Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth-largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Island,” which is an entirely accurate description.
The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers, and cascading waterfalls. Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination. More than just dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. You can kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach, hike the trails of Kokee State Park, or go ziplining above Kauai’s lush valleys. But, it is the island’s laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns that make it truly timeless. Make your escape to Kauai and discover the undeniable allure of the island.
Getting to Kauai
Kauai’s main airport is Lihue Airport (LIH) in southeastern Lihue. Many airlines now offer non-stop service to Kauai. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu first and then heading to Kauai on a short, 25-minute flight.
Staying on Kauai
There are various accommodations to meet your needs. You’ll find everything from budget hotels to luxury resorts in the areas of North Shore (Princeville), East Side (Coconut Coast), Lihue (Kalapaki), South Shore (Poipu), West Side (Waimea). Kauai is also known for its charming bed and breakfasts and guest cottages. You can also rent a condominium or home, which is great for on-the-go families.
Any time of year is a good time to visit Kauai with average yearly temperatures ranging between 84 and 69 degrees. Ocean temperatures are also perfect ranging from 71 to 81 degrees. Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round.
Traveling on Kauai
If you’re planning to explore the island, it’s best to rent a car. This will allow you the flexibility to tour Waimea Canyon one day then spend the next in Hanalei Town. Shuttles and tours are also available, though stops will be limited.
Some of the lush interiors of the island are only accessible by air, so you may find yourself taking a sightseeing sky adventure by helicopter or small plane. Don’t miss the chance to travel by foot on Kauai’s magnificent hiking trails or vast, trackless beaches.
North Shore Kauai
Kauai’s dramatic North Shore is an enchanting setting full of rugged mountains, lush taro fields, heavenly beaches and spectacular sea cliffs. You’ll be amazed at how much beauty can be found in just one area of Kauai.
Begin your journey to the island’s northernmost point. Historic Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse is a wildlife sanctuary and a scenic spot during whale watching season. Visit lovely Hanalei Town, home to stretches of green taro fields alongside colorful shops, galleries, and restaurants. You’ll also find some of Kauai’s best beaches here including Lumahai Beach, the setting for the film “South Pacific,” and Kee Beach, ideal for sunbathing. You can also learn about native plants and see scenic ocean views at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens or at the 17-acre Limahuli Gardens, part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
But the most stunning feature of Kauai’s North Shore is the magnificent Napali Coast. This 17-mile stretch of coastline is lined with cliffs up to 3,000-foot tall, accented with lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls and sea caves. Inaccessible by car, you can hike or take an air or boat tour to view this breathtaking natural wonder.
The North Shore is also home to the upscale resort area of Princeville where you can indulge in world-class hospitality and play at some of Kauai’s premier golf courses. You can also find other accommodations here ranging from historic bed and breakfasts to rental homes allowing everyone the opportunity to experience the beauty of Kauai’s North Shore.
Visit our Kauai Hawaii Goddess Retreat page for details on upcoming travel to the North Shore of Kauai.
Info provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority