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Top 5 Kauai Tourist Attractions You Can’t Miss

Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 foremost Hawaiian islands, Kauai is thought for its lush, tropical panorama, epic seashores, and unmissable vacationer sights.

However which Kauai vacationer sights must you 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 will not be very touristy. It doesn’t have an enormous metropolis, like Honolulu, and doesn’t see the identical vacationers flocking to well-known locations just like the Highway to Hana in Maui. In truth, Kauai is even quieter than the Large Island, which is thought for being extra distant and pure.

Regardless of being the least touristy of Hawaii’s 4 main islands, Kauai nonetheless has all the infrastructure vacationers have to get pleasure from a vacation there. You’ll discover a world airport, plenty of resorts and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island. 

What number of days do it’s worthwhile to go to Kauai?

I consider 5 days in Kauai is the right period of time. This lets you discover Kauai’s vacationer sights, spend time on the seashore, uncover the best places to eat in Kauai, and perhaps even go on an journey or two. With 5 days, you’d even have time to discover all sides of the island.  

Waimea Canyon, Kauai vacationer attraction

Do it’s worthwhile to lease a automobile to go to Kauai? 

Sure, you do have to lease a automobile when visiting Kauai. In contrast to among the different Hawaiian islands, there’s not intensive public transportation out there in Kauai and a lot of the foremost vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So you should definitely e book your rental automobile upfront! 

Search for car hire options on Kayak.

Driving round Kauai is pretty straightforward, as there’s just one foremost street that circles the perimeter of the island. Word that the street doesn’t absolutely circle the island; the Na’Pali Coast mountains on the northwest of Kauai prohibit a street from passing by way of. You’ll additionally wish to keep alert for any street closures as a result of flooding. 

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

For those who’re not wanting or capable of lease a automobile, be part of a guided bus tour to greatest discover Kauai. 

The place must you keep in Kauai?

The preferred 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 realm does see extra rainfall and is farther from a few of Kauai’s greatest vacationer sights. Nevertheless, I consider the north shore seashores are higher for swimming.

The south shore seashores round Poipu are rockier and lodge costs are greater, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s foremost websites. There’s additionally the choice to remain in Lihue or Wailua on the east aspect of the island. Lodging right here isn’t as plentiful however it’s cheaper. 

Prime 5 Kauai vacationer sights

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 provides 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 at the least half a day to driving by way of these two parks. Word that there’s just one street out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical street that you simply drove in on. The street also can get fairly windy, so pack your nausea remedy should you get carsick.

Alongside the best way, there will likely be quite a lot of official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance payment to the parks. There are additionally quite a lot of mountain climbing trails you possibly can head out on to higher 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

Situated down a mud street on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is dwelling to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave and is the right place to find Kauai’s numerous terrain. From the higher parking zone you’ll trek down a hill, stopping typically to soak up views of the ocean and jungle. Alongside the best way, you possibly can peel off the path to hit the seashore or go to the resident tortoises. 

When you’ve reached the cave, you’ll should crawl on arms and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is only some ft lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. For those who time your go to proper, you’ll be capable to converse to one of many cave guides who can level out completely 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 sights

South shore seashores 

Kauai isn’t nearly mountain climbing, jungles and mountains – you need to make time to hit the seashore as nicely! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled in your selection of seashore to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and enjoyable at. The highest south shore seashores embody Child Seaside, Kiahuna Seaside, Shipwreck Seaside and Poipu Seaside.

Poipu Seaside is constantly ranked as one of many high seashores on the planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there is no such thing as a higher place to observe the sundown! Plus, should you’re fortunate, you could spot a monk seal lounging on the sand.

Word: In my expertise, the south shore seashores appeared rocky and the waves weren’t so calm. If that is your expertise too, I recommend carrying water footwear and solely venturing additional out should you’re a robust swimmer. 

Poipu Beach, Kauai tourist attraction
Poipu Seaside, Kauai vacationer attraction

North shore seashores 

We are able to’t let the south shore have all of the enjoyable! After all, you’ll wish to spend a while on the north shore of Kauai and provides their seashores a attempt 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 ft from the shore and the water would nonetheless solely be at my hips. 

The preferred seashore on the north shore is Hanalei Seaside, that includes an extended pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seaside, a extra peaceable spot identified for excellent snorkelling. Tunnels Seaside is one other one which snorkellers will wish to hit up. And should you’re in search of a seashore off the overwhelmed path, take a look at Hideaway Seaside, accessible solely by a steep path. 

Associated tour: Private Wildlife, Beach Hike with Snorkel Option

Hanalei Beach, Kauai
Hanalei Seaside, Kauai

Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls

As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one ultimate cease it’s worthwhile to make in your approach to the airport. You possibly can’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 positively definitely worth the detour. These had been among the most lovely and luxurious waterfalls I noticed on all the island.

For those who’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, it’s also possible to hike to the falls and expertise them from a complete different degree

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 is perhaps the most well-liked and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast may be troublesome. For those who’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there’s nonetheless loads to see and do in Kauai that can blow you away.

One possibility for visiting the Na’Pali Coast is to hike the Kalalau Trail through Haena State Park. The one approach to entry this path is on-foot and superior reservations and permits are required. If you wish to do all the path, it’s a 22 mile spherical journey hike that requires an in a single day tenting keep. 

For those who’re not up for an extended hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve a couple of extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You possibly can take a ship, small airplane or helicopter. Boats go away from the south or north of the island, relying on the time of yr, and are out on the water for a couple of hours. 

Word that these waters are notoriously tough and should you’re vulnerable 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 may also be somewhat bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly expensive. 

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

Different Kauai vacationer sights you’ll wish to go to

After all, there’s a lot extra to see and expertise in Kauai than simply the 5 websites above. You probably have time, listed below are a couple of extra Kauai vacationer sights 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 largest little city, Hanapepe is a good place to find native outlets and eating places, in addition to stroll throughout the swinging bridge. 
  • Spouting Horn: Take a look at 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 way of the Tree Tunnel, a cover of Eucalyptus timber that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel. 
  • Kilauea Lighthouse: A lovely spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and perhaps spot a whale. It’s additionally dwelling to a fowl sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter. 
  • Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: Some of the fashionable luaus on Kauai affords a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you possibly can discover earlier than showtime. 
  • Ziplining or mountain tubing: For those who’re feeling adventurous, why not swing along the trees or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has plenty of choices for thrill seekers! 
Kauai Coffee Company in Kauai
Kauai Espresso Firm in Kauai

With this listing in hand, I’m positive you’re getting excited in your journey to Kauai. Ensure that to tick off as lots of the above Kauai vacationer sights as you possibly can!

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