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Kauai the natural paradise

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Kauai is a beautiful, lush and lightly developed island, compared to others in the Hawaiian chain. Here are some recommendations for enjoying nature, and getting into the groove of the kauian lifestyle.

Good for
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

14 Places

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14 Places

Kauai Path

Hiking Trails

Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy

Hotels

Na Pali Coast State Park

Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks

Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Eco Tours

Limahuli Garden and Preserve

Gardens

Kapaa

Destinations

Makawehi Lithified Cliffs

Beaches, Geologic Formations

Koke'e State Park

State Parks

Waimea Canyon

Canyons, State Parks, Lookouts

Na Pali Experience

Boat Tours

Hanalei Pier

St. Regis Princeville Resort

Hotels

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Hotels

Hukilau Lanai

Restaurants

  • Kauai Path
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    A great place to bike ride for a few hours. You can jump in for a swim along the way! You will be in Ka'paa, a town smack in the middle of Kauai, so after your ride, or during it, stop off for a bite to eat. See the Kapaa listing for more info on food, shopping and practicalities

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • BIke riding at high noon can be warm during the summer months.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Kapaa
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A great place for a bike ride along the ocean. 11/11/2018
    • nice ride but wish it was longer 07/11/2018
    • Kauai Path
    Address:
    1121 Moanakai Rd
    Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1524
    Phone:
    +1 808-639-1018
    Other:
  • Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
    Hotels
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    This place is a hidden gem. It's a slice of Old Hawaii. The condos are priced right,. The pool bar serves good food and drinks at great prices. There is a brief walk to shops for sundries and for souvenirs. There are some good eateries right around this hotel, or you can cook in, or out, using the barbecues provided. Or just relax in the ocean view jacuzzi! Also, as a side note, a top rated restaurant on the island is here, Hukilau Lanai. Incredible food at decent (for Hawaii) prices.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Check out the Coconut Grove shopping complex for inexpensive restaurants and groceries. Eat at Monicos for giant servings of good Mexican food.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Kapaa
    • Over this place...fourth stay here...and the last! 18/10/2018
    • Great family vacation, close to everything. 12/10/2018
    • Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
    Address:
    520 Aleka Loop
    Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1452
    Phone:
    +1 866-723-9878
    Other:
  • Na Pali Coast State Park
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    A must see for all visitors! Dramatic lush cliffs plunge into the sea, and sea caves dot the coastline. Best seen by boat. You can also hike along the coast, at minimum a two day adventure that is not for the faint of heart (or the minimally fit either). The hike takes you to a camp spot right on the beach, but along the way you will be on narrow paths along high cliffs, so be forewarned. The hike is truly an adventure!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • take the boat trip out of the small boat harbor that is near Poipu. Hike not suitable for children.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Wainiha
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best part of island. 06/11/2018
    • Amazing 29/10/2018
    • Na Pali Coast State Park
    Phone:
    +1 808-335-6833
    Other:
  • Kauai Backcountry Adventures
    Eco Tours
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    This is truly a novelty visit. You will tube down old irrigation canals, plunging in and out of tunnels while riding on moderately speedy water. Hard hats and gloves are provided, water shoes are required. You take a fun jeep ride through old cane and pineapple plantation grounds to get to the jumping off point. Parts of Jurassic Park were filmed here! The lunch provided is nothing fancy, sandwiches, fruit, chips and cookies, but it will hit the spot after your ride.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Suitable for kids and for older adults alike. Fun but safe. Seniors who go on this tour should be at least moderately fit.
    • Look for discount tickets through third party retailers online.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Hanamaulu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Well worth the price and a fun activity for families and couples 12/11/2018
    • Tubing Adventure 12/11/2018
    • Kauai Backcountry Adventures
    Address:
    Highway 56
    Hanamaulu, Kauai, HI 96715
    Phone:
    +1 808-245-2506
    Other:
  • Limahuli Garden and Preserve
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    Lightly visited, this place is a hidden gem. When you think of Bali Hai, this is the place you are picturing. Gorgeous vistas and an easy trail make this place accessible to all. Native flowers and trees are labeled. Come here and take vacation photos of a lifetime.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Do not miss this place! You can snorkel afterwards at Tunnels or Ke'e beach.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Hanalei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Closed! 30/10/2018
    • Best gardens anywhere ! 02/10/2018
    • Limahuli Garden and Preserve
    Address:
    5-8291 Kuhio Hwy
    Hanalei, Kauai, HI 96714
    Phone:
    +1 808-826-1053
    Other:
  • Kapaa
    Destinations
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    If you want to feel local, come here! Most of the people who live in Kauai live here or in Lihue. This town boasts a great street fair with local artists once monthly, sometimes twice. There are lots of places to buy quality, handmade souvenirs. There is a gem shop (you have to go up a flight of stairs to get there) that sells amazing handmade jewelry. These are not cheap trinkets but instead are quality pieces to take home and treasure. The hippie vibe in some parts of town mean you will have no problem finding raw, vegan and vegetarian food here. You can also rent bikes for the nearby bike path, and go to a grocery store with reasonable prices. Ask around for cheap eats. This is where the locals go out to eat, to get a decent meal without paying a fortune. Some options here are sushi, Mexican and family type restaurants.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Great for cheap eats and delicious smoothies. Go to Monicos, Tacos al pastor or Chicken in a Barrel for reasonably priced, good food that will keep your wallet feeling healthy
    • Mineral Amorphia has fantastic jewelry - unique, handmade. Not cheap but beautiful. On the second floor.
    • For the best meal on the island, go to Hukilau lanai, see the entry below.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    • Kapaa
  • Makawehi Lithified Cliffs
    Beaches, Geologic Formations
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    Take a completely deserted hike along white cliffs, with beach access and eerie "whistling" cliffs where tunnels in the bluffs echo the surf up to the hiking path. The combination of the blue water and white cliffs, with wind sculpted trees, is really beautiful. You will most likely have this place to yourself, especially if you go in the morning.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • morning is best time to go to avoid after ok. Sun, not a lot of shade on the hike. Hike is easy and flat, not long either.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 17 things to do in Poipu
    • Small but interesting 11/11/2018
    • Great hike and amazing ocean wave views 05/11/2018
    • Makawehi Lithified Cliffs
    Address:
    near Shipwreck Beach
    Poipu, Kauai, HI
  • Koke'e State Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    To get here is half the fun. You will drive through many ecosystems, and be treated to scenic and dramatic views of the ocean and of Waimea canyon. Once in the park, there is a hike (about 8 miles) that takes you through the worlds highest swamp. It has a boardwalk that runs through the swamp, so don't worry that you will have to get wet. The end of the hike is at an overlook directly above the Na Pali coast. If the weather is in your favor, you will have a fantastic view. If you are socked in by clouds, your consolation is how cool and shaded these clouds will keep you. The swamp trail Alakai is reached by starting out on Pihea trail.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • do not head out unless you have checked the weather. In the rain, the first portion of this trail becomes a mud slick and is not fun. It rains frequently here, be prepared.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 16 things to do in Kekaha
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Huh o Laka Event 08/11/2018
    • Incredible views 20/10/2018
    • Koke'e State Park
    Address:
    Kokee Rd, Hwy 550
    Kekaha, Kauai, HI 96796
    Phone:
    +1 808-335-9975
    Other:
  • Waimea Canyon
    Canyons, State Parks, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    Very accessible and totally beautiful, every trip to Kauai requires at lest a quick visit. You can hike into the canyon if you are daring and very fit, or just enjoy it from the many viewpoints.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • check the weather before driving here, as it can get socked in.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Waimea
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Waimea canyon Awawapui Trail 12/11/2018
    • Can you be a semi grand canyon? 11/11/2018
    • Waimea Canyon
    Address:
    Koke'e Road
    Waimea, Kauai, HI 96752
  • Na Pali Experience
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    Best boat tour to the Na Pali coast. Why? First, you head out into the way the winds start blowing (in the afternoon) and come back with the winds at your back. Second, the tour is very small, so if you have a party of six, you are the only ones on the boat. Third, the captains will maneuver the boats into the various sea caves you pass. As you go in and out of the sea caves, wave at the other, larger boats that don't go in the caves, filled with envious passengers who wish they were in your boat. Finally, enjoy the pods of Dolphins who will swim five feet from your boat. Oh, and don't forget to enjoy the beauty of the coastline that you can only really see from a boat.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • take the morning tour to avoid wind altogether and to see the Dolphins.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Kekaha
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Highlight of our trip! 07/11/2018
    • Amazing Experience! 15/10/2018
    • Na Pali Experience
    Address:
    Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor
    Kekaha, Kauai, HI 96752
    Phone:
    +1 808-635-1131
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:30 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Hanalei Pier
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    The iconic pier in Hanalei Bay is a great spot to jump off, or to go and watch others take the leap.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • wear water shoes when you jump. The ladder back up is painful in bare feet
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 16 things to do in Hanalei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hanalei Pier 11/11/2018
    • Not sure why this is thing 28/10/2018
    • Hanalei Pier
    Phone:
    +1 800-464-2924
    Other:
  • St. Regis Princeville Resort
    Hotels
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    A beautiful hotel with an amazing beach. You will pay a pretty penny to stay here but the view is splendid, and the beach has great kid friendly snorkeling with tons of fish. If you want the beauty but not the price tag, go down to the beach front restaurant, get a snack and a drink, and then wander out to the beach. Or, get a drink at the hotel up above, and watch the sunset.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • if you stay at the Westin right down the road, you have beach and parking privileges.
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great luxury hotel with amazing beach 12/11/2018
    • Enjoy while you can! 11/11/2018
    • St. Regis Princeville Resort
    Address:
    5520 Ka Haku Road
    Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722-5214
    Phone:
    (808) 826-9644
    Other:
  • The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
    Hotels
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    Beautiful pools and condo accommodations make this a very comfortable stay. You also get visitation privileges at the St. Regis right down the street.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • use your St. Regis privileges!
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Property 11/11/2018
    • Lovely property that needs a little TLC! 06/11/2018
    • The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
    Address:
    3838 Wyllie Road
    Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722-5507
    Phone:
    (808) 827-8700
    Other:
  • Hukilau Lanai
    Restaurants (American, Seafood, Polynesian, Hawaiian)
    See more photos
    Angewaa Says:

    One of the best places to eat in Kauai, as ranked by your fellow tripadvisor users! Indoor or outdoor seating, great service, local ingredients and reasonable prices, with a nice view of gardens, makes this place a winner.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • reserve a few days in advance
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 453 restaurants in Kauai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fabulous Food 12/11/2018
    • An excellent meal! 06/11/2018
    • Hukilau Lanai
    Address:
    520 Aleka Loop
    across from Coconut Marketplace
    Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1452
    Phone:
    +1 808-822-0600
    Price range:
    US$20 - US$40
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    17:00 - 21:00
    Other:
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