Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument


The largest contiguous fully protected conservation in the US, this marine reserve is home to over 7000 species and 14 million seabirds. It covers 139,797 sq miles off the coasts of Hawaii.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kauaʻi attractions

1. Salt Pond Beach Park

5.89 MILES

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…

3. Captain Cook Landing Site

5.95 MILES

The precise spot where Captain Cook first set foot on Hawaiian soil being unknown, a large boulder near the mouth of Waimea River was arbitrarily chosen…

4. Waimea State Recreational Pier


Flecked with microscopic green crystals called olivine, this wide, dark-tinged beach stretches between two scenic rock outcroppings and is bisected by the…

5. Lucy Wright Park


It’s a telling reflection of how locals feel about Captain Cook that the beach where he first landed is named not for Cook but for Waimea’s first Native…

6. Waimea Town Center

6.07 MILES

Waimea’s plantation-era core offers some interesting architecture. Take a short stroll to admire the neoclassical First Hawaiian Bank (1929), the art deco…

7. Captain Cook Monument

6.07 MILES

A statue of Captain James Cook stands on Waimea’s central green space. When his ships Resolution and Discovery sailed into Waimea Bay in January 1778,…

8. Waimea Hawaiian Church

6.07 MILES

Sunday’s Hawaiian-language mass at this simple low-slung church makes an interesting way to connect with local culture. Waimea’s first Christian…