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Kauai Vacation Ideas for Planning an Itinerary
Kauai is not only home to many of the beaches and waves Hawaii is famous for, it’s also a natural treasure house of canyons, waterfalls, coastal cliffs and rivers that look as though they’ve emerged straight from a dream. So, whether you’re a surfer, honeymooner, hiker, kayaker or beachcomber, be sure to check out our trip planner filled with Kauai highlights. You’ll also find links to some jaw-dropping footage from our Kauai Vacation Travel Guide video.
Ideas of places to visit on Kauai
Swaying in a hammock is a pretty cool way to chill while on your Hawaiian vacation, but Kauai offers so much more! Polynesian cultural nights, plantation visits and helicopter tours over the Napali Coast and Waimea are just a few of the highlights of this gem of an island. To help you get the most from your time in Kauai use this guide and start planning your itinerary today!
(1:38 in the video) To understand why Kauai is known as the Garden Isle, head to the North Shore and take in the views from the Hanalei Valley Lookout. Don’t forget your camera! The patchwork of flooded fields with a backdrop of majestic mountains is one of the most picture-perfect vistas on the planet. And if you’re patient, you might just catch a rainbow!
(1:52 in the video) Follow in the footsteps of Kauai’s earliest Polynesian settlers at Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Gain insights into ancient farming practices and take in even more incredible views from the steep hillside terraces.
(2:10 in the video) When it’s time to cool off, enjoy a shave ice while soaking up the surfer vibes in Hanalie. According to folk law, Hanalei’s mellow coastal atmosphere and misty, mountain backdrop provided the inspiration for the song Puff the Magic Dragon.
(2:27 in the video) A North Shore highlight not to be missed is the historic Kilauea Point Lighthouse. Take photos of the sweeping views from the sea cliffs and look for albatross, red-footed boobies and Hawaiian geese, a threatened species that nests in the surrounding wildlife refuge.
(2:45 in the video) After exploring Kauai’s North Shore, head east along the Royal Coconut Coast to Kapaa. Situated at the base of Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mountain), Kapaa is Kauai’s number one spot for sunrises and luaus. It’s also home to Wailua Falls, which starred in the opening credits of the hit TV show Fantasy Island.
(3:34 in the video) Continue down the East Coast to Lihue, Kauai’s administrative capital. Spend a few hours at the Kauai Museum to gain a deeper understanding of the island’s rich cultural heritage and history. Then take a ride through Kauai’s more recent past at the Kilohana Plantation where you can visit the mansion of one of the island’s most powerful sugar barons.
(4:27 in the video) From the East Coast, take the Tree Tunnel to the South Shore and discover the arty, crafty delights of Hanapepe. After exploring Hanapepe’s galleries and hipster hangouts, cross the famous Swinging Bridge, which has been serving local taro farmers for over a century.
(4:41 in the video) Another South Shore town to add to your Kauai itinerary is the town of Waimea. In 1778 Captain James Cook landed here for fresh supplies on his final epic voyage. Today Waimea is a jumping-off point for adventures into one of Hawaii’s greatest attractions, Waimea Canyon.
(4:53 in the video) From Waimea, follow Route 550 into Waimea Canyon State Park. At over 3,500 feet deep and 10 miles long, this natural wonder is often called “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The canyon offers plenty of spectacular hiking trails, but if you’re not up for the challenge, fear not, the views from the roadside lookouts are equally spectacular.
(5:16 in the video) After taking in the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, continue north for views of another of Kauai’s extraordinary natural wonders, the Napali Coast. While the views from Kalalau and Puu o Kila lookouts are breathtaking, be sure to treat yourself to a Napali boat or helicopter tour to truly appreciate the majesty of this coastline.
Inspiration for traveling to Kauai
We hope you’re inspired by these ideas for getting the most from your Kauai vacation. Don’t forget to check out our images from this incredible Hawaiian destination.
And remember, why limit yourself to just one destination? We have hundreds of other Vacation Travel Guide videos from all around the world, so be sure to subscribe to Expedia’s YouTube channel today.
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This article was originally published on January 16, 2020. If you’d like to stay updated on new videos of the beautiful destinations that our planet has to offer, subscribe to Expedia’s YouTube channel.
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