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Guide to Kauai Outdoors

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Even among those lucky enough to live in Hawaii or visit often, Kauai holds a special place in their hearts for its stunning scenic beauty and vast expanses of unspoiled nature.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

6 Places

4 City Tips

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6 Places

Hanalei Beach

Beaches

Ke'e Beach

Beaches

Waimea Canyon

Canyons, State Parks, Lookouts

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Lighthouses, Nature & Wildlife Areas

Wailua River State Park

State Parks

Na Pali Coast State Park

Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks

Chris O's City Tips

  • A little "aloha spirit" goes a long way anywhere - especially on this laid back island.
  • As scenic and wild as the island is, it can easily seem like a giant parking lot if you don’t time your visits to beaches and attractions right.
  • There’s a reason why this far flung archipelago of tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is considered a surfer’s paradise: big waves!
  • Swim with caution and learn as much about local conditions as possible before hitting the beach.
  • Hanalei Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    This laid back and family-friendly beach in Hanaei Bay, with a funky little town attached and utterly stunning jagged mountain range backdrop, is an understandably popular destination on Kauai. Depending on time of day and of year, the water can be a giant bath of calm or churn of big surf. But whenever you go, the scenery is guaranteed to take your breath away.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you're driving here, be prepared to pay to park and try to arrive early.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Hanalei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Pleasant stroll 16/11/2018
    • The sand is deep and warm. 13/11/2018
    • Hanalei Beach
  • Ke'e Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Located at Kauai’s famous 'End of the Road' (all of the Ha’ena State), you'll find the especially pretty Ke’e Beach with its picturesque lagoon and views of the lush Na Pali Coast.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bring your snorkel gear!
    • Parking can be a nightmare here. Consider going early if driving; cycling or hiking is a great option if you have the time.
    • Love to hike? Bring your boots! There are amazing and scenic trails waiting to be explored nearby.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 239 things to do in Kauai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Road is closed in Hanalei no access to Haena, Ke’e beach, Kalalau trail etc. 04/11/2018
    • Love ke’e but closed and may be a year or forever 31/10/2018
    • Ke'e Beach
    Address:
    Highway 560 kauai
    North Shore
    Kauai, HI 96716
  • Waimea Canyon
    Canyons, State Parks, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    At ten miles long and 3,000 feet deep, this 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific' is a sight to behold. Whether going for a scenic drive or a hike, you will be blown away by the vistas, colors and vast scale of Waimea Canyon.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Try the Iliau Nature Loop for a short and easy walk. Go for the Kukui Trail for more a strenuous hike.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Waimea
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unbelievably Beautiful 16/11/2018
    • Beautiful vistas around every bend 15/11/2018
    • Waimea Canyon
    Address:
    Koke'e Road
    Waimea, Kauai, HI 96752
  • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
    Lighthouses, Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    This wildlife refuge on the rugged northwestern coast of Kauai is a bird watcher’s paradise and home to Kilauea Point Lighthouse and amazing views of the Pacific.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Watch for nene, Hawaii's official state bird.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Kilauea
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Make sure to bring your camera 17/11/2018
    • Informative & Beautiful Views 08/11/2018
    • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
    Address:
    Lighthouse Road
    Kilauea, Kauai, HI 96754
    Phone:
    +1 808-828-1413
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Wailua River State Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    The Wailua River State Park is an area both of natural beauty and historical significance, and is home to the only navigable river on the Hawaiian islands.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Kayak or take a leisurely cruise into the rainforest and explore the island’s famous Fern Grotto.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in Wailua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • More than Just the River 22/10/2018
    • Lovely place for watersports 07/10/2018
    • Wailua River State Park
    Address:
    Highway 56
    Wailua, Kauai, HI
    Phone:
    +1 808-933-0416
    Other:
  • Na Pali Coast State Park
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    The Na Pali Coast is true wilderness at its best and one of the most dramatic coastlines you’ll ever view.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Know your limits, be aware of weather conditions and make sure someone knows you’re "out there" before embarking on any of the more advanced hikes along the coast.
    • Consider a sea kayaking tour or cruise to get the best views of Na Pali.
    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:
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