The Hawaiian island of Kaua'i has everything you can dream of — from dramatic cliffs and canyons to lush jungle and crashing waterfalls to stunning beaches and more. The adventures are endless on the Garden Isle! Here are a few things you can't miss.
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, an amazing oceanfront property with excellent service, great pools, and a relaxing spa (the couples massage was magical). The Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences also looks beautiful. The location is closer to the airport, and it's a little pricier.
The Nā Pali Coast is a must visit. The mountainous coast spans 17 miles of the North Shore of Kaua'i' and you can only access it by foot, sea, or air. We chose to go on a catamaran and snorkel excursion through Capt Andy's, and it did not disappoint. You can choose from the daytime sail or sunset sail options. The main difference is that the day sail (5.5 hours) provides the opportunity to snorkel as the waters are calmer in the morning. They also offer smaller raft expeditions that allow you to get closer to the coast and visit the sea caves. Pro tip: take preventatives to help prevent motion sickness. This was the highlight of our trip!
Our two favorite beaches in Kaua'i include Poipu Beach and Kauapea Beach. Poipu Beach was our favorite beach on the South Shore — it's a great spot for swimming and turtle sightings. Kauapea Beach, also known as Secret Beach, is quiet and secluded as it requires a short hike to reach the beach. It's stunning!
There are so many amazing hikes around the island, but here are a few of my faves:
The Mahaulepu Heritage Coastal Beach Trail is a beautiful 4 mile (out-and-back) coastal hike right by the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort where we stayed. The Makauwahi Cave, Hawaii’s largest limestone cave, is at the other end of the trail. It is protected but you can view it from above or go inside during operating hours 10am to 4pm (free to visit but donations are appreciated). There's also a little reserve with turtles you can explore.
The Okolehao Trail Hike is another great hike. It's a 2.5 mile trail that climbs to 1,250 foot elevation. The lookout at the top makes the incline worth it though, I promise. The Queens Bath Trailhead allows you to explore the rocky volcanic coastline. The ocean waves crash onto the rocks, filling pools along the coast. Waimea Canyon State Park, which is known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," is filled with incredible views and hikes.
Driving around Kaua'i is an activity in itself as you pass by waterfalls, canyons, beaches, and more. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect little pull off while you're driving around Kaua'i. The view from the pull off is beautiful, or you can pay a small fee to see the wildlife reserve and lighthouse. Wailua Falls is another great pit stop while driving around the island. Also, don't miss the Wednesday farmer's market at The Shops at Kukui‘ula with fresh veggies, fruits, and flowers!
If you're looking for the best spots to eat in Kaua'i, check out my other travel journal: Where to Eat in Kaua'i.