The stunning Na Pali shoreline is Kauai’s most popular destination, a breathtaking beauty made famous in the film Jurassic Park. Waimea Canyon, waterfalls, and vistas that rival the most prominent scenic spots in the world are among the other top attractions.
In contrast to Oahu, which focuses on cultural, urban, and entertainment-related attractions, Kauai is a place of adventure and activities. Boat trips to see the picturesque Na Pali cliffs on the Northwest coast, kayaking along streams, helicopter flights, hiking, and beaches are just a few of the options.
The island may be explored in two full days, with one day devoted to sites along the route west of Lihue that twists up to Waimea Canyon and a second day devoted to the road that goes to the island’s northern coast. Most guests, however, will want to stay on Kauai for far longer than two days.
Best Places to Visit Kauai
With this list of the top attractions on Kauai, you can discover the best spots to visit on the island.
1. State Park of the Na Pali Coast
Na Pali Coast State Park is located in a secluded section of Kauai and features magnificent mountain scenery with cliffs, waterfalls, and lush vegetation. The Na Pali Coast in the northwest of the island is one of the most remote regions of the island, but many consider it to be the most beautiful.
The chain of mountains, which rises to 3,938 feet in parts, generates sheer cliffs tumbling into the sea, the magnificence of which can only be appreciated from the ocean or the air. The mountain crests are divided by steep valleys on the landward side, which many will remember from the film Jurassic Park.
2. Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon rivals some of the most beautiful canyons on the planet and is sometimes referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Waimea, on the other hand, is a lush and beautiful picture with contrasting red soil, black volcanic rock, and shades of green bordering every stream and waterfall.
The road that goes around the rim leads to two major lookouts and some of the best hiking paths on Kauai. While the Canyon goes from Waimea Canyon Drive to the sea, the deepest part of the canyon is located within Kokee State Park.
You May Like:
- Explore the Top 10 Best Beautiful Places to Visit in Big Island Hawaii, USA!
- What Are the Best Places to Visit in Hawaii – Top 10 Ultimate Guideline For Perfect Destination!
- Discover the 10 Best Unbelievable Places to Visit in Hawaii for Young Adults!
In addition to sightseeing at the rim of Waimea Canyon, visitors can find tours to other top natural and historical attractions like Fern Grotto, Opaeka’a Falls, Captain Cook’s Landing, and Fort Elizabeth State Park, the sacred cultural site of Holo Holo Ku Heaiu, and the community at Koloa Town.
3. Discover Kauai’s Exotic Gardens
It should come as no surprise that the Garden Isle is home to some of Hawaii’s most beautiful flower gardens, with the tropical climate providing the ideal habitat for vibrant and happy plants. The gardens are also a haven for wildlife and an ideal area to view colorful birds.
Allerton Garden, located on the island’s southern shore in Koloa, is a must-see. This garden features a variety of fruit and palm trees, which make a magnificent sight in addition to flowers. Naturalist-led excursions are provided, including sunset tours and a tour that includes the nearby McBryde Garden. Visitors should plan on spending at least three hours exploring.
4. Visit the Best Beaches on Kauai
On Garden Island, there are numerous wonderful beaches to select from, but some have earned a reputation for being particularly popular with both tourists and locals. During the summer months, the beaches along the island’s northern shore tend to have harsher conditions, and several in this area are closed sporadically due to floods.
It is always important to be aware of current conditions before swimming anywhere, and it’s a good idea to check to be sure the beach you picked is open since weather events can cause temporary closures for a variety of reasons.
5. Wailua Falls
Between Lihue and Hanamaulu, Road 583 branches off Road 560 and winds its way for a few kilometers to Wailua Falls. This lovely twin waterfall cascades 80 feet down a granite wall into a lake below. According to legend, the leaders of old Hawaii were forced to take the risk of jumping from the top of this waterfall to demonstrate their power and fortitude.
This is one of the most accessible waterfalls on Kauai, as you can pull right into a parking area and observe it from a platform. Kauai is home to a plethora of breathtaking waterfalls. Some are easy to reach, such as Wailua Falls, while others require a little more effort.
6. Koke’e State Park
Koke’e State Park is an extension of Waimea Canyon State Park and contains the deepest parts of the canyon. Another important spot is the Kalalau Lookout, which, in theory, offers a view of the 4000-foot cliffs of the Napali Coast, and is the only place to see this spectacular feature of Kaua’i from land.
Be aware that the cliffs are often clouded in mist, so a picture-perfect view isn’t always guaranteed. The lookout is at the end of the scenic road running through the park. Koke’e maintains numerous hiking trails, most of which spread out from the Natural History Museum and Koke’e Lodge.
7. Get a Fresh Look at a Scenic Flight
While travelers can obtain fantastic views from the water and explore many of Kauai’s natural wonders on foot, a trip by air is by far the best method to see the island’s natural beauties. Few things in the world are more spectacular than flying over the misty, mountainous Na Pali Coast environment—an adventure that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Helicopter and plane trips allow travelers to explore the landscape from a whole different perspective while getting close enough to each attraction to properly appreciate its magnitude and beauty. These trips fly over the island’s major sights, including Waimea Canyon, the Tunnel of Trees, Menehune Fish Pond, and other iconic waterfalls, in addition to Na Pali.
8. Polihale State Park
Visitors should be advised that lifeguards are not generally present, and currents are strong, making swimming and water sports in this location risky during many seasons. Despite this, the park and its beaches are popular due to the spectacular vistas of the Na Pali coastline, as well as great shelling and breathtaking sunsets.
Visitors should also be advised that getting to the beach might be challenging, and rental automobiles may not be permitted on the access road, as is the case with many of Hawaii’s more remote places.
9. Waimea, Hawaii
Hanalei Bay is Kauai’s largest bay and a popular site for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful, with a perfect crescent shape and a backdrop of farms and mountains. The view of the bay is beautiful, especially in the summer when the water is filled with colorful sailboats.
The eastern end of the bay has a large pier, and this is the best area for swimming. There are two kilometers of beach along the bay, with Waioli Beach Park in the middle. Rest and shower facilities are available here; lifeguards are not officially stationed here, but they may be present at busy periods. To avoid crowds, go during the week.
You May Like:
- Explore the Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Hawaii For Families That’ll Truly Make Your Trip Perfect!
- Spend Your Vocation With 10 Best Unbelievable Places to Visit in the Ozarks, USA!
The Hanalei Valley Lookout is located along Kuhio Highway slightly east of Hanalei Bay, on the fringe of the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. The view to the west includes lush slopes covered in taro farms, the Hanalei River, and eventually Hanalei Bay. It also has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and is a terrific place to watch the sunset.
10. Po’ipu Beach
Poipu is located on Kauai’s warm and sunny south shore, among the island’s best beaches. Sugar was the main source of revenue for Poipu and the surrounding area prior to the tourism boom. Tourism growth began rather late here, and as a result, it was significantly more intense than in other regions.
Poipu now has the most luxurious hotels and vacation residences on Kauai. Poipu’s rural nature is protected by an urban development law that limits building height to three floors.
Poipu has become one of Kauai’s most popular resorts due to its convenient location near Lihue Airport, nice climate, and good surfing chances. Swimming and surfing are encouraged on the long, white sandy beach and in the pristine, blue ocean.
This book covers the greatest locations to visit on Kauai, from beaches to cities to magnificent state parks. Kauai is lush and beautiful, and nature lovers will be delighted when they visit!
Another incredible feature of the Garden Isle is that it has one of the most famous flights in the world, and you can simply (and reasonably) take a doors-off helicopter tour of Kauai while there to view it!