Unforgettable Places to Go in Kauai: Say Aloha to Paradise

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No picture or video does it justice if you’ve never been to a Hawaiian island. Kauai, in particular, contains some of the most breathtaking sights, from the jagged mountains of Na Pali Coast State Park to the trails of Kalalau Beach to the striking Hanakapiai Falls, among many others.

As you take in all the lush greenery and vibrant colors, you’ll quickly understand why Kauai is known as the “Garden Island.”

Kauai Attractions

Some of the most compelling Kauai sites to visit include guided tours and relaxing shopping in charming local shops. There are plenty of places to go in Kauai without a single artificial building in sight, but starting with the beaten path is sometimes the most rewarding.

Tour the Kilauea Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built over 110 years ago on a 180-foot-tall rocky peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On May 1, 2013, one hundred years to the day after it was constructed, the lighthouse was dedicated to Hawaii Senator Danial K. Inouye for his tireless efforts to preserve and restore the historic structure.

Explore Waimea Canyon State Park

Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” the Waimea Canyon is a stunning panorama of unparalleled scenery and one of the must-see places in Kauai. The canyon was carved by the 14-mile-long Waimea River, which reaches 3,600 feet deep in places. Many lookouts give an unblemished view, particularly the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout and Pu’u o Kila Lookout.

Go Shopping in Old Koloa Town

If you’re interested in slowing down and taking in some low-stress shopping, you may have tried searching for “Hawaii’s best places to visit small shops” or some similar search term. No doubt you came across the charming Old Koloa Town, home to a great variety of local clapboard storefronts and restaurants.

Stroll Around Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is home to one of the more famous Kauai scenic spots, specifically Hanalei Beach, featured in the movie, South Pacific. Make sure to take in the historic Wai’oli Hui’ia Church, built in 1912 on a meeting site founded by the American Christian Missionaries in 1834.
You must visit the Hanalei Valley Lookout if you want what is often considered the pinnacle of Kauai sightseeing. It’s one of the most photographed spots on the island — and Hawaii overall. With its mesmerizing waterfalls and taro fields, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad picture. After exploring and taking photos, head into the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, where you’ll see taro gardens growing on lava rock terraces.

Tour a Chocolate Farm

Who doesn’t love chocolate? In Kauai, there’s plenty of it. Some of the most popular Kauai tourist attractions are the many chocolate farms dotted around the island, and many offer tours so you can see how the chocolate is made. Among the many places to go in Kauai are Lydgate Farms, Garden Island Chocolate, and Wild Kauai Chocolate, where you can even design your own chocolate bar!

Outdoor Activities in Kauai

Many tourist attractions in Kauai, such as the Old Koloa Town shops, can take you indoors or slow your pace. But if you want to be in nature and experience all of The Garden Island offers, then make sure to pack your bathing suit and your hiking boots.

Go Snorkeling at Poipu Beach

Seeing the brilliant array of sea life in Hawaii is an unforgettable experience, and the best area in Kauai to do so is Poipu Beach. You can see live coral, sea turtles, parrot fish, and many other incredible underwater creatures.

Hike the Na Pali Coast

The 11-mile Kalalau Trail is part of the Hawaii State Parks system, and it takes hikers along the Na Pali Coast from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach. You’ll traverse imposing sea cliffs and gorgeous green valleys along the way. There are even authorized camping areas should you want to experience nature overnight!

Kayak the Wailua River

If you’ve ever wanted to swim under a waterfall, gently float along a stream with dense greenery, and enjoy a secluded tropical rainforest, then kayaking the Wailua River should be on your activity list. The Uluwehi Waterfalls feel like a view that only comes from a dream.

Zipline Over the Forest

If you want a more elevated view of Kauai, take a zipline over the jungle! Short of renting a plane, it’s the best way to take in the scenery from such a unique vantage point.

Take Surf Lessons on the South Shore

Learn to ride the waves at Kauai’s South Shore year-round. Surfing is embedded in Hawaiian culture, and you’ll get a genuine appreciation for the power and majesty of the Pacific once you become familiar with how to handle a board.

Visit Fern Grotto on a Wailua River Boat Tour

Take a river cruise along what is known as “the only navigable river” in Hawaii. The river is fed from Mt. Wai’ale’ale and takes visitors to Fern Grotto. In Fern Grotto, ferns grow upside down on the ancient grotto roof.

Tips for Visiting Kauai, Hawaii

To make sure your visit goes as smoothly as possible, you must:

Plan ahead

Ensure you have your lodgings booked, restaurant reservations made, tour tickets in hand, and pack travel supplies such as clothes, toiletries, phone chargers, etc.

Rent a car

Make sure you rent a vehicle large enough to carry your family/friends, suitcases, shop purchases, etc.

Check the weather

The climate in Kauai doesn’t change much. It stays humid and warm most of the time, but storms can occur. Stay on top of the weather to ensure you don’t get rained out on a planned hike.

Plan Your Hawaiian Adventure Today

Kauai is an unforgettable place, and to make sure you get the most out of your vacation, don’t overspend on your rental car!

Discount Hawaii Car Rental is your best source for Kauai car rentals, whether you need a massive SUV or a budget-friendly compact. Don’t start your vacation without a rental.

Rent a car from Discount Hawaii Car Rental right away. For more information, check out our website and contact us today!