Rich in lush green rain forest, dramatic cliffs and Hawaiian culture is the island of Kauai. An adventurer and relaxers dream island, Kauai also known as the garden isle, provides a beautiful setting for all visitors. So sit back and enjoy this guide as I share with you, my favorite stops, shops and adventures from the island of Kauai.
Since a great deal of the island is covered in dense rain forest or private farmland I have split the island up into the North and South ends of the island. The north end near the town of Princeville is a popular destination for most mainlanders. An upscale community that boasts beautiful sights, beaches and the islands famous light house make Princeville is a must see.
My favorite side of the island is the South end. We stayed at The Point at Poipu located near Poipu beach, rated one of the best beaches in the world. The location of The Point couldn’t have been more ideal, just minutes from the town of Koloa and walking distance to amazing beaches and sights like the spouting horn shown below.
If you are looking to go a bit more luxury, right next door is the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. This breathtaking resort features its own beach, amazing pools and slides, five star dining and an array of entertainment to never have to leave the resort. We spent and evening at the Grand Hyatt ordering cocktails on the veranda and listening to live Hawaiian music.
$ Bubba Burgers– This local chain serves burgers from local farms, hot dogs and other delights all in a causal atmosphere. Perfect stop for a quick and easy lunch!
$$ Brennecke’s Beach Broiler– The beachfront view, fun atmosphere and world renowned Mai Tais make this place the perfect stop after a day spent at Poipu beach. Downstairs is the cutest little snow cone shop that serves their snow cones with ice cream!
$$$ The Dolphin– My first reaction when I though of eating sushi on the Hawaiian islands was a bit of confusion, but the casual lanai atmosphere and fresh local seafood made this some of the best sushi I have ever tasted. A bit on the more expensive end ~$30 for a sushi roll, but well worth it in my opinion!
Since most of the island is covered in rain forests or is private property, the only way to truly see is to experience the island is from all angles: air, land and sea!
Take a helicopter tour! We took the Grand Circle Tour with Island Helicopters. It felt like a dream floating above the trees and cliffs seeing the Jurassic falls, Waimea Canyon and Na’ Pali coast. I was in camera heaven!
Take and ATV tour! Kinda like a Hawaiian version of muddin’, Kipu Ranch Adventures provides high action and high speed fun. The private owned ranch was the setting for many movies including Jurassic park, Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Go for a drive! Being that there is really only one main road around the island, one of the best ways to see it all is to go for a drive. Highway 520 will take you through the Tree Tunnel, a mile or so stretch of road lined in beautiful eucalyptus tress.
Take a Catamaran tour! Sunset on the Na’Pali coast was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Although sailing to that region of the island was full of waves and lots of up’s and downs the relaxing downwind sail and dinner was the perfect way to end a day at sea. We even got to see spinner dolphins on our sail back to Port Allen!
Rent snorkel gear and visit the beaches! Kauai is know for its beaches but why not experience more than just the sand. Dive in and see the beautiful sea life that calls this island home. We rented snorkel gear from Snorkel Bob’s for less that $10 for the week! Poipu beach is a great place on the south end of the island to snorkel, weather permitting. We found the wind on the south end of the island made the water and waves there sometimes too rough to snorkel. On the north end of the island, Tunnels beach is where I was able to swim with sea turtles. About 10 yards off the shore just minding our business, my dad and I stumbled upon a sea turtle who swam with us for a few minutes and provided the most memorable experience of my trip! How cool is that?!
And there you have it!! How amazing is Kauai?! If you have any questions about the island, what we did or need help planning your own trip let me know and I will be more than happy to share my amazing experience! Aloha!