Kauai Island, Hawaii Attractions Kaua'i
Kauai as the westernmost large island of the Hawaiian chain is the oldest and thereby has evolved the most diverse plant life. The main attraction is the Waimea Canyon which competes well with other world scenic sites.Unlike Oahu which concentrates on cultural, urban and entertainment attractions, Kauai offers many forms of adventure activities. These include boat trips to view the scenic Na Pali cliffs on the Northwest coast, kayaking down streams, helicopter flights, hiking, and the beaches.The island can be toured in two full days with one day devoted to sites along the road west of Lihue which curves up to Waimea Canyon and a second day concentrating on the road which runs to the northern coast.
Niihau Island belonged to the Robinson family and has become a prohibited area to allow residents to lead a natural Hawaiian lifestyle. Niihau is the driest island in the Pacific and the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island.
West and South Kauai
The road (50) running west from Lihue and then north (550 and 552) along the rim of Waimea Canyon plus some branches off this road constitute a full day of touring. Since the end of this road is best done first thing in the morning to avoid weather problems, it is best to drive to Kalalau Lookout first and then stop at other sites on the way back to Lihue.
The stunning view over Waimea Canyon reveals carved out red rock cliffs, waterfalls, and jungle terrain. The lower regions of the canyon fall within Kokee State Park.
Na Pali Coast State Park encompasses a remote area of Kauai, with dramatic mountain scenery that includes cliffs, waterfalls, and lush vegetation.
Kilohana plantation estate has been restored and turned into a restaurant, with a group of craft shops and art galleries. Of note are the gardens surrounding some of the rustic plantation worker houses. The main house dates from about 1935. Carriage rides are available around the grounds on Saturdays and Sundays.The plantation's founder, Gaylord Park Wilcox, the nephew of Grove Farm's founder, promoted the house as a focal point of Kauai's society and culture. To this end he named the house "Kilohana", Hawaiian for "the best". Until 1970, the farm was under family ownership but was then closed and reopened for a short time as a school.
Kalaheo - Olu Pua Botanical Gardens (closed to public)
Privately owned, this historical 12-acre estate and gardens reflect the height of the plantation era. Olu Pua means 'at peace among the flowers'. The estate was the manager's residence for the Kauai Pineapple Plantation. The estate is no longer open to the public.
Kauai Coffee Museum
The small museum and visitor center for the Kauai Coffee Company plantation presents the history of coffee growing, harvesting, processing and grading. Visitors may also sample the various coffees produced.
Makaweli - Kauai Wildlife Reserve
Polihale State Park
The remote Polihale State Park at the western end of the Na Pali Coast offers a wide white sand beach, backed by the Makaha Ridge. Swimming and water activites in this area can be dangerous and should be undertaken with caution.
Hanapepe has a few false-fronted frontier buildings which now serve art and craft shops. The town also has a swinging foot bridge and an orchid garden.
Salt Pond Beach Park
On the western edge of Hanapepe a marked path leads to Salt Pond County Beach Park. Salt is still harvested from these ponds in the traditional Hawaiian way. Sea water is diverted into the ponds and left to evaporate slowly. The salt remains as a crust at the bottom of the pond. Salt production in the Hanapepe Salt Ponds is described as far back as in James Cook's diaries.The park is a very popular family beach is perfect for swimming or snorkeling. This is also a good place to watch the sunset.
Map of Kauai Island Attractions