Kauai Sights

Even a nickname like "The Garden Island" fails to do justice to Kauai's beauty. Verdant trees grow canopies over the few roads, and brooding mountains are framed by long, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and sheer sea cliffs. Pristine trade winds moderate warm daily temperatures while offering comfort for deep, refreshing sleep through gentle nights.

The main road tracing Kauai's perimeter takes

you past much more scenery than would seem possible on one small island. Chiseled mountains, thundering waterfalls, misty hillsides, dreamy beaches, lush vegetation, and small towns make up the physical landscape. Perhaps the most stunning piece of scenery is a place no road will take you—breathtakingly beautiful Napali Coast, which runs along the northwest side of the island.

For adventure seekers, Kauai offers everything from difficult hikes to helicopter tours. The island has top-notch spas and golf courses, and its beaches are known to be some of the most beautiful in the world. Even after you've spent days lazing around drinking mai tais or kayaking your way down a river, there's still plenty to do, as well as see: plantation villages, a historic lighthouse, wildlife refuges, a fern grotto, a colorful canyon, and deep rivers are all easily explored.

While exploring the island, try to take advantage of the many roadside scenic overlooks and pull over to take in the constantly changing view. Don't try to pack too much into one day. Kauai is small, but travel is slow. The island's sights are divided into four geographic areas, in clockwise order: the North Shore, the East Side, the South Shore, and the West Side.

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The East Side 23

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Kapaa and Wailua 18

Lihue 5

The North Shore 23

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Hanalei, Haena, and West 13

Princeville and Kilauea 10

The West Side 15

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Hanapepe 6

Waimea and Waimea Canyon 9

The South Shore 13

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Koloa 2

Poipu 11

The Napali Coast 2

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Category

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 3

Bath/ Hot Spring 1

Beach–Sight 34

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 2

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Cave 2

Farm/ Ranch 4

Garden/ Arboretum 5

Geological Site 3

Historic District/ Site 1

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 1

Information Center 1

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 1

Museum/ Gallery 6

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 1

Park/ Playground 2

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Tour–Sight 1

Town/ Village 1

Trail/ Path 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 9

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Best For

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Family 13

Gay and Lesbian 1

Kauai Sights

Showing 76 out of 76 Results

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Grove Farm Homestead

  • Museum/Gallery

Guided tours of this carefully restored 80-acre country estate offer a fascinating and authentic look at how upper-class Caucasians experienced...

Haena Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

This is a drive-up beach park popular with campers year-round. The wide bay here—named Makua—is bordered by two large reef systems...

Hanakapiai Beach

  • Beach–Sight

Hanakapiai Beach is a small jewel you’ll discover after the first 2 miles of Napali Trail and crossing the stream. It’s a beauty,...

Hanalei Bay

  • Beach–Sight

This 2-mile crescent beach cradles a wide bay in a setting that is quintessential Hawaii. The sea is on one side, and behind you are...

Hanalei Pier

  • Marina/Pier/Dock

Built in 1892, the historic Hanalei Pier is a landmark seen from miles across the bay. It came to fame when it was featured in the award-winning...

Hanalei Valley Overlook

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

Dramatic mountains and a patchwork of neat taro farms bisected by the wide Hanalei River make this one of Hawaii's loveliest sights.

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge

  • Bridge/Tunnel

This bridge may not be the biggest adventure on Kauai, but it's enough to make your heart hop. It's considered a historic suspension...

Hanapepe Valley and Canyon Lookout

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

This dramatic divide and fertile river valley once housed a thriving Hawaiian community of taro farmers, with some of the ancient fields...

Hanapepe Walking Tour

  • Tour–Sight

This 1½-mile self-guided walking tour takes you to 14 different plaques with historic photos and stories mounted on buildings throughout...

Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill

  • Farm/Ranch

Rice grew in the taro fields of Hanalei Valley for almost 80 years—beginning in the 1880s and ending in the early 1960s. Today, this...

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