time, listed below are a couple 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 find out about espresso manufacturing in Kauai after which pattern a few of their favorite brews! 
  • Hanapepe: Kauai’s greatest 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 many who don’t prefer 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 means of the Tree Tunnel, a cover of Eucalyptus bushes that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel. 
  • Kilauea Lighthouse: An exquisite spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and perhaps spot a whale. It’s additionally residence to a fowl sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter. 
  • Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: One of the widespread 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 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 in your journey to Kauai. Make sure that to tick off as lots of the above Kauai vacationer points of interest as you possibly can!

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