Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet

Waimea Canyon & the Westside

This is the edge of the world. And everything from the people to the food to the landscape is somehow more wild, more uncharted than on the rest of the island. You won't find many top-notch resorts or restaurants, but you will get a genuine broad-grinned spirit that is proud, authentic and directly Hawaiian.

With several noteworthy parks, lots of sunshine and access to the world famous Na Pali Coast, this is an adventurer's dream come true. There are deep, riveting red canyons, impossibly steep jungle cliffs, forgotten surf breaks, empty beaches, chart-topping views, waterfalls and a seemingly infinite expanse of ocean.

Kauaʻi doesn’t get more local than the Westside, where revered traditions and family pride reign. You’re more likely to hear fluent Hawaiian, spot a real-life paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) and see fishers sewing their nets here than anywhere else on the island.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Waimea Canyon & the Westside.