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Kauai is the perfect vacation destination for people who want to escape from the realities and reconnect with nature. For centuries, this Hawaiian island has calmed the souls of individuals who walked on its shores. If you are on the lookout for a nerve-chilling travel destination, look no further than these top 10 tourist attractions on Kauai.
You will experience an abundance of tropical beaches, legendary waves, a rich banquet of Polynesian culture, jaw-dropping scenery, and unforgettable sunsets. Whether you are a beach person, a surfer, a hiker, or even out on your honeymoon, Kauai is the place for you.
Keep reading our travel guide to know the best things to do in Kauai for a terrific itinerary.
10 Tourist Attractions On Kauai For A Great Hawaiian Vacay
1. Hanalei Valley Lookout
This tourist site gives a glorious view of cascades, mountains, and patchwork of fields. The panorama is filled with waterfalls, dramatic mountains surrounding a lush green valley with fields of taro. You can see the Hanalei River flowing from here.
On sunny days you can spot rainbows cast through the mist and localized showers. You can go on a nature walk in this area to get a sense of the size and beauty.
Location: Highway 56/560, Princeville
Things to do in Hanalei, Kauai:
- Scuba and Snorkeling at the best beach in Kauai- Hanalei, Lumahai, Tunnels beach, and more
- Shopping at farmer’s market, Tahiti Nui, and Hanalei strings
- Come to Queen’s bath, a beautiful sinkhole surrounded by rocks and full of aquatic life
Eating places: Sushi Giri, Princeville Bar, Opakapaka Grill are within 5 km of distance
Also Read: 20 most magical Spots in Hawaii
2. Limahuli Garden and Preserve
The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is a coastal valley full of exotic vegetation. It has a spectacular view of grand hills, the Pacific Ocean, and the Makana Mountain which is locally known as Bali Hai. Here you can learn about the different types of plants that were important to the early inhabitants of this island.
You can also see a wide range of native species and plants that are imported from abroad. At the back of the garden, Limahuli Preserve is situated. The place is used by scientists to make attempts in preserving some of the island’s native species.
Location: 5-8291 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei
Places to visit nearby:
- Ha’ena state park
- Ke’e beach
- Kalalau trail
3. Koke’s State Park
Extended on the edges of Waimea lies another state park that is a must-visit place in Kauai. The 4000 ft cliffs inside the park offer spectacular views when covered in mist. However, the views are not always stunning but worthy during monsoon.
It is a natural hiking trail; surprisingly tourists can reach the historical museum via the park.
Other popular hiking trails near Koke:
- Waipo’o Falls trail
- Awa’wapuhi trail
- Honopu Ridge trail
4. Kilauea Point Lighthouse
This landmark building has guided ships for over a hundred years. From this point, you can enjoy stunning coastal views and wildlife. Built-in 1913, this lighthouse is one of Kauai’s most popular tourist attractions for picturesque ocean views.
Location: 23 miles away from Kilauea town
What to see?
Green sea turtle, Humpback whale, Red-footed booby, and Wedge-tailed shearwater are few exotic marine creatures to see here.
Entry fee: $10 for adults
5. Na pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Na pali Coast State Park is a picturesque place. It has eclectic terrain that stretches along the northern coast of Kauai island. The park has many trails that lead through tropical forests which makes it a popular hiking area. You can bring your snacks and drinks and enjoy a relaxed picnic with your friends against the scenic Kalalau Valley.
Location: It is and a half-hour drive from Lihue Airport and situated near Haena State Park. Bus from Hanalei also runs to Kalalau from where you can reach the park.
Things to do in Napali Coast, Kauai:
- Kayaking is a must-do water sport activity here. Paddle for 5-6 hours under the dark sea caves.
- Camping is another great activity you can do here. However, plan early as the place quickly get crowded.
- Napali Coast is very huge and full of lush landscapes and hiking trails. Hike from Hankapiai to Hanako to have a deep insight into the park.
Lying on the Giant Sleeping Mountain, the town of Kapaa is one of the enthralling places to visit in Kauai. However, it is a tourist-friendly town with a diverse array of hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants. The sunrise views and luaus are the few things for which Kapaa is famous.
You must shop for handicraft products here made by local craftsmen using traditional materials. You can also indulge in different water sports here such as water skiing and kayaking.
Location: North-east of Wailua and approx 35 km away from Kauai Airport
Tourist places in Kapaa
- Another best beach in Kauai lies in Kapaa town. Kealia beach is perfect for surfing, picnic, and boogie boarding.
- Koloa Rum Company is the biggest distilleries here that tourists can visit to improve their knowledge of rum
- The Sleeping giant trail which is 1.75 miles long full of rocks, hills, and beautiful scenery should be on your list
- Princeville botanical garden
- The golden sand of Secret beach
Lihue is the administrative capital of Kauai. Here, you must pay a visit to Kauai Museum to understand the island’s rich cultural heritage and history. You can also take a ride through the Kilohana plantation.
Lihue Things to do:
- A trip to Grover farm homestead museum and Kauai Museum
- Stop at the Fish express for satisfying fish meals such as fish tacos and more
- Play at Puakea golf course
- Participate in Luau Kalamaku festival, a traditional dance fest
- Enjoy canal tubing at Kauai Backcountry adventures
This small South Shore town is dominated by local art galleries that sell paintings, photography, jewelry, and other unique local art. The mellow vibe of this town will hold you.
What to do in Hanapepe?
- There is a glass beach in Kauai’s industrial area. Eleele beach in Hanapepe is famous for million glass pieces that cover this beach with rainbow colors.
- Chefs of this city know how to cook succulent recipes from local ingredients. Eggplant parmesan, four-cheese lasagna, and grilled veggie charlotte are few recipes to try.
- Every Friday the town welcomes tourist and the public to see some of the amazing arts and enjoy appetizers and music while exploring
- Ever walked on a swinging bridge, Hanapepe has it which is definitely a thing to see in Kauai
- Kauai Soto zen temple should be the last spot in the town for ending the journey peacefully
- Another best beach on Kauai is salt pond beach that is famous for reddish-pink sodium crystals.
The Waimea Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions on Kauai Island. It is a valley of red-brown hills and green vegetation. The Canyon stretches across 14 miles at a maximum depth of 3,600 feet. You can drive through the park to reach Waimea Canyon.
You can park your car in the designated parking lots and walk around to behold the marvelous vista.
2 Hours in Waimea
- It will take this much time to see the entire park and if hiking is on your mind, come pre-planned.
- Ishihara market is a popular Japanese supermarket that serves delicious cuisine in Asia. Spicy ahi poke, seasonal iidako, and smoked marlin are must-try recipes
- Wide virgin beach curls, long, dirty roads of Polihale state park will fill you with enchanting memories. Do come here
10. Best Beaches In Kauai
Hawaii is famous for its beach and Kauai has a few of the best that everyone should visit once in a while. Here are a few where you can do snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, and other water sport activities:
- Anahola Beach
- Anini beach
- Kee Beach
- Kalihiwai beach
- Mahaulepu beach
Is There Any Best Time To Visit The Places In Kauai?
Kauai has stable weather all year round. Kauai gets heavy rainfall but most rain showers are brief. During winters, the temperature ranges around 70-80 °F and during summer the temperature remains in the bracket of 70-80 °F.
Considering the weather and tourist demands, April, May, August, and September make the perfect time to visit this beautiful island.
Do not forget to tag us in your Kauai travel pictures. Which island are you planning to visit next? Share with us in the comments below.