Top 5 Kauai

The oldest among the Hawaiian Islands, Kaua‘i boasts a topography of sharp peaks and steep bluffs. This unique landscapes makes the isle quite a unique place to experience. On your next visit, here are 5 of our top "must see" stops.

1. Nāpali Coast

A single photo in a 1960 National Geographic article on Hawai‘i unveiled a lush valley shielded by 3,000-foot cliffs to a generation hungry for just such a place. The caption read: “Nāpali’s towering cliffs wall a Shangri-la valley accessible only by sea … Junglelike glens tucked amid the ridges offer an unspoiled world for the adventurous.” Indeed, the haunting, spiked peaks snake down Kaua‘i’s north coast for 16 colorful miles. Inaccessible by vehicle, Nāpali is seen by ocean craft, air or on foot.

2. Wailua River and Fern Grotto

Flowing from the crater of Mount Wai‘ale‘ale, the Wailua River is sacred to Native Hawaiians and it was once kapu (taboo) for anyone except for royalty to enter. Nowadays, the river can be explored by kayak or via a cruise aboard an open-air boat. Most boat excursions end at Fern Grotto, which is known primarily as the most romantic spot on the island. This natural lava-rock grotto is lush with hanging ferns and tropical foliage, cooled by the mists of a waterfall. In this serene setting, the grotto acts like a natural amphitheater.

3. Kīlauea Point Wildlife Sanctuary

The dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean is one of the best places across the Hawaiian Islands to view wildlife. Perched upon Kaua‘i’s northernmost point, the Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge once guided merchant ships crossing the ocean from Asia. Built in 1913, it was fitted with the largest lens of its time, and is now one of the island’s most scenic and popular destinations. At the end of Kīlauea Road.

4. Waimea Canyon

Hailed as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” this geological wonder spans 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600-feet deep. The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads to a lower lookout point and the main Waimea Canyon Overlook, which offers unobstructed views of Kaua‘i’s dramatic interior. The road continues into the mountains and ends at Kōke‘e State Park, the launching point of numerous trails to traverse for beginners and seasoned hikers alike.

5. Hanalei Valley

Kalo, taro, is not just a food staple, it’s also beautiful to behold, with large, heart-shaped leaves called lū‘au leaves. A postcard-perfect view on Kaua‘i’s north shore takes in a patchwork of lo‘i, taro fields, from an overlook on Highway 56. Native Hawaiians cultivated kalo for centuries, and today most of Hawai‘i’s poi comes from Hanalei Valley. Several hundred acres within this valley are a protected wildlife refuge where native bird populations thrive. Be sure to visit Waipā, a place so sacred that its very name means “a prayer to the gods.”

Find the best rates on Kauai getaways here.


Reprinted from the Outrigger Journey 2016-2017 in-room book.

 

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  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Some public spaces may not be available
  • Take advantage of special Preview Rates
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
  • Choice for value-minded families and groups
  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Pet friendly
  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
  • Situated in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping and dining district
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • 38 tropical beachfront acres
  • 3-acre aquatic playground
  • AAA Four Diamond Award accredited
  • Luxury, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites on Kaanapali Beach
  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
  • Oceanfront on property dining at the Gazebo Restaurant
  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
  • Cottage-style beachfront condos
  • Complimentary access to Poipu Athletic Club
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
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  • Beachfront bures
  • Complimentary beach services
  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
  • Wood-carving guest activity
  • Enjoy Meke traditional song and dance
  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
  • Talai butler service available
  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
    • Complimentary kid’s club
    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Restaurant and in-room dining
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Iolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
    • Home to some of the world’s largest telescopes
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