A spectacular cliffside double waterfall
Hiking the Kalalau Trail in Nā Pali Coast State Park
The pier at Hanalei Bay
A traditional luau ceremony and pig roast
Kayakers enjoying the clear blue water
A traditional Hawaiian-style Episcopal church in Kilauea
Enjoying the view of the Nā Pali Coast
The Aloha Juice Bar in Hanalei
- Major Airports:
- Kauai Lihue (LIH)
Verdant scenery and blissful beaches await
Explore Hawaiian Heritage
Traversing more than 30 kilometers, the Holo Holo Koloa Scenic Byway follows some of Kauai’s most significant landmarks, while the Koloa Heritage Trail features 14 historic stops along the south shore. Visit the Kilohana Plantation Estate, a Hawaii Historic Landmark that also has a narrated train tour, restaurant and samples from Hawaii’s only rum distillery. Tour a re-created traditional Hawaiian hamlet at Kamokila Hawaiian Village; it’s also a great place to hike and paddle to Uluwehi Falls (Secret Falls). Historic Waimea is where Capt. James Cook landed in 1778; visit downtown to see his statue.
Take a boat or kayak tour, helicopter ride or a difficult hike along the Kalalau Trail to the Na Pali Coast; there’s no vehicle access to this pristine, oceanfront haven. Kauai has the only navigable rivers in the island chain; paddle the Wailua River for an unforgettable experience. Go hiking at Waimea Canyon, a geological marvel known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. View wildlife and a picturesque lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Be sure to get a photo at Spouting Horn, then go swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing on Poipu Beach.
In the Towns
Hanapepe is Kauai’s art capital. Stroll galleries on Friday night art walks, browse unique retailers like Aloha Spice and Talk Story Bookstore, take a picture of the quirky Hanapepe truck and walk across the Swinging Bridge. In nearby Old Koloa Town, stop by the History Center to learn about the island’s sugar industry, drive down the eucalyptus tree tunnel, grab a treat at Koloa Shave Ice and pick up a souvenir. In Hanalei, take a ukulele lesson at Hanalei Strings, grab a Kauai grass-fed beef burger at Bubba’s, and visit the 1834 Wai'oli Hui'ia Church and the 1837 Waioli Mission House.
Kauai's Mount Waialeale is the wettest spot on earth, averaging 1,143 cm of rain per year.