Kauai is known for its lush rainforests and raging waterfalls that attract people to this northern island. The island often referred to as “The Garden Isle” intrigues visitors largely due to the fact that Kauai has stayed rather undeveloped compared to the other islands that make up Hawaii. This allows visitors the chance to see the beautiful nature that makes up the island while still respecting the land. Offering plenty of outdoor adventures, Kauai is a great place to unplug and enjoy your vacation.
On your trip, stop by the untouched Na Pali Coast and go snorkeling in the clear water. For hiking, visit Waimea Canyon to see panoramic views of Kauai. Kauai also offers beautiful beaches like Hanakapiai Beach that has glistening, gold sand is often a haven for experienced surfers. And always remember to treat yourself at the end of each day with some shaved ice at Uncle’s! Kauai has a lot to offer from its breathtaking views to its delicious shaved ice—here are a few must-see spots when visiting!
Na Pali Coast—Translated to: “The Cliffs,” Na Pali Coast offers 15 miles of coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai. Not easily accessible, visitors can choose a few different routes to reach the beautiful Na Pali coast. The most accessible way to get to the coast is by taking a boat. Once there, visitors can snorkel and take in the beauty of the Na Pali Coast!
Waikapalae Wet Cave—Did you know that a handful of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed in this exact cave? Although the water is freezing and it is not advised to swim, Waikapalae has a surprise factor that makes up for it. If the sun is shining at the right angle, the water will give off a beautiful blue glow. This is created from the reflection off of the sun and draws in visitors to stop by the cave.
Hanakapiai Beach—Definitely worth the two-mile hike over, Hanakapiai Beach and Waterfalls does not disappoint. Only open in the spring and summer months, Hanakapiai Beach is filled with golden, thick sand for you to set up a picnic or layout in the sun. There are also several sea caves open for exploring. In the winter, the ocean takes out all the sand and isn’t returned until the spring. Reservations are required, so be sure to check out while https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/haena-state-park/ planning your trip.
Take It All In
Waimea Canyon—You can’t beat the views of Kauai from Waimea Canyon! Take a drive up Waimea Canyon Drive to stop at the lower point and main Waimea Canyon Overlook, which offers panoramic views of Kauai. From here, there are many hiking trails open for exploring the canyon. Admission is free and it is open daily during daylight hours.
Opeakaa Falls—Located in Wailua, this 151-foot fall spans 40 feet and flows throughout the year. Opaeka’a Falls can be viewed from an overlook off of Kuamoo Road. Since Kauai is known for its waterfalls, Opeakaa Falls shows immense beauty and is something you won’t want to miss seeing on the island.
Kilauea Lighthouse—Open Tuesday to Saturday, The Kilauea Lighthouse offers views of the northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific Ocean making it a great spot for photos! The lighthouse is also part of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which is a sanctuary for seabirds. From December through March you may also get to see the humpback whales that migrate over to the beautiful coasts of Hawaii.
Grab a Bite—Uncle’s Shave Ice
Located in The Shops at Kukui’ula, Uncle’s Shave Ice offers more than 25 shave ice flavors as well as smoothies to their customers! Its proximity to the beach makes it a must-visit spot for visitors to cool off and grab a sweet treat.