Getting Ready to See the Garden Isle!
Each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own special charm with beautiful beaches, waterfalls, small towns and stunning vistas. Kauai is considered by many to be the most verdant and tropical of the Hawaiian Islands with some of the best beaches as well as amazing places to see and many great activities and adventures. Here are some tips for your first visit to the Garden Island.
Arriving on Kauai
Flights to Kauai arrive on the island’s east side at Lihue Airport (LIH). Most visitors from the US mainland and other countries fly to Honolulu and then take a connecting flight to Kauai, though there are also numerous direct flights from the mainland. Vacation accommodations are available in just about all of Kauai’s towns although the main resort lodging is found in in four main areas: Princeville on the north shore; in Kapaa (the Coconut Coast) and Lihue on the east side; and in the Poipu Resort area on the sunny southern shore.
Poipu Resort, Koloa Town, the West Side and Waimea Canyon
Poipu is a popular destination for many visitors wishing to enjoy relaxing on a sunny beach without a care in the world. Poipu Beach Park provides fun activities for the whole family, and from Poipu you have easy access to historic Koloa town with plenty of dining and shopping opportunities. Also check out Hanapepe town for some local food and art.
From Poipu you can head west to Waimea town and then up the hill to see Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park with great hiking trails and breathtaking views of the canyon as well as the the Na Pali Coast from lookouts at the end of the road. Even if you are not hiking you can see some spectacular views from the roadside lookouts along the rim of the canyon as well as at the end of the road at the Kalalau Lookout.
North Shore Beaches of the Garden Island
If you want a lush, green mountain backdrop and expansive golden sand beaches then check out the north shore. A string of pristine, scenic beaches with clear blue water can be found on the north shore including Secrets, Kalihiwai, Hanalei, Lumahai and Makua (Tunnels), and at the very end of the road perhaps the most scenic beach of all, Ke’e Beach.
Ke’e Beach is also the beginning of the trail to the Na Pali Coast. The first two miles of the trail is a nice day hike that brings you to Hanakapiai Beach and will give you some glimpses of the Na Pali’s steep seacliffs and deep valleys. Hike nine more miles past Hanakapiai and you will reach the renowned Kalalau Valley (permit required).
While the trek to Hanakapiai Valley along the Na Pali Coast is a popular day hike, Hanakapiai Beach can pose hazards to swimmers and is not a recommended swimming beach. Instead wait until you hike back out and then enjoy the lifeguarded Ke’e Beach back at the beginning of the trail.
Kauai Celebrations and Festivals
Like all of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai has many cultural events celebrating Hawaiian culture and history, music and the arts. The Hanalei Taro Festival, Waimea Town Celebration and Koloa Plantation Days Celebration are popular events that draw many locals as well as visitors who appreciate the unique history as well as the living culture of Kauai.
Kauai also hosts numerous annual hula festivals as well as musical events and even theater such as the long-running South Pacific Dinner Theatre every Wednesday at 5:30 pm. This live stage production is based on the original Broadway show and is a celebration of the fact that Kauai is the island on which the timeless classic 1950s South Pacific movie was made.
No matter where you are staying on Kauai you will be close to beautiful sights and attractions as well as great beaches. Enjoy your stay on the Garden Island!
Kauai Vacation Accommodations and Real Estate Services
For the finest quality Kauai vacation rentals including luxury estates, condos, cottages and beach villas, see our Kauai Vacation Rental Galleries or use our new Map-Based Vacation Rental Search feature.
If you are considering buying a home on Kauai you can see some of the island’s best real estate by browsing through the Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty Kauai Real Estate Galleries, view Kauai Acreage for sale, or use the Map-Based Kauai Home Search.
Also please feel free to give us a call. The Bali Hai Realty staff will be happy to help you find the perfect Kauai property, home or vacation rental, and we can assist you in the process of buying or selling a Kauai home or land.