Kauai is known as the Garden Island and for good reason. Most of the island is undeveloped and covered in lush green foliage. Go on some fun muddy hikes or enjoy the beaches.
Mark and I went to Kauai for our honeymoon during December, a month after our wedding.
Below will be a breakdown of the different regions of the island and what you can do when you’re out there. I’ve also linked a highlight video of our trip at the end of this post. It captures most of what we did in six days given that Mark had the flu. You could probably get more than what we did into your trip.
This was probably my least favorite portion of Kauai. Perhaps it was because we visited it during stormy weather or because a lot of that side of the island was closed after Hanalei Beach (pictured above). We just didn’t find anything too exciting to do there. Don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely beautiful and you should still visit it if you’re on the island.
Things to see/do:
Anini Beach (snorkel if the waves are mild enough or walk along the shore – featured in our video at about 1:10)
Hanalei Beach (swim, surf, sunbathe, jump off their famous pier)
Kilauea Lighthouse (It’s a scenic lookout and there’s a nature preserve there)
Queens Bath in Princeville (closed during the winter)
Napali Coast (Go find a boat tour or helicopter tour – we didn’t get to do this, but we’ve heard that it’s amazing)
This is where we spent the majority of our time. We stayed in Kapaa. It’s right in between the north and south shore, so if you aren’t sure which part of the island you like best, this is probably the best spot. It has great drive by waterfalls to visit and some fun hikes.
Things to see/do:
Wailua Falls (Pictured above – drive by, hop out of your car, and snap photos of the monstrous fall – you could also go to the river state park and go on a kayaking tour)
Opaeka Falls (Another drive by waterfall lookout)
Ho’opi’i Falls (A muddy but extremely beautiful hike. Highly recommend it if you don’t mind mud. You get to see two waterfalls and tons of native foliage)
Kalapaki Beach (Mild waves, surfboard rentals and lessons right on the beach, great place to hone your surfing skills)
Makalee Path (A fun bike ride and walk along the coast)
Hukilau Lanai (Eat here if you have some extra funds – SO YUMMY)
This is one of my favorite regions of Kauai. It’s beautiful and the weather tends to be better down there for some reason.
Things to do/see:
Koloa Zipline Tour (super scenic ziplining tour – featured in the video below and the picture above is where we got to stop and eat some snacks during the tour)
Old Koloa Town (shop around and explore)
Spouting Horn (just a little lookout where you can see water shooting out of a hole – it’s right next to Poipu Beach)
Poipu Beach (definitely snorkel here – there are so many fish to see!)
This is definitely a must visit. The west shore contains the “Grand Canyon” of Hawaii (Waimea Canyon). Rusty canyons, waterfalls, and muddy hikes are in store for you if you’re willing to go. You could also just drive around the park and ogle everything. The place is breathtaking.
Things to do/see:
Waimea Canyon (featured above – need I say more? Go hike the Waipoo Falls – the trail will take you right above the waterfall. I’ll probably do a post on just this park alone)
Kokee State Park (Hike some trails there or drive around it. It’s right next to Waimea)
Waimea and Hanapepe are small towns you could also visit if you have time.
Kauai is ideal for those with an appreciation for wild untamed land. It has the kind of scenery that makes feel like you’re smack dab in a scene from Jurassic Park.
Below is the highlight video from our trip and captures some of the things I recommended up above (watch it in HD if you do).
Enjoy and feel free to ask me any questions if you’re planning a trip out there. I’ll do my best to help you out 🙂