Trip time! Discover the beaches, island views, and waterfalls in romantic Kauai.

The fourth largest and northernmost of Hawaii’s islands, Kauaʻi is known for its lush rainforests and rugged coastline, earning it the nickname “The Garden Island.”

Follow the eastern coastline to Wailua. Located along the shores of the state’s only navigable river, the town is a hub for outdoor activities. Take a boat tour along the tributary to explore Fern Grotto, then on the drive back to town, pull over to admire Wailua Falls, a towering triple waterfall.

Hawaii’s northernmost point, Kīlauea, is known for its dramatic, rugged setting. Take in the views at Kīlauea Point. Once a volcanic vent, this National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal place to glimpse some of the state’s rarest bird species, which nest around Kīlauea Point Lighthouse.

The sleepy oceanfront village of Hanalei is just 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of Kīlauea. Surf and snorkel in Hanalei Bay or hike the Kalalau Trail for unparalleled views of the coastline. Watch the sun set over Hanalei Pier, immortalized in the classic film South Pacific.

Head southwest to explore the rugged cliffs and breathtaking scenery along the Na Pali Coast. This 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of coastal wilderness is accessible only on foot, boat or helicopter, but is an unforgettable experience.

Waimea is located on the western coast of Kauaʻi. This relaxed beach town is just 13 miles (20 kilometers) from Waimea Canyon, often called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Poipu and Kōloa are two of the island’s southernmost towns. Often considered to be a single municipality, these old-fashioned villages feel like they belong in a bygone era. Stay at one of the oceanfront resorts and wake up to views of the Pacific each morning.

Kauaʻi’s Lihue Airport offers direct routes to the USA and Canada, and is connected to most major destinations throughout Hawaii. With only two main highways, one of which partly circles the island, Kauaʻi is easy to navigate. Car rental is highly recommended. The island operates a bus service, however only carry-on luggage is permitted and stops are limited.

Known for

Beaches, Hiking and Snorkeling

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Where to stay in Kauai

Poipu
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Poipu

Beaches, Sunsets, Snorkeling

Hawaii’s “sunny side of paradise” balances adventure with relaxation, offering world-class waves and outdoor activities amid a serene tropical setting. 

Nawiliwili
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Nawiliwili

If you're spending some time in Nawiliwili, Kalapaki Beach and Nawiliwili Bay are top sights worth seeing.

Wailua House Lots
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Wailua House Lots

If you're spending some time in Wailua House Lots, Lae Nani Beach and Sleeping Giant Trailhead are top sights worth seeing.

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Top Hotels in Kauai

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Kauai Beach Resort
Kauai Beach Resort
4 out of 5
4331 Kauai Beach Dr, Lihue, HI
$199/night
Aug 22 - Aug 23
4.2/5Excellent! (2,858 reviews)

Located in Lihue, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course, 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Nukolii Beach Park, and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,858 reviews)

"The room we stayed in was quite nice, with a pool and ocean view. The pools were all amazing in their own way as well as the water slide. The breakfast buffet at the restaurant was also great! Had a few minor issues with the TV but once resolved the issues did not return."…"

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2019

Kauai Beach Resort
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Princeville Resort
5 out of 5
5520 Kahaku Road, Princeville, HI
$399/night
Aug 28 - Aug 29
4.4/5Excellent! (597 reviews)

Located in Princeville, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course and within 3 mi (5 km) of Makai Golf Club and Princeville Golf Course. Princeville Botanical ...

4.4/5Excellent! (597 reviews)

"The Princeville had an incredible view. We will definitely be back"…"

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2019

Princeville Resort
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Kauai Shores Hotel
3.5 out of 5
420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa, HI
$139/night
Aug 26 - Aug 27
4.1/5Very Good! (1,628 reviews)

Nestled on the beach, this Kapaa hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Lae Nani Beach and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Beach Park and Waipouli Beach ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,628 reviews)

"I would say overall everything was great, But just like back home, I would say breakfast should included even if it’s only a english muffin or a box of cereal, but besides being picky, that is honestly the only down fall. Perfect place to stay. Enjoy if you do stay here"…"

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2019

Kauai Shores Hotel

Popular things to do in Kauai

Na Pali Coast State Park
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Na Pali Coast State Park

Hike for hours along a meandering path to reach a hidden beach or go kayaking along the shore to see soaring cliffs rising dramatically from the sea.

Waimea Canyon
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Photo provided by Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Waimea Canyon

Gaze out at the colorful greens and reds of the majestic peaks and troughs in Kauai’s Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Poipu Beach
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Poipu Beach

Visit one of the world’s best beaches, with coves of white sand and clear water decorating the Sunny South Side.

Limahuli Garden and Reserve
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Limahuli Garden and Reserve

Discover a fragile ecosystem and wander through a plantation-era garden in this scenic tropical garden next to the Pacific Ocean.

Nawiliwili Bay
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Nawiliwili Bay

Explore the great outdoors at Nawiliwili Bay, a popular spot to commune with nature in Lihue. Amble around this romantic area's beautiful beaches, or seek out the local tours.

Kalapaki Beach
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Kalapaki Beach

Learn to surf in this protected cove, rent a canoe or catamaran and enjoy the picturesque vista of verdant green mountains.

Top activities in Kauai

5-Hour Secret Falls Kayak/Hike
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5-Hour Secret Falls Kayak/Hike

$55

This half-day trip of hiking and paddling on the Wailua River is a must-do activity while on Kauai. With an easy-going voyage in a tandem kayak and a moderate hike to a beautiful waterfall, you can truly appreciate the diversity and stunning beauty of the island, an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.

Backcountry Tubing Adventure
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Backcountry Tubing Adventure

$103

Venture to some of the most beautiful and remote areas in Kauai for breathtaking scenery and backcountry mountain tubing. As your knowledgeable guide shares stories of the island's history, sit back, relax, and float down a century-old waterway made of open ditches, tunnels, and flumes.

Wailua River & Waimea Canyon Tour
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Wailua River & Waimea Canyon Tour

$121

From the comfort of an air-conditioned tour bus, see Garden Isle highlights such as the majestic Waimea Canyon and historic towns. Afterward, hop on a boat for a scenic cruise up the serene Wailua River to the legendary Fern Grotto.

Scenic UTV Ultimate Ranch Tour
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Scenic UTV Ultimate Ranch Tour

$102

Join us for a beautiful and breathtaking 3 hour Kauai off-road scenic tour through Kipu Ranch. With a diverse landscape, abundant wildlife, and spectacular views our signature tour makes Kipu Ranch one of the premier eco-tour locations in Hawaii.

Smith Family Garden Luau
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Smith Family Garden Luau

$98

Discover the spirit of aloha with a Hawaiian luau in a true tropical paradise on east Kauai. Set in the beautiful and sacred Wailua River Valley, this evening treats you to a delicious island-style meal along with a performance that brings Polynesian music and dance to life, complete with a thrilling fire-knife finale.

Hanalei Bay Kayak and Snorkel Tour
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Hanalei Bay Kayak and Snorkel Tour

$99

On this three-hour guided tour on Kauai, enjoy the great Hawaiian outdoors as you kayak along the scenic Hanalei River towards Hanalei Bay where you then snorkel in Bay Reef Lagoon.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Kauai

LGBT wedding and honeymoon guide: Kauai
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LGBT wedding and honeymoon guide: Kauai

Finding an ideal LGBT wedding or honeymoon spot on Kauai

Christmas in Kauai
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Christmas in Kauai

Celebrating the holidays on Hawaii's Garden Isle

Solo travel on Kauai
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Solo travel on Kauai

Spending time on your own in Kauai is a great way to meet others