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Kauai, Hawaii Destination Guide

By Amelia Gibson, Posted on 19 Dec, 2022 at 04:35 am

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Kauai Hawaii

Kauai is a beautiful island located in the Central Pacific and part of the Hawaiian archipelago. Kauai is nicknamed "the Garden Isle" due to the tropical rainforest that covers much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are hiking destinations. Kauai is definitely a tourist destination worth exploring!

Kauai has a variety of outdoor activities to explore and enjoy. From beaches, to waterfalls, to hiking trails, Kauai offers something for everyone! Popular outdoor activities include snorkeling and fishing on the many beautiful beaches; discovering hidden waterfalls in the lush jungles; or taking a scenic bike ride along the coast. For those who are more adventurous, kayaking and zip lining can be experienced in certain areas of the island.

Kauai also boasts some stunning views from its mountain top vantage points, making it a great spot for photography enthusiasts looking to capture some unique shots! There are also plenty of spots perfect for sunset viewing all around the island.

In addition to its natural beauty, Kauai also has a vibrant culture and cuisine to explore. Kauai’s local culture is heavily influenced by its Hawaiian heritage, with many festivals featuring traditional music, dance, and art. There are numerous restaurants in the area that serve up delicious local dishes with a tropical twist!


Kauai's Top attractions

Experience some of Kauai's most beautiful wonders with these attractions:


The Nounou Trails, or Sleeping Giant Trail

The Nounou Trails, or Sleeping Giant Trail, are an excellent option for hikers looking to explore Kauai's rugged terrain. This trail network traverses the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge offering amazing views from various vantage points along the way. The trail’s highest point is at 1,800 feet above sea level where you can experience panoramic views of the surrounding islands and ocean below.


The Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline boasting towering cliffs, lush rainforests and aquamarine waters.

The Na Pali Coast

This stretch of the coast is often seen in Hollywood films due to its incredible views and unique features. Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is a spectacular 10-mile-long canyon that offers breathtaking views of its steep ridges, cascading waterfalls, colorful canyons and dramatic cliffs. It’s easy to see why this area has become the backdrop for many films!


Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is an incredible sight, situated in a corner of Kauai's Waimea District in Hawaii. It stretches 10 miles long and one mile deep, creating the most stunning views of lush green canyon walls. Its hiking trails offer an unforgettable experience for visitors, providing numerous vantage points to take in the breathtaking landscapes. Waimea Canyon is like nowhere else on Earth and a must-see destination for any nature lover!


Waimea Canyon State Park:

Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Situated on the majestic island of Kauai in Hawaii, this 14,000-acre park features Waimea Canyon – one of the most stunning landscapes Mother Nature has to offer. Hiking trails bring visitors closer to Waimea’s impressive sides and along the way, they can marvel at some breathtaking views. There’s also an opportunity to spot endemic wildlife in its natural habitat, such as rare birds like the Ahinahina (silversword). Waimea Canyon State Park is truly a gem that should not remain undiscovered by any nature lover!


The beaches in Kauai

Kauai also has plenty of beaches for visitors to explore. Kalapaki Beach in Lihue is one of Kauai's best beaches with soft white sand and turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

The beaches in Kauai are pristine with white sand, crystal clear water and an array of exotic marine life. Popular snorkeling spots include Tunnels Beach, Poipu Beach and Anini Beach amongst others, all offering great opportunities for swimming and getting up close with marine life in its natural habitat. For those looking for more extreme activities there are also surfing spots around Kauai suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced surfers looking for bigger waves at Shipwrecks Beach or Makua Beach.


Kalapaki Beach:

Kalapaki Beach

Kalapaki Beach is one of the best beaches in Kauai. It’s situated at the mouth of Nawiliwili Bay and offers great views of the harbor, as well as stunning sunsets over the ocean. This beach has soft white sand and crystal-clear waters making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on the shore. The nearby restaurants and shops make it easy to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping!


Hanalei Bay:

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is a picturesque beach located on the northern coast of Kauai. This crescent-shaped bay boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Hanalei Bay also has some great restaurants near by, offering fresh seafood dishes and more local fare.


Kealia Beach:

Kealia Beach is located on the east side of Kauai. This beach has a beautiful stretch of white sand, perfect for walking or relaxing by the shore. Kealia Beach is also great for swimming and snorkeling due to its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life. Visitors can also explore nearby hidden coves, caves, and tide pools.


Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is an incredible attraction that Kauai visitors must check out. Located on private land, Wailua Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls on the island reaching 80 feet high. Although adventurers are not able to experience Wailua Falls up close by swimming in the pool at its base, there is a nearby lookout point from which Wailua Falls can still be seen in all its majestic beauty – making it an awe-inspiring sight worthy of a visit.

Other notable attractions include the following:


Kilohana Plantation & Gardens:

Kilohana Plantation & Gardens is a beautiful and historic working farm with lush gardens, orchards, vegetable patches, animal enclosures and more. It’s a fun place to explore and learn about the local agriculture and wildlife.


Kilauea Lighthouse & Wildlife Sanctuary:

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse, located on the northern tip of Kauai, is an iconic beacon of history. Built in 1913, the Kilauea Lighthouse stands as a symbol of adventure and exploration. From the top of Kilauea’s 53 foot-tower, visitors can witness stunning sunsets over the Pacific Ocean’s horizon. Kilauea is open year round, offering visitors unforgettable experiences with nature at its finest. Kilauea offers a unique opportunity to observe some of the most fascinating birds and other wildlife on the northern side of Kauai.

It is no wonder that Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge has been called "the showcase refuge" due to its dazzling beauty and abundant wildlife. Visiting Kilauea Lighthouse makes for a memorable experience that both adults and children will love!


Koke’e State Park:

Koke’e State Park

Koke’e State Park, located on the western edge of Kauai in the Waimea Canyon, is a remarkable natural wonder that has something for everyone. Among its many attractions are awe-inspiring scenic trails, waterfalls that are worthy of any postcard, open pastures and wooded hillsides laced with hiking paths. Koke’e State Park also provides visitors with opportunities to observe many different species of birds or simply explore its nooks and crannies.

For those who wish to spend more time here, camping and picnicking areas have been provided to accommodate extended stays. Koke’e State Park is one of Hawaii's most unique attractions and should not be missed by nature lovers!


Polihale State Park:

Polihale State Park

Polihale State Park on the western side of Kauai is an amazing spot to spend a day at the beach. With miles of white sandy beaches, Polihale offers a tranquil atmosphere and stunning views of the crystal clear water. Perfect for swimming or just soaking up the Hawaiian sunshine, Polihale also offers great spots for surfing and fishing!

Adventures await at Polihale Beach and State Park, located off Highway 50 via a scenic unpaved old cane haul road. Revel in the 17-mile stretch of soft white sand beaches and rolling dunes for an unforgettable beach-combing or shelling experience!

If you're lucky enough to catch the perfect sunset here, it's sure to be an unforgettable experience. Polihale State Park is a must-visit destination if you're looking for that perfect dream beach vacation.



Kauai is an amazing destination with so much to explore. From its incredible beaches, lush rainforest and dramatic cliffs to its exciting activities – from hiking and snorkeling to surfing and bird watching – Kauai has something for everyone! It's no wonder it's nicknamed "The Garden Isle," visitors are sure to find paradise here!

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About Author

Amelia Gibson

Amelia Gibson is a 28 years old travel blogger who quit her career in finance for her passion for exploring the planet. She's been traveling for six years now and has traveled across 40 countries. She is working with top brands and sponsors from all around the world. She is extremely talented in photography, a good writer, and a content creator.