Best Kauai Attractions and Points of Interest
Here is a variety of Kauai attractions in Hawaii that will keep you and family pleased throughout your time on the island. You can choose from a wide range of attractions on Kauai that include hiking in the Koke'e State Park, viewing the stunning colors at the Grand Canyon of the Pacific in Waimea Canyon State Park or take a kayak paddle up the Wailua River. You can visit the Kilohana Plantation and take a ride on the Kauai Plantation Railway or visit the Makauwahi Cave Reserve to view fossils. If you like tropical gardens then try the Allerton Botanical Gardens or the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. Other exciting options include visiting Hanalei Pier on Black Pot Beach or watching whales from the Kilauea Lighthouse. Choices of Kauiai points of interest are numerous and we are sure you will find your own that will leave lasting memories.
Waimea Canyon State Park in Kauai
If you want to see natural beauty at its finest, then the best Kauai attraction for you is to visit Waimea Canyon State Park. Located in the western portion of the island, Waimea Canyon State Park is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon State Park is spectacular and the canyon measures 10-miles long as well as 3,640-feet deep. The Waimea Canyon State Park was formed by the collapse of a volcano and the continuing erosion that the Waimea River creates. Waimea Canyon State Park has lots activities to keep you occupied and if you like hiking you will find numerous trails that lead to gorgeous views from atop the canyon. There are numerous waterfalls you can view and photograph as well as a plethora of rainbows that arch over the canyon. You will be pleased with the lookouts that offer easy access to incredible scenery. You can go fishing and there are plenty of places within the park to have a great picnic amongst the superb scenery.
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park in Kauai
If you are seeking an outdoor adventure that includes high cliffs, white sand beaches and beautiful scenery, then the perfect Kauai attraction for you is to visit Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park. Located on the northwestern shoreline of the island, Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is situated within 6,175-acres and extends some 16-miles along the coastline of Kauai. Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park has incredible and breathtaking scenery from atop cliffs that are some 4,000-feet above sea level where you can view several waterfalls and the lush tropical landscape of the Kalalau Valley. There are numerous opportunities for hiking including the Kalalau Trail which traverses five valleys and is 11-miles in length. There are easy day hikes or more strenuous hikes for expert hikers and if you are lucky you can hike at the way to Kalalau Beach. You can apply for a permit to camp at either Kalalau or Hanakoa where you will find minimal facilities. You can also visit Na Pali Coast Wilderness State Park by kayak or boat and by paddling or sailing to Miloli'i along the coast. You will be thrilled with every minute you spend in the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park.
Wailua River in Kauai
If you like exploring rivers and the natural environment, then the ideal Kauai attraction for you is the Wailua River. Located 15-minutes north of Lihue on the eastern shore of the island, Wailua River starts at Mt. Waialeale and continues for 20-miles through the Wailua River State Park before entering the Pacific Ocean. The Wailua River is the only navigable river on Kauai and is a spectacular place to kayak or paddle an outdoor rigger canoe. You can access several waterfalls like Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls while taking an incredible journey of the Wailua River. Other attractions you can visit while at Wailua River are Fern Grotto where you can view a lava rock cave that is accented by hundreds of fern plants, Secret Falls and the Kamokila Hawaiian Village which gives you an idea of early Hawaii life. While on the river you will watch numerous animals in their native habitat as well as view the superb tropical landscape that surrounds this beautiful river.
Fern Grotto in Kauai
If you are looking for a picture perfect postcard setting, then the best Kauai attraction for you is to visit the Fern Grotto. Located along the Wailua River within the eastern portion of the island, Fern Grotto is a spectacular lava rock cave which accented by hundreds of ferns growing flowing from the outer rock walls. Fern Grotto has been a favorite place for many to visit and offers excellent acoustics from the amphitheater shaped cave. Fern Grotto was nearly destroyed during Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and has been closed since 2006 when heavy rains made the cave unsafe to enter. Fern Grotto is actually situate on private land and you can take a 40-minute boat to this attraction and view the cave from an observation deck. Many people have chosen to get married at Fern Grotto because of the picturesque landscape and superb acoustics.
Lihue in Kauai
When you need to go shopping, get to the airport or just relax at a nice restaurant, then the ideal Kauai attraction is the town of Lihue. Located on the southeastern shore line of the island, Lihue is the capitol city of Kauai with just over 6,000 residents. Lihue began as a small village and by the middle of the 1800s was transformed by a large sugar mill that was constructed. Today the city of Lihue is well traveled because of the airport and cruise ship port as well as boasting the most premier shopping mall on the island. Lihue has several nice beaches which include Ninini and Kalapaki Beach which have pleasant white sand and excellent swimming as well as watersport activities. Other attractions nearby Lihue include the Menehune Fishpond, Kauai Museum, the historic plantation at Kilohana and the Grove Farm Homestead Museum.
Kilauea Lighthouse in Kauai
One of the most popular Kauai attractions is the Kilauea Lighthouse which is a marvelous testimony to the grandeur of lighthouses around the world. Located on the north shore along Kilauea Point, the Kilauea Lighthouse is 52-feet high as well as 180-feet above the Pacific Ocean and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kilauea Lighthouse was constructed with a Classical Revival architectural design in 1913 and was decommissioned in 1976. Since this time the lighthouse has gone through a total renovation and has been restored to its original beauty. The Kilauea Lighthouse is the center piece for the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge - a fantastic Kauai attraction, and visitors can revel with big panoramic views of the wildlife, Pacific Ocean as well as the lush tropical landscape that surrounds this lighthouse. The Kilauea Lighthouse was also features in two Walt Disney movies which were Lilo and Stitch and the sequel Stitch! The Movie. If you are looking to fill-up a whole day then stop by Anini Beach, go horseback riding at Silver Falls Ranch and make a stop for chocolate at Garden Island Chocolate.
Photo by Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup
Spouting Horn in Kauai
When you want to see one of nature's best features and be mesmerized by sound as well as the Pacific Ocean, then the perfect Kauai attraction for you is the Spouting Horn. Located on the south shore of the island near Poipu, the Spouting Horn is a fabulous blowhole which shoots water 50-feet into the air. The Spouting Horn was created over 4 million years ago when Kauai was formed by a volcano which left thousands of lava tubes across the island. After the lave tube collapsed inside the ocean started its magical powers of carving the inside out of the lava tube. During high tide you can watch the crashing waves come to shore and the salty water is propelled over 50-feet into the air. Another interesting thing about Spouting Horn is the accompanied sound from a smaller tube nearby which sucks air through the lava tube. Spouting Horn is a great photograph opportunity and you can include a stop at the Allerton as well as McBryde Gardens for a full day of fantastic natural beauty.
Photo by Nogwater
Kilohana Plantation in Kauai
If you are interested in the early days of the island and curious about the lifestyle of the sugar plantation owners, then the ideal Kauai attraction for you is the Kilohana Plantation. Located near the town of Lihue on the southeastern shore line of the island, the Kilohana Plantation was originally a 27,000-acre sugar plantation. The Kilohana Plantation has an excellent Tudor design mansion which dates to 1935 as the center piece of the estate. Kilohana Plantation has several attractions within its present day 35-acre compound. The mansion offers a peek into the luxurious lifestyle plantation owners enjoyed and there are lots of exhibits as well as interpretive signs throughout the house. Also on the grounds is a fabulous manicured garden as well as an old plantation village. The Kilohana Plantation has something for everyone within its boundaries like the Kauai Plantation Railway which takes you on a tour of a working farm and there is the Koloa Rum Company which distills rum products onsite. Gaylord's Restaurant is one of the best Kauai attractions to enjoy a meal and if you like luaus, then you must try Luau Kalamaku.
Photo by Joe Baz
Kauai Coffee Company in Kauai
If you consider yourself a true coffee connoisseur then the only Kauai attraction that you should visit is the Kauai Coffee Company. Located 17-miles from Lihue and near Poipu, the Kauai Coffee Company is situated on a 3,100-acre estate and has been in business since 2009. The Kauai Coffee Company is the largest coffee farm found within the United States and has over 4 million trees. The Kauai Coffee Company grows and roasts over 20 different flavors of coffee on the estate. You can take a free walking tour of the farm and watch the process from growing to roasting to packaging. Stop in at the end for nice tasting of some the world's best coffee. The Kauai Coffee Company is ideal choice to combine stops at places like the Russian Fort, Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke'e State Park.
Photo by Family O'Abé
Koke'e State Park in Kauai
When you want to hit the mountains and not the beach, then a superb Kauai attraction for you is the Koke'e State Park. Located in the northwestern portion of the island near Waimea Canyon State Park, Koke'e State Park is situated within 4,345-acres of mountainous terrain. Koke'e State Park is fabulous with mountains that stand 4,200-feet above sea level and over 45-miles of hiking trails. The park boasts great panoramic views of the Kalalau Valley and the Na Pali Coastline. Some of the best hiking trails in Koke'e State Park include Waimea Canyon Lookout, Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls, the Awa'awapuhi Trail and the Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp. No matter what level of skilled hiker you might be, you can find the perfect trail in Koke'e State Park. There is also the Koke'e Natural History Museum within the park that concentrates on birds, vegetation and the climate. The Lodge at Koke'e offers lodging with 12 rustic style cabins and camping is permitted within the park and there are picnic facilities throughout the park.
Photo by Lara604
Huleia National Wildlife Refuge in Kauai
If you want to view endangered bird species from a distance while soaking up the tropical landscape, then the best Kauai attraction for you is the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge. Located in the southeastern portion of island adjacent to the Menehune Fishpond, the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge is situated on 241-acres and is closed to the public. You can watch the 31 species of birds that reside within the refuge from a roadside lookout or by taking a kayak up the Huleia River. There are five endangered species that live within the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge which include a Hawaiian coot, stilt, duck, goose and moorhen. Eighteen of the other 26 bird species were introduced to Hawaii. The Huleia National Wildlife Refuge has also been the tropical backdrop for several movies including Jurassic Park, Lost World and Raiders of the Lost Ark. When you are finished looking at this cool Kauai attraction, you can take a quick stop at the Menehune Fishpond which is a 1,000 year old agua-culture structure.
Photo by Jeff Muceus
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Kauai
If you like dramatic views of the coastline and watching birds and marine life in their native habitat, then a superb Kauai attraction is the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the north shore at Kilauea Point, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is situated on 203-acres which overlook the Pacific Ocean. The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is not open to the public but you have several prime viewing areas which include the Kilauea Point Lighthouse. You can watch albatross, wedge-tailed shearwaters and great frigatebirds soar in the sky above as well as watch for incredible marine life like humpback whales swimming in the Pacific Ocean. The scenery is spectacular with sea cliffs that are 500-feet tall making this a prime spot for many bird species to nest. You can combine a trip here with a stop at Kauai Mini Golf, Secret Beach and the Princville Botanical Garden for memorable day.
Photo by Jan Arendtsz
Mt. Waialeale in Kauai
If you are intrigued by tremendous rainfall, tropical scenery and heights, then the perfect Kauai attraction for you is to visit Mt. Waialeale. Located in the southeastern region of the island, Mt. Waialeale form the headwaters of the Wailua River. Mt. Waialeale is the second highest point on Kauai and towers over 5,000-feet above sea level. The mountain receives over 450-inches of rain a year which produce a series of waterfalls on the sheer cliffs that are referred to as the Wall of Tears or the Weeping Wall. Access to Mt. Waialeale is difficult because of the amount of rain but you can travel on 4x4 road that is owned by the Wailua Forestry Management Road. Easier ways to view this spectacular place is by helicopter where you will get a bird's eye look at the mountain as well as the waterfalls cascading down the cliff and the gorgeous tropical landscape that surrounds Mt. Waialeale.
Photo by _e.t
Niihau in Kauai
If you like to learn about far away cultures and listen to languages that are on the verge of dying, then an ideal Kauai attraction is Niihau. Located 17-miles west from the coastline of Kauai, Niihua is the smallest of Hawaii's inhabited islands with only 200 residents and is commonly referred to as the Forbidden Island. Niihua is accessed from the Kaulakahi Channel and is privately owned by the Robinson family. The residents on Niihua speak almost entirely in Hawaii languages and the Robinson family has dedicated their lives to ensure that the culture of this island will never be lost. There is no development on the island and residents use bikes or just walk for their primary way of transportation. Many people travel by catamaran which offers views of marine life monk seals, humpback whales and spinner dolphins before they go snorkeling in the unspoiled reefs that lay just offshore of the island. Another ideal way to view the beauty of Niihua is by taking a helicopter or flying excursion around the island.
Old Koloa Town in Kauai
If you want to view a quaint and enchanting town that is packed with fun, then a great Kauai attraction for you is Old Koloa Town. Located along the south shore of the island just 20-minutes west of Lihue, Old Koloa Town is situated on the first sugarcane plantation on the island and was the location of a large sugar mill. Old Koloa Town is fantastic for a quick drive from Lihue and before you enter the city you will drive through a one-mile tunnel that has been carved out of the tropical landscape. There is a fabulous history center as well as an interesting heritage trail for you to walk that has useful interpretive signs along the path. There are numerous shops within Old Koloa Town which include Hula Moon Gifts, Southshore Bikinis, Divine Planet and Larry's Music. Dining options at Old Koloa Town range from Koloa Shave Ice to Pizzetta to Tom Kat's Grille to Koloa Mill Ice Cream and Coffee.
Photo by lj16
Wai'oli Mission House in Kauai
The Wai'oli Mission House is a perfect Kauai attraction when you want to learn more about the lifestyle of the island's missionaries. Located in the town of Hanalei along the north shoreline of the island, the Wai'oli Mission House was constructed in 1837 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wai'oli Mission House was constructed with a southern planation style by Abner and Lucy Wilcox who came to the island from Kentucky. The Wai'oli Mission House is packed with period pieces of furniture from a wall clock to a lava rock chimney to a spinning wheel to a whale oil burning lantern. The Wai'oli Mission House is very much a living history museum and as you are strolling through the grounds, you can listen to interesting facts about the early days of the missionaries on the island from the docent's onsite. Your family will be pleased by visiting the Wai'oli Mission House which can be viewed on your own or as a stop on one of the many island excursions available.
Photo by Andy Price
The Kauai Museum is the perfect Kauai attraction for travelers who are seeking to learn more about the history of Kauai and the Hawaiian Islands. Located in the heart Lihue within the southeastern portion of the island, the Kauai Museum is housed within a fabulous lava rock building which was originally constructed as a library and was home to the Lihue City Library for decades. The Kauai Museum main focus is on the artisans of Niihau and Kauai. The museum features many exhibits within its walls that range from the geology of the island to early native lifestyle to Captain Cook's presence to Hawaiian Monarchy. The Kauai Museum is loaded with fantastic galleries that highlight the arts, craftsmen, sculptors and the numerous multi-cultured artisans of the area. You can combine the Kauai Museum with a stop at Kauai Escape Room for fun and games or include an afternoon at nearby Kauai attraction - Niumalu Beach Park. There are several nice dining options within walking distance to the museum which include Kauai Pasta Lihue, the Kauai Beer Company and the Hamura Saimin Stand serves Asian delights.
Photo by Anson Chappell
Menehune Fish Pond in Kauai
The Menehune Fish Pond is a fascinating Kauai attraction when you are seeking to view one of the oldest fish ponds on the island. Located a short drive from Lihue within the southeastern portion of the island, the Menehune Fish Pond is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is believed to be 1,000 years old. Folklore tales believe that the Menehune Fish Pond was constructed by the Menehune in just one evening. The Menehune people lived in the forests of Kauai and continually hid from humans until one night they built this perfect fish pond which is located on the Hulei'a Stream. The Menehune Fish Pond has a lava rock wall that is 900-feet in length between the pond and the stream which is approximately 5-feet high. Legend has the Menehune people lining up from the village of Makaweli which is 25-miles away and began hand passing the stones to the pond. The Menehune Fish Pond is situated on private land but you can breathe in a gorgeous view from a lookout point on Hulemalu Road.
Photo by John Verive
Limahuli Garden and Preserve (Hanalei) in Kauai
A gorgeous Kauai attraction is the Limahuli Garden and Preserve which is home to plants and animal species which were important to early island natives. Located just a short drive Hanalei along the north shore, the Limahuli Garden is situated within 17-acres and the preserve is set within an additional 985-acres. The Limahuli Garden and Preserve spans three different ecological zones which run from the Makana Mountains to the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. While at Limahuli Garden and Preserve you will learn about the importance of plant life through a series of exhibits within visitor's center as well as when you walk through the gardens. You will view native and non-native plants such as papala, lama, hau kuahiwi, banana, kukui and breadfruit. You can also marvel at the Limahuli River which is one of the last pristine rivers on the island and features an 800-foot waterfall. The preserve is not open to the public and is a study area for biologists and conservationists that are trying to introduce more native species into the gardens. You can combine a trip to the Limahuli Garden and Preserve with a hike on the Kalalau Trail or a lazy day on Tunnels Beach.
Photo by Jeff
Allerton Garden in Kauai
The Allerton Garden is a perfect Kauai attraction for travelers that wish to view a pristine tropical landscape which is home to many native plants and animals. Located along the south shoreline near Poipu and overlooking Lawa'i Bay, the Allerton Gardens are situated on 80-acres within the Lawa'i Valley which contains the Lawa'i Stream. The Allerton Gardens have been continually cultivated by the hands of a Hawaiian Queen, while the grounds were part of a sugar plantation, by an architect and most importantly by an artist. The Allerton Gardens has a fantastic visitor's center which explains the garden's history as well as the various plants that form the landscape. There are a series of beautiful gardens that appear between the Lawa'i Stream and the valley cliffs. You will be thrilled to view the various water fountains, miniature waterfalls and pools that are featured within the gardens. The Allerton Garden focuses on landscape design that sports bronze sculptures and a variety of plants from gingers to palms to heliconias. If you are a movie buff you will be pleased to find out that the gardens have been highlighted in such films as Jurassic Park, South Pacific, Donovan's Reef and of course Magnum, P.I.
Photo by Family O'Abé
Koloa Rum Company in Kauai
If you like to sip rum and learn about the distilling process, then an ideal Kauai attraction for is the Koloa Rum Company. Located in the town of Lihue, the Koloa Rum Company was established in 2009 when they released their first distilled products of rum. When you visit the Koloa Rum Company you can listen to master distillers explain the process of making rum from the sugar cane fields to Hawaiian rainwaters to bottling. You will be pleased with the tasting room where you can sample some of the finest rum in the world and certainly the best made in Hawaii. Also located at the old Kilohana Plantation is the company store where you can purchase one of the nine Koloa Rums or already prepared libations as well as various other souvenirs to remember your time at the distillery. You can combine a visit to Koloa Rum Company with a stop at other Kauai attractions - Kauai Plantation Railway or by attending the Luau Kalamaku in the evening.
Photo by Moultrie Creek
Princeville Botanical Gardens in Kauai
If you are interested in seeing a small intimate botanical garden, then an ideal Kauai attraction for you and your family is the Princeville Botanical Garden. Located in Princeville along the north shore of the island, the Princeville Botanical Garden is situated in the Anini Stream Valley and is the brain child of Bill and Lucinda Robertson. First started as a hobby in 2001, the Robertson's begin to expand the gardens in 2004 when they moved to Kauai fulltime. The jungle landscape is gorgeous and is now being restored to its natural wonder after many years of encroaching non-native plants. The Princeville Botanical Gardens are loaded with native medicinal, rare, canoe and some economic plants from around the world. As you stroll through the garden areas you will spot a variety of plants and trees such as Pride of Burma, Black Calabash, Peach Creek Palm, Breadfruit, Lavender Scallops as well as Cacao. While you tour the grounds you will taste honey from the onsite beehives, gourmet chocolates and sample fruits from the orchard. You can make the Princeville Botanical Gardens your primary Kauai attraction with side stops at the Hanalei Valley Lookout and a splendid day on Anini Beach.
Photo by Mark Goebel
Hanalei Pier in Kauai
When you want to see one of the more iconic images from the movie South Pacific, the best Kauai attraction for you is to visit the Hanalei Pier. Located overlooking the Hanalei Bay along the north shore of the island and directly on the black sands of Black Pot Beach, the Hanalei Pier was originally constructed of wood in 1892 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hanalei Pier is over 300-feet in length and has not been used for shipping purposes since 1933. The Hanalei Pier is a favorite place for locals and visitors to stop while they are in the area for many reasons including Black Pot Beach, fishing as well as lively entertainment. There have been several movies such as Beachhead and South Pacific filmed at the iconic pier. If you want to include another stop nearby while visiting then try Hanalei Beach, Pali Ke Kua Beach as well as a trip to the Hanalei Valley Lookout.
Photo by Tom Bridge
Queen's Bath in Kauai
If you like the outdoors, natural wonders and hiking a short trail, then the perfect Kauai attraction for you is Queen's Bath. Located outside of Princeville along the north shore coastline, Queen's Bath can be accessed by a moderate trail that is just over a half-mile in length. Queen's Bath is a unique tidal pool feature that was formed by a sinkhole which is surrounded by igneous rock. Once you are at Queen's Bath you can enjoy jumping off the rocks into the calm waters of the tidal pool and take a quick swim. Queen's Bath boasts tremendous views of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful rock formations and there is a waterfall you can watch as the water cascades down the rocks. When you are finished experiencing this natural wonder you can make a quick stop at Hanalei Pier and Black Pot Beach where you will find plenty of Kauai attractions and entertainment, as well as dining options like the Hideaways Pizza Pub or the Happy Talk Lounge.
Photo by jongela19
National Tropical Botanical Garden (Poipu) in Kauai
When you are ready to walk amidst some of the best tropical gardens in the world, then an ideal Kauai attraction for you is to visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Located near Poipu on the south shore of the island, the National Tropical Botanical Garden is comprised of two gardens which are the Allerton and McBryde. These gardens have a complete different feel to both and you can easily make a whole day by strolling through these gardens. The National Tropical Botanical Garden is situated in the Lawai Valley and includes the picturesque setting of the Lawai Stream which cuts through both gardens. You will marvel at the plants you will view that include orchids, palms, rubiaceae, heliconias and many more. The landscape design that is found at Allerton has a European flare and the diversity of plants found within the McBryde portion is second to none in the world. There are informational visitor's centers onsite to help educate you while you stroll around these beautiful garden landscapes.
Photo by Anson Chappell
Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Kauai
If you like to learn more about your spiritual inner being, then the best Kauai attraction for is to take a visit to Kauai's Hindu Monastery. Located in the west-central portion of the island on the Wailua River, Kauai's Hindu Monastery is situated on 382-acres and is also known as Kauai Asdheenam which was founded in 1970 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Kauai's Hindu Monastery offers various meditation and spiritual classes throughout the monastery for travelers seeking spiritual guidance as well as self-improvement. There are two main temples which are the Kadavul Nataraja Siva and the Iraivan Temple on San Marga. The Kadavul Temple is constructed of wood as well as stone and features a 108 gold-leaf statue of Siva which is the supreme god to Hindu worshippers. The Iraivan Temple has a gold-leaf dome with gray and black granite stones which have been carved by stonemasons from Bangalore, India. Only participating Hindus are allowed to pray here but you are free to walk the grounds and soak up the serenity of the atmosphere.
Photo by Anson Chappell
Kauai Eco Sporting Clays in Kauai
One of the newest Kauai attractions is the Kauai Eco Sporting Clays and is ideal for people who want to try their skills at clay target shooting. Located in the southern section of the island near towns of Lihue and Hanamaulu, the Kauai Eco Sporting Clays features one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The Kauai Eco Sporting Clays features shooting with either a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun that is specially designed for outdoor clay target shooting. The Kauai Eco Sporting Clays has five different stands for you to shoot from and features eight traps at each stand. The traps release the clay targets from various angles and at differing speeds to make the shooting more challenging for experts or easy for novices. You will have the opportunity to shoot at five targets at each stand before moving to the next area. When you want combine this activity with something nearby then make a stop at the Wailua Falls or the Koloa Rum Company for a relaxing rum punch.
Photo by Anthony Crider
Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kauai
An incredible Kauai attraction is the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and they are ideal for travelers who enjoy viewing a pristine tropical landscape. Located on the north shore near Kilauea, the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens are situated on 240-acres within a tropical wonderland that is the creation of Joyce and Ed Doty. The Doty's have transformed the flat pasture lands of former plantations into a magical place of lagoons, waterfalls and gardens that sport exquisite bronze statues.The formal garden known as the Poinciana Maze will take you back in time to a picturesque setting in Europe where plants formed intricate mazes for people to enjoy and relax within. The Ka'ula Lagoon features brightly colored koi fish swimming in an unbelievable serene world of water and beauty. The International Desert Garden resembles a desert dry wash that is packed with species of plants from places like New Mexico and Southern California. You can easily spend an entire day here and if you want to include a couple of quick stops along the way then try the Kilauea Lighthouse, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge or take the kids to Kauai Mini Golf.
Photo by Jeff Muceus
Koke'e Mountains in Kauai
The Koke'e Mountains are a great Kauai attraction for people that like the outdoors and beautiful tropical forests. Loacted in the northwest poriotn of the island, the Koke'e Mountains are situated within the Koke'e State Park and the Waimea Canyon State Park. The Koke'e Mountains are a perfect place to soak up the tropical environment at heights of above sea level that exceed 4,000 feet. There are a number of hiking trails located within the mountains such as Kukui Trail, Iliau Nature Loop, Cliff Trail and the Black Pipe Trail. Most of the hikes are short and are under 2-miles round trip making this a perfect place for novice hikers with families or you can combine several trails to make for a more advanced hike. You can choose to spend a couple of nights camping or just explore the numerous trails and the views of the Pacific Ocean are breathtaking once on top of the Koke'e Mountains.
Photo by Leonard S Jacobs
McBryde Garden in Kauai
The McBryde Garden is a must see Kauai attraction for people who enjoy relaxing and learning about plants in a gorgeous manicured landscape. Located near Poipu along the shore south, the McBryde Garden is situated on 50-acres of pristine tropical landscape within the Lawai Valley. The McBryde Garden has a gorgeous garden that includes the Biodiversity Trail which highlights the story of native Hawaiian plants for over 450 million years until today. The McBryde Garden is dissected by the Lawai Stream which features several small waterfalls and ponds that contain rare species of native plants. During your visit you will be pleased to view orchids, palms, flowering trees and heliconias. The McBryde Garden has a nice visitor's center with several exhibits detailing the difference between native and non-native plants that thrive on Kauai. You can make a whole day of the experience with stops at other Kauai attractions such as the Allerton Garden, Prince Kuhio Park, Spouting Horn and still have time to relax at Poipu Beach Park.
Photo by Anson Chappell
Hanapepe Swinging Bridge in Kauai
The Hanapepe Swinging Bridge is a unique Kauai attraction for families and travelers. Located in the southern portion of the island near the town of Hanapepe, the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge was originally constructed in the early 1900s so that residents could cross the Hanapepe River. The Hanapepe Swinging Bridge is a long suspension bridge that was reconstructed after Hurricane Iniki destroyed the original structure. As you walk across the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge you can get a little scared as the bridge sways and rocks to every foot step. Children are especially thrilled with this Kauai attraction because of the playground like movement the bridge offers them. You can include a stop at Hanapepe where you will find art galleries as well as arts and crafts shops which are loaded with unique souvenirs. While you are Hanapepe stop by Little Fish Coffee for lunch or maybe try the Hanapepe Cafe and Bakery.
Photo by Zanzabar Photography
Anahola Beach Park in Kauai
The Anahola Beach Park is an ideal Kauai attraction for families and watersport enthusiasts. Located on the east coastline of the island, Anahola Beach Park has a beautiful half-mile stretch of white sands which is backed by the Kalalea Mountains and overlooks the Anahola Bay. Anahola Beach Park is considered by many travelers and locals to be the safest beach along eastern coastline. The waters are calm along the east end of the bay and are a great place for kids to swim as well as body board. Other watersport activities that are common here are surfing on the northern portion and the waters are perfect for novice scuba divers as well as snorkelers. Many locals will visit this beach and there is good pole fishing at the Anahola River. The Anahola Beach Park has facilities and is one of the only places on the eastern coastline of the island that allows overnight camping. If you didn't pack a picnic then you can grab a bite to eat at Duane's Ono Char-Burger and Reggies Wild Boar serves up Hawaiian specialties.
Photo by Chris Park
Kamokila Hawaiian Village in Kauai
The Kamokila Hawaiian Village is a perfect Kauai attraction for families who want to learn more about the ancient culture and history of Kauai. Located in the eastern portion of the island near Opaeka'a Falls, the Kamokila Hawaiian Village is situated on 4-acres within the Wailua River State Park. The park contains fourteen historic thatched-roof structures, petroglyphs and there is a lagoon. The structures are significant for being related to the ruling king of Kauai who was King Kaumuali'i. Some of the structures have been reconstructed using traditional construction methods and materials. The Kamokila Hawaiian Village also contains the movie set from the 1995 movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo. The park is a living history museum with interactive exhibits, storyboards and artifacts that explain the history of the village. The lush tropical landscape that surrounds the Kamokila Hawaiian Village is packed with native species of fauna, flora and animals. Children will like such cool Kauai attractions as the Courtyard where they can learn and play about spear throwing, Hawaiian bowling and other traditional Hawaiian games. You can also access Secret Falls from here via a short 35-minute hike that takes you to King and Queen's Bath as well as the falls.
Photo by Mike Johnston
Makauwahi Cave Reserve in Kauai
A great Kauai attraction for travelers that like natural history, archaeology and paleontology is the Makauwahi Cave Reserve. Located on the southern coastline of the island within the M?h??ulep? Valley, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is situated on 42-acres and is the largest limestone cave in Hawaii. The Makauwahi Cave Reserve can be reached via a 2-mile hiking trail that starts at Keoneloa Bay better known as Shipwreck's Beach or by driving on the Grove Farm's private road. The Makauwahi Cave Reserve was discovered in 1992 and since then restoration efforts in the area has made this place more like a living museum. The Makauwahi Cave Reserve holds the most important concentration of fossils on the islands and is a pristine archaeological site. The reserve has a perfect chemistry for protecting fossils such as animal bones, seeds, plants, shells as well as leaves and some fossils date back to 10,000 years. There are two caves at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve which include the larger north cave which is accessible and the smaller south cave is only accessible at the opening. Within the reserve there is a 17-acre archeological site that spells out much of the islands history of the last 10,000 years.
Photo by Wolfram Burner
Koke'e Natural History Museum in Kauai
The Koke'e Natural History Museum is an ideal Kauai attraction for learning more about the geology, climate, animal species and plants which thrive on Kauai. Located within the southwestern portion of the island near the town of Kekaha, the Koke'e Natural History Museum is situated within the Koke'e State Park and Waimea Valley. The Koke'e Natural History Museum is a fascinating look at how Kauai's natural landscape from geology to climatology to ecology shaped the present island. There are hundreds of interactive exhibits that will keep you entertained and learning while you visit. The Koke'e Natural History Museum has information on past hurricanes, the varying woods of Hawaii, native and non-native bird species, seashells and Hawaiian stone artifacts. If you are planning a hike within the Waimea Valley or Koke'e State Park, then the Koke'e Natural History Museum is a must for current trail conditions. There is also an interesting Kauai attraction - CCC Camp located at Koke'e Natural History Museum which was completed in 1935 and is one of the most complete CCC camps left in the United States. There is a gift shop onsite that offers one of the most extensive selections of Hawaiian books on the island as well as other fine hand-crafted artisan goods from jewelry to t-shirts.