The Garden Island is among one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Here's 10 of my favorite places we visited during our time in Kauai.
For those of you that are new.. welcome to my blog! My name is Savanna Crowell and I'm a wanderer who likes to share travel tips and insights on my favorite destinations. If you are interested in knowing more about my background, travels, or dreams in life, check out the 'About Me' section of my website. And don't forget to follow me on Instagram @slc_travels to join me on my journeys!
Kauai is a northern island within the Hawaiian islands. It is known for it's beautiful, rugged coastline that's been featured in many films including Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. It also has a much more laid back feel compared to some of the popular tourist islands such as Maui and Oahu.
The weather doesn't vary much throughout the year, but their two seasons include: wet and dry season. The dry season runs from April to October, and the wet season is from November to March. The most crowded months - and the highest airfares - are during the wet season, because many people are escaping the cold winter months.
10 Beautiful Places to Visit
1. Kalalau Lookout
Tucked in Koke'e State Park is this beautiful overlook of the Napali Coastline. It's free to enter the park, but has a small fee for parking. I recommend getting up as early as possible to come to this overlook because the longer in the day you wait, the more likely clouds will roll in and block the entire view! We camped overnight in Koke'e State Park, so we got to the overlook during sunrise and the place all to ourselves! We rented this camper van on Airbnb (which I highly recommend because you get a vehicle and accommodation for the price of one!): https://www.airbnb.ie/rooms/48013320source_impression_id=p3_1642609378_%2FQv5JiIs3rIg75U2
2. Tunnel's Beach
My favorite beach on Kauai, and one of my favorite I've ever visited. Tunnel's beach is a must! It's located just a bit outside of Ha'ena State Park on the north side of the island. The scenery gives off major Jurassic Park vibes! It doesn't get too crowded here and brings in a crowd of both locals and tourists.
3. Hanalei Valley Lookout
Located on the north side of the island, in between Princeville and Hanalei. This lookout s easily accessed off of the main road and is a perfect spot for pictures! You can just pull over (there is a little parking lot) and stop to admire the views!
4. Polihale State Park
This beautiful beach requires a 4-wheel drive car to access it. It's a bit hidden, and on your way there you're going to think you took the wrong road. You will turn left off of the main road and drive 5 miles down a dirt road filled with potholes and bumps. But, I guarantee the bumpy drive is worth it! This was an amazing beach with gorgeous views of the cliffs. I also really enjoyed this beach because since it was harder to get to, it was way less populated.
5. Ha'ena State Park
An absolute must while on Kauai. If you love hiking, this is the trail for you. While in the state park, hike the famous Kalalau Trail which goes right along the Napali Coast. The views are like none other! It's an 11-mile oneway trail that ends on Kalalau beach. If you don't have the time there are two other stops along the way. First, (where we stopped) is Hanakāpīʻai Beach. This is at the 2-mile marker, so it is 4 miles roundtrip. It's a beautiful beach and a great turnaround point if you don't have as much time. The second stop would be Hanakāpīʻai Falls which is at the 4-mile marker. If you cut out the whole day for this hike, I would recommend going here.
You need to book a reserve far in-advance to visit the park. You can book your tickets here: https://gohaena.com
6. Waimea Canyon
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific! I definitely see how this beautiful place got its nickname. There are many different trails to see these gorgeous views: Waimea Canyon Lookout (off the road, 0.1 miles), Iliau Nature Loop trail (0.4 miles), Kukui Trail (hard, 5.0 miles). You don't need to pay or have a reservation for this park, but you do need to pay for parking once there.
7. Red Dirt Waterfall
This is a hidden gem of Kauai in my opinion. You can find this Mars-looking area on your way to Waimea Canyon. You can just search "Red Dirt Falls" on google and it will take you there! It's free and you can spend a lot of time just walking around the whole area, its so beautiful!
8. Wailua Falls
This was the most beautiful waterfall we saw while in Kauai. You can access it just right off of the road, there's an overlook! Unfortunately, there is no official hike to go down there, so you can only admire the views from the top. But, it's definitely worth a stop while on the island.
9. Anini Beach
This beach was so unique and peaceful! There were no crowds, the beach was so clean, and no big waves (which is rare for Hawaii)! It was so unique with the trees that have formed right over the beach! Grab your beach chair and you could relax there all day!
Special thank you to Sunflow for providing me with this amazing beach chair.
Poipu is a very popular town and beach, and for a reason. We saw 2 sea turtles, and 1 seal during our time at the beach! You can go snorkeling right off of the beach, relax in the warm sand, or swim out to the little island off the shore! Poipu is located on the south side of the island where the climate is much sunnier than in the north, making this a prime spot for a beach day. While here, definitely make a stop in the cute town of Poipu as well (and grab lunch at the famous Puka Dog!).
Map of Locations
These are just a few of the beautiful places on the island of Kauai. I hope I have inspired you to check out some of them for your next vacation! Until next time friends..keep exploring!! xxx, Savanna