This post about the most interesting places to visit in Kauai Hawaii and essential “good to knows” before the trip. We visited it with a 10 months old, 3, almost 4, 9 y.o. kids and my mom – 65 y.o.
It may sound odd, but Kauai was the most … controversial one among all Hawaiian islands we explored. Although we liked it and want to come back, there are plenty of pros you should be aware of before the trip.
Things to do in Kauai: what we liked and recommend
It is funny that on the “greenest island” dry and red-colored areas are one of the most visited :D. Stream and canyon lookout (#1 picture) reminded us of Utah and Arizona a lot:
2. Kauai beaches: Poipu Beach
While snorkeling at Poipu was so-so (very small area for so many visitors, unattractive sea bottom), we saw the sea turtles and one seal there:
3. Kauai Hawaii: Salt pond beach park
Used mostly by locals during our visit, it has calm waters for very little children, tide pools, and fine sand:
4. Lawa’i beach
I don’t have a particular reason, I just like Lawa’i beach a lot :). It is small, sandy, and has some shade. Great place to watch the sunset, grab some food from the nearby takeout, and have a picnic. Might be good for snorkeling (come in the morning!).
5. Wailua Falls
Easy to access, Wailua Falls, is dramatic (especially after the rain) and great for a quick stop:
6. Poliahu Heiau and Opaekaa Falls
Poliahu Heiau is a heritage preservation site and has interesting views of the river and the ocean. It and Opaekaa Falls are just minutes from each other and great for a quick stop:
7. Kauai Hawaii: Kilauea Lighthouse
The area around Kilauea Lighthouse has dramatic views and amazing birding opportunities. Check the hours before you go, we were late for the tour. Binoculars (we have those) would be great to have, especially for birdwatching.
8. Hawaiian public library
We have a passion for … visiting local libraries any places and countries we travel to. Usually, it is very exciting: you can learn about local culture, events, and/or spend a couple of hours during the rain. Princeville Kauai public library:
9. McBryde Garden
The small Kauai Island has nearly a dozen of gardens. (One of the possibilities why it’s called “Garden Island”). Most of the gardens have admission and/or tours. We chose McBryde Garden to show my mom local flora, especially flowers without “hitting the trails”. It was good:
10. Kauai Plantation Railway: learn about the past, local farming while riding the train
It was a great 1-hour tour to learn about local farming while a comfortable ride. Our mom has never been to Hawaii before and it was a great opportunity to see how pineapple, cacao, papaya, bananas, etc. growing in a short time. Kids loved the animals and feeding them 🙂
Hawaii is famous for its flora. As for the fauna, wild pigs, chickens, mongooses, wild horses, cows, and goats are found on the islands. And only 2 kinds of snakes!
Kauai Hawaii Essentials. Good to knows
- One of the biggest cons of Kauai (and that also make it different from other Hawaiian islands) huge part of it can’t be reached by car. Only by hike, plane or a boat.
- Camping at Kauai can be your bucket list destination and budget saving opportunity. Just keep in mind: lots of rain can occur even during dry season.
- We found more affordable rentals to be on the North side of the island.
- Be aware of rip currents and snorkel during the mornings – the best time for it.
- Besides car you’ll also need: comfortable shoes for hiking, swimsuit, rainjacket, sunscreen (please, only mineral sunscreen, chemical ones are killing the reefs), binoculars, cell phone pouch, full face snorkeling mask.
- Please respect the Honu (sea turtle), seals, and local sacred sites.
- Hawaii has unique culture many people don’t know about. From 1800 till 1960-70 it was forbidden for locals to practice their culture/customs/language. If you want to learn more, try Shaka self-driving Guide. Love it a lot and recommend.
Kauai Hawaii: All the mentioned places on My Map
Thanks for reading friends! We are very glad you are here 🙂
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