Kauai is called the “Garden Isle” due to its plentiful rainfall and lush, green backdrop. Thanks to the millions of visitors each year, there are quality accommodations to fit every traveler venturing to one of the most isolated archipelagos on the planet.
All of Kauai’s beaches are beautiful, but the ones on the South shore are especially popular due to the area’s year-round sunny weather. These beaches tend to be a little more crowded than other options on the island. The dense amount of competition means lodging is generally high-quality and full of amenities. Poipu is a major resort area. It features luxury rooms at hotels like Koa Kea, Grand Hyatt, and Marriott Waiohai. Just north of Poipu is Koloa. This small town has easy access to the beach and accommodations that reveal its plantation roots such as the Kiahuna Plantation Resort. Beach-lovers traveling outside of the rainy winter months will also enjoy the North shore. This area boasts truly picturesque stretches of white sand against a backdrop of luxurious green and several gorgeous waterfalls. The turquoise-blue waters are strong enough for surfing, yet gentle enough for snorkeling or swimming. A well-known cluster of beautiful beaches on the North shore are among the best in the entire state of Hawaii. These beaches are Kee Beach, Haena Beach Park, and Hanalei Bay Beach. The upscale Princeville resorts like St. Regis and the Westin Villas are the last words in luxury on the island. Many budget-friendly options are available a bit further inland, includingMakai Club Resort, or Hanalei Bay Resort.
On Kauai, there are just as many destinations for the food-lover as the beach-goer. If you’re looking to stay in one place during your visit to Kauai, stick to the East coast which is also known as the Coconut Coast. The Coconut Coast is located halfway between the North and South coasts. It has many hidden restaurant gems nearby such as Kintaro Japanese Restaurant, a favorite among locals. Kapaa Town is a historic enclave filled with local boutiques and great dining includingArt Cafe Hemingway and the Pono Market. The area features casual stays like Pono Kai Resort and Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy. Kauai Coast Resort is home to Hukilau Lanai restaurant, which is known for delectable combinations from locally sourced produce and goods. On the North shore, grab lunch on the outdoor patio at Kilauea Fish Market. This is a great place to try healthier versions of traditional Hawaiian foods. After a day of being outdoors, head over to Tahiti Nui family-owned restaurant for dinner and drinks. If you’re looking for good dining just steps from your room, the newly renovated Bali Hai at Hanalei Bay Resort is also an excellent option. Visitors on the South side of the island have a wide range of great dining options, too. Arguably one of the best hotel restaurants on the island, Red Salt, is a good option for a night out. Stay at Koa Kea for easiest access to this high-end restaurant. Don’t forget the assortment of Hawaiian food offered at luaus which are a mainstay event at many resorts in the area like Sheraton Kauai and Grand Hyatt.
Honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway need look no further than the North shore of Kauai. Its picture-perfect, soft-sand beaches and amazing scenery await visitors here. Lavish accommodations are available for those willing to spend a bit more on this special occasion at St. Regis and Westin hotels. You can also stay at a luxury vacation rental through Pure Kauai, Inc. The upscale setting, combined with the smaller towns, leads to a bit more of a secluded feel. Every route is scenic on the North shore. Honeymooners will be able to enjoy many outdoor activities like sailing, paddle boarding, surfing, and horseback riding. You can rent gear from resorts, but for those choosing to stay at rental properties will find plenty of surf shops ready to provide both equipment and lessons. There are also a number of shops and galleries in the Old Hanalei School House and Ching Young Village that are well worth a visit.
Houses and villas are wonderful places to stay for families with children who need space to move around. Vacation homes outfitted with fully equipped kitchens, multiple rooms, and the comforts of home are excellent choices for those looking to travel on a budget with kids. If you are looking to splurge on accommodations, check out family-friendly hotels. A couple examples of places to stay include Villas at Poipu Kai on the south side or Westin Princeville Ocean Villa Resort in the North. Many resorts feature kid’s clubs that host fun movie nights and activities. Many also have kid-friendly pools and a wide range of kids meal options at on-site restaurants. Less expensive accommodations are available in the lesser-known Coconut Coast on the East side of Kauai. Halfway between Poipu and Kapaa is Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. The resort features multiple kid-friendly swimming pools, cultural activities, live entertainment, and easy access to the beach. Further North in Lihue you will find the Marriott Beach Club and Kaha Lani Resort.
The Hawaiian state government has set aside camping areas in several state parks on the west coast of Kauai. Within these state parks, there are drive up sites available as well as trail access only sites. The campsites that are only accessible by trail are more plentiful on Kauai. These sites can be reached on horseback or by hiking. Purchase a paid permit from the state park service and check the sites and amenities on the state camping website before you go. If you want to spend a lot of time in nature but don’t want to stay in a tent, the North shore is your best bet. When staying here, you’ll be more secluded than in other populous areas of the islands, but you’ll still have the comforts of staying in a hotel. You’ll have access to the incredible views of mountains and the sea on this side of the island.
Avid golfers have been coming to Hawaii for years. Many have discovered the incredible options on Kauai. The St. Regis Princeville Resort has a golf course fit for royalty. The bluff-side setting above the surf and the volcanic cliffs to the south are just as alluring as the Main 18 of Makai Golf Course and the Woods nine. While in Princeville, don’t miss the highly-rated and recently renovated Prince Course. Further South, you’ll find Kauai Lagoons Golf Club. This course is housed by Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club in Lihue. It boasts views of lighthouses, rocky coastlines, and open ocean. The island is also no stranger to water sports. Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, surfing, and many other water sports are daily activities here for both locals and tourists. Beginners can check out the offerings at surf and boogie board shops at Kalapaki Beach and Poipu Beach. You can also rent supplies from the desks of nearby resorts like Koa Kea Hotel and Resort, the Villas at Poipu Kai, or Marriott Waiohai Beach Club. Veteran surfers can find bigger waves a little further down the road at Shipwreck’s Beach, which is right next to Grand Hyatt Resort. Bigger waves can also be caught on the east coast at Kealia Beach near Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa and Aston Islander on the Beach. A unique adventure awaits those who are willing to travel to the Napali coast on the western end of Kauai. This area is accessible primarily by helicopter or boat. Only a few companies (Captain Andy’s, Na Pali Explorer, and Kauai Sea Tours) have permission to land here so be sure to make reservations early. Visitors to Napali can stay at the rustic Kokee Lodge within Napali State Park. But visitors who seek amenities should consider staying around Princeville on the northern coast or around Hanalei. About the Author:
About the Author:Skyline Eco-Adventures is Hawaii’s most experienced zipline operator. Feel confident providing your family with a safe and fun adventure during your island stay. For more info, visit: https://www.skylinehawaii.com/.