Planning Your Kauai Vacation
Kauai 101 - Get Started Here
Aloha kakou (Welcome) to the Garden Isle of Kauai. Kauai is home to the lushest scenery and beholds the most unique natural beauty of all the major Hawaiian Islands.
There's a magic to the island that draws in people from all over the world; and even if you've never stepped foot on the island, chances are you've visited the island vicariously through a movie theater; the island is world renowned for its popularity with filmmakers. The sheer amount of outdoor activities on the island is remarkable, everything from backwoods hiking through Waimea Canyon to kayaking up the Wailua River. Kauai is a mecca for all things outdoors and all persons looking for adventure. Kauai is impressive by land, water, or air - and ideally, all three.
Kauai - Top Things to Know
- Like all of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai's scenery is ever changing as you head around the island's coastal roads. Your surroundings are certainly never boring ranging from sugarcane fields to rainforests, pristine beaches to ranch lands. Though the island is small by mainland standards, you can find desert plateaus, tropical rain-forest, verdant valleys, fertile farmland, and sea cliffs along the Na Pali that will make your jaw drop.
- Kauai is the oldest of the major Hawaiian islands and the fourth largest. With over 110 miles of shoreline, you're sure to find your perfect beach. All said and done, Kauai boasts nearly 70 beaches for you to select from on your trip. Nowhere else in Hawaii will you get that kind of selection. Tunnels Beach, on the north shore, and Poipu Beach, to the south, are two of the most popular and scenic beaches on the island.
- If you want selection heading inland, Kauai has eight state parks awaiting your adventurous side, not to mention a plethora of trails that crisscross the island. In fact, the vast majority of Kauai can only be seen by foot or air - the roads only cover about 10% of the island. Waimea Canyon is a popular choice on the western side of the island, offering expansive views into what Mark Twain dubbed, 'The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.'
- Speaking of trails: Kalalau trail winding its way along Na Pali and the many trails of Kokee State Park are very popular with hikers.
- If golf is on your mind, then Kauai will please even the most avid golfer. Home to several top-rated courses, all with magnificent scenery, you won't find a much nicer place to swing your clubs.
- Kauai is also home to three of the worlds National Tropical Botanical Gardens - Allerton (Lawai-kai), McBryde, both on the south shore, and Limahuli, on the north shore. Each garden is truly unique and remarkable in its own way.
Additional Kauai Information
- Elevation ranges from sea level to just over 5,000 feet atop Kawaikini. By vehicle, the highest elevation you'll be able to reach is just over 4,000 feet, so you won't need the larger jacket like you would if visiting Maui or the Big Island. A light sweater or jacket will suffice.
- Kauai is home to the world's wettest location, Waialeale, which receives over 450 inches of rain annually - that's almost 40 feet! All of that water leads to the most navigable rivers of any island in the chain, the most popular being Wailua on the east coast.
- Temperatures range from the lower 50's in Kokee State Park to the upper 80's along the South Shore. Kauai is considered to be semi-tropical and is home to a variety of micro-climates depending on your location around the island. As noted above, in some places you'll need a light jacket, while in others a bathing suit is more than enough. It is also ubiquitous to be in the rain one minute on Kauai and in full sun the next.
Kauai Helpful Tips & Articles
What's so cool about Kauai? What's the weather? When should you visit? What are the best sights? These articles will let you know all this and more. Wondering if Jurassic Park is real? Then read on. (Hint: you can visit it, so it must be real!)