Emerald mountains, weeping waterfalls, red-rock canyons, jaw-dropping beaches, clear seas and big waves. Kaua‘i's natural gifts are unparalleled in Hawaii, the USA, the world.
With an astonishing list of outdoor adventures, Kauaʻi will puncture your resort bubble. Here you can soar over and settle into tropical valleys in a helicopter, zip through treetops on a cable, navigate narrow single tracks to the shoulders of a sleeping giant or down deep into a grand canyon. You can paddle a sacred river or motor into sea caves, wander isolated beaches, drop in and get barrelled on a point break, or drift with sea turtles in coves saturated in that perfect blue. Each new experience merges unforgettably with the island's majesty.
Feel the Mana
The island inspires inward explorations too. On Kauaʻi, the mana (spiritual essence) of the ʻaina (land) is palpable, because the values of the ancient Hawaiians are alive and well, and rooted in a holistic understanding of the natural world. You will encounter this in simple ways, such as when someone gives you directions mauka (inland) or makai (seaward), or in a passing shaka (Hawaii hand greeting sign) when you yield on a one-lane bridge. Hawaiian culture is built on moderation, balance, fairness and unity, producing a gentle pace of life, strong families and legendary hospitality.
Island Way of Life
You can’t help admiring the way that Kauaʻi has preserved itself in the face of the 21st century. Here, no town surpasses 10,000 people. By law, no building is taller than a coconut tree, and it is impossible to circumnavigate the coast by car. When a multimillion-dollar ferry arrived to begin service to neighboring islands, Kaua‘i residents, concerned over environmental and other issues, blocked its path. It never returned. Visitors do, however. That doesn't mean Kaua‘i lacks challenges. Conflicts continue on the Westside over the dominance of big agriculture, but on the whole the island projects harmony.
A locals only ethos that flowered from surf culture and permeated the Hawaiian Islands influences social, political and commercial life on Kaua‘i too. Happily, of late it has also influenced chefs, supermarkets and restaurants island-wide. Anywhere you eat on Kaua‘i, from the fast food of Bubba's Burgers to JO2, the latest restaurant from renowned chef Jean Marie Josselin, you are likely to be feasting on sustainably grown meat and vegetables cultivated on the island by local farmers, or fish caught by local anglers just offshore. That freshness brings flavor you'll love, and it nourishes the local economy too.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kauaʻi.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Kauaʻi.