The Island of Hawaii isn’t like the other Hawaiian islands. Receiving plenty of tourists every year, it’s largely off the grid and a nature lover’s paradise as nearly 13 percent of the island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here are the 7 places to visit in Kauai.
It is full of bucket list thrills and you will be blown away by how much adventure is on this island. If you want more than just beach time, head inland and get ready for once-in-a-lifetime activities that are guaranteed to bring the family together.
It is one of the oldest islands in Hawaii’s chain and has much to offer.
1. Allerton Garden and Lawai Bay
This is a secret beach, which you can reach either from a canoe on the water or from the gardens above. You can stay nearby Lodge at Kuku’iula, ask the on-staff guides to make an etour on your outing so you can swim with the turtles and have the beach to yourself. Or, book a sunset tour at Allerton Garden and you’ll get to have a great time watching massive fig trees and past climbing bougainvillea before reaching the Allerton residence for a light meal and water views. This is one of the 7 places to visit in Kauai.
2. Na Pali Coast
It is a fifteen-mile stretch of coast which is one of the most iconic in Hawaii, translating directly to “the Cliffs.” This is one of the 7 places to visit in Kauai. Though much of the rugged landscape is inaccessible, there are ways to get a decent vantage point from the land, air, or water. For the experienced hiker, an 11-mile trail from Ke`e Beach to Kalalau Valley can give access to the coastline.
If you prefer something less strenuous, calm surf in the summer months welcomes a variety of boat tours and snorkeling excursions. The year-round, a pricier but even more epic vantage point is from above in a helicopter. Opt for the “doors-off” tour from Jack Harter Helicopters and you might even be lucky enough to spot a few whales off the coast while you hover in between the cliffs.
3. Waimea Canyon
It’s called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific for a reason. Waimea is 10 miles long and up to 3,600 feet deep. This is one of the 7 places to visit in Kauai. Follow Waimea Canyon Drive, up a windy road with beautiful lookout spots until you reach the Waimea Canyon overlook. You’ll get your best moments from this vantage point or you can continue into Kokee State Park also. For a challenge, opt for one of the many hiking trails that wind throughout and offer even more breathtaking views of the valley.
4. Hanalei Bay
With majestic mountains in the background and deep blue waters below, this beach trip will make your day in Hanalei. The town, west of Princeville, is set in between mountains and fields of taro, making it the perfect spot to stop for a snack before heading to the largest bay on the island. Stretch up to three miles long, there’s plenty of room for day trippers, snorkelers, and— when the waves are just right—surfers.
5. Farmers’ Markets
This market is the most popular one on the North Shore in Hanalei on Sundays where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a parking spot. It’s worth the walk from town though if you’re looking for towering displays of fresh fruit like local pineapple. On the South Shore, the Kauai Culinary Market showcases not only local farmers, but you can also enjoy live music, beer, and wine, along with additional vendors for a completely food-filled experience.
6. Koloa Fish Market
Although now you can find poke on the mainland, earlier this dish is quintessentially Hawaiian and Kauai does it so well. You will find the best poke at Koloa Fish Market on the South Shore. There are over half a dozen types of poke to choose from so the only choice will be how you like your ahi. It’s served by the pound over rice. You should get here before the lunch rush when they often sell out.
7. Acai Bowls
There’s no great way to embrace the tropical life than with a fruit-filled bowl that’s picture-perfect. Don’t miss to check out Anake’s Juice Bar on the South Shore and order the Funky Monkey, which features acai, strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, and chocolate chips. On the North Shore, you should pay a visit to Kalalea Juice Hale for the O.G., a bowl filled with acai, banana, fresh coconut, homemade granola, and local honey.
These are the 7 places to visit in Kauai if you happen to visit Hawaii on your next trip.