Must-see attractions in Kauaʻi

  • Outrigger canoe near the beach of Hanalei Bay just after sunrise.

    Hanalei Bay


    Hanalei Bay is Kauaʻi's postcard-perfect beach, embracing surfers, paddlers, bodyboarders and beach bums alike. It's a perfect crescent of golden sand…

  • Photo Taken In Kilauea, United States

    Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    The gloriously scenic wildlife refuge that marks the northernmost tip of the major Hawaiian islands protects both nesting seabirds on the coastal cliffs…

  • Limahuli garden in Kauai, Hawaii.

    Limahuli Garden

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Perhaps the most beautiful spot on an island of unsurpassed beauty, this magnificent garden is a must-see stop on any North Shore itinerary. Besides…

  • A Hawaiian monk seal lounges on Ke'e Beach.

    Keʻe Beach

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Long renowned as one of the North Shore’s most glorious beaches, lovely Ke‘e Beach, beside the Kalalau trailhead at the end of Kuhio Hwy, has been given a…

  • National Tropical Botanical Garden


    Two superb gardens in lush Lawa‘i Valley, run by the National Tropical Botanical Garden, are open to visitors. Allerton Garden, spreading back from a…

  • View of the Napali Coast, Pu'u O Kila overlook, Waimea Canyon State Park, Koke'e State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

    Kokeʻe State Park

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    Besides the two Na Pali lookouts at the end of the paved highway, Koke‘e State Park is the starting point for almost 50 miles of outstanding hiking trails…

  • drive up to the Jagged peaks in the valley of waimea canyon; Shutterstock ID 1789907294; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Waimea Canyon Drive

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    This magnificent scenic drive traces the entire length of Waimea Canyon’s western rim and continues into Kokeʻe State Park, climbing 19 miles from the…

  • Red and yellow hawaiian canoe with outrigger on the beach at Hanalei pier at dawn as the sun lights the sky over Na Pali mountains
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    Black Pot Beach Park (Hanalei Pier)


    The short easternmost stretch of Hanalei Bay, alongside the rivermouth, usually offers the calmest surf among the wild North Shore swells, and is popular…

  • Lumahaʻi Beach

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Countless Kauaʻi locals consider Lumaha‘i their favorite beach on an island blessed with dozens of beauties. It’s utterly cinematic, with thick loamy sand…

  • Puu O Kila Lookout on the Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai, Hawaii; Shutterstock ID 1221867661; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Puʻu o Kila Lookout

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    A mile beyond the Kalalau Lookout, the paved park road dead-ends at the Pu‘u o Kila Lookout. The views of Kalalau Valley, plummeting 4000ft below, are…

  • Stunning aerial view into Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii
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    Waimea Canyon State Park

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    Of all Kaua‘i’s wonders, none can touch Waimea Canyon for grandeur. Few would expect the island to hold such a gargantuan abyss of lava rock; popularly…

  • Kauapea (Secret) Beach

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Far from being ‘secret,’ must-see Kauapea Beach is renowned as one of the most breathtaking beaches on Kaua‘i. You won’t see it signposted, though, and…

  • Salt Pond Beach Park

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    One of Kaua‘i’s safest and loveliest-looking beaches, a favorite with local families, Salt Ponds owes its off-putting name to the separate saltwater flats…

  • Makauwahi Cave Reserve


    This amazing natural site is also a paleontological treasure house. Seen from above, it’s a deep, circular sinkhole, possibly formed by the collapse of an…

  • Kealia Beach Park

    Kapaʻa & the Eastside

    Blessed with a wild, near-pristine location, a laid-back vibe and easy access via car or the coastal path, scenic Kealia is the Eastside's best beach…

  • Awa‘awapuhi Lookout

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    Right at the end of the 3.1-mile Awa‘awapuhi Trail, this incredible overlook affords hard-earned views over a tortuous, sheer-walled valley that snakes…

  • Driftwood tree trunk found on Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail on Kauai.

    Mahaʻulepu Beach


    This secluded sandy beach feels as though it’s sitting on the reef, so it’s no surprise that there’s excellent snorkeling. To get here, hike the Maha…

  • Kauaʻi's Hindu Monastery


    Serious pilgrims and curious sightseers are welcome at this Hindu monastery, set on 70 acres and surrounded by verdant forest above the Wailua River. The…

  • Lydgate Beach Park


    A narrow stretch of blond sand strewn with driftwood can entertain restless kids of all ages, all afternoon. Generally safe swimming can be found in two…

  • Pali Ke Kua (Hideaways) Beach


    Hideaways Beach, also known as Pali Ke Kua, is a cove notched beneath the Princeville cliffs, with a short strand of golden sand and turquoise shallows…

  • Moloaʻa Beach

    Kapaʻa & the Eastside

    This classically curved bay appeared in the pilot for Gilligan’s Island. There's a shallow protected swimming area good for families at the north end; to…

  • ʻAliomanu Beach

    Kapaʻa & the Eastside

    Secluded ʻAliomanu Beach is a spot frequented primarily by locals, who pole- and throw-net fish and gather limu (edible seaweed). It’s a mile-long stretch…

  • Paliku Beach (Donkey Beach) - Ke Ala Hele Makalae Trail / Kauai Multi Use Path, Kauai, HI. 04/04/19: Windswept beach along Kauai's Eastern Coast.
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    Paliku Beach

    Kapaʻa & the Eastside

    Once unofficially known as a nudists' playground, this scenic beach is rarely swimmable, but the rugged and isolated terrain makes for fun beachcombing…

  • Lonely Planet Magazine, Issue 123, March 2019, Hawaii, trunk, flora
The Moreton Bay fig trees in Allerton Garden were film backdrops in Jurassic Park.

    Allerton Garden


    An extraordinary tour of this garden, part of the multisite National Tropical Botanical Garden, wanders deep into Lawaʻi Valley. Robert Allerton, a…

  • Makua Beach - most amazing beach; Shutterstock ID 1719136627; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Makua (Tunnels) Beach

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Yet another too-good-to-be-true North Shore beach. Named for the underwater caverns and lava tubes that pepper the near-shore reef, Tunnels ranks among…

  • canyon, hawaii, kauai, landscape, lookout, valley, waimea canyon
Kalalau Lookout, Kauai.

    Na Pali Coast Wilderness State Park

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Pristine and hauntingly beautiful, this 16-mile-long stretch of soaring green-clad cliffs, white-sand beaches, turquoise coves and gushing waterfalls is…

  • Panoramic view of McBryde Gardens on Kauai. This was the former summer home of the queen of Hawaii. ; Shutterstock ID 603442910; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    McBryde Garden


    Part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, this gorgeous garden showcases palms, flowering and spice trees, orchids and rare endemic species, plus a…

  • ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls, a waterfall located on the ʻŌpaekaʻa Stream in Wailua River State Park on the eastern side of the island of Kauai, Hawaii, United States.; Shutterstock ID 1378671545; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Wailua River State Park


    To ancient Hawaiians, the Wailua River was among the most sacred places across the islands. The river basin, near its mouth, was one of the island’s two…

  • Kilauea Lighthouse

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Built in 1913, the 52ft Kilauea Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1976, though it was shut down during WWII to help the island avoid the attention of…

  • Poʻipu Beach Park


    There are no monster waves or idyllic solitude at the South Shore's most popular beach, but it's a go-to spot with something for everyone. Patrolled by…

  • Kaulu Paoa Heiau

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    The roaring surf was a teacher to those who first practiced the spiritual art of hula, chanting and testing their skills against nature's decibel levels…

  • Polihale State Park

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    The endless expanse of Polihale Beach is as mystical as it is enchanting. The long slow drive here, along a rutted 5-mile dirt road, brings you to the…

  • Valley and ocean below from Kalalau Lookout.

    Kalalau Lookout

    Waimea Canyon & the Westside

    Shortly before the end of the highway, the Kalalau Lookout commands a fabulous overview of Kalalau Valley, sweeping around its towering green-swathed…

  • Kalapaki Beach


    This sandy beach and sheltered bay is tucked between a marina and the mountains. It's overlooked by the Marriott resort, which faces the bay, and by an…

  • Hanalei Plantation Road Lookout


    This spectacular overlook commands views over not only the Hanalei River and its valley, but also the bay and its beaches. To reach it, simply follow…

  • ʻAnini Beach Park

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Winding along the seashore, fringed by overhanging trees, long ‘Anini Beach is a narrow strip of sand that at several points dwindles to the slenderest of…

  • Larsen's Beach

    Kapaʻa & the Eastside

    This long, loamy, golden-sand beach, named after L David Larsen (former manager of the Kilauea Sugar Company), is stunning, raw and all-natural, with a…

  • Kahili (Rock Quarry) Beach

    Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

    Scenic, rugged Kahili Beach nestles between the cliffs at the point where Kilauea Stream meets the ocean. Only its western section is readily accessible,…

  • Poʻipu Beach


    This long swath of prime sand west of Po‘ipu Beach Park is open to all, even if it does stretch right in front of the hotel and condo complexes from which…