Essential KauaʻiSee all 101 Things To Do on Kaua‘i!

Peruse Kilohana: The Last Plantation

Kaua‘i’s over 120-year-old sugar industry may have hauled its final harvest to the mill, but what remains is a place where the vibrant spirit of the era survives. KILOHANA PLANTATION is a unique destination that recalls a time when “Big Sugar” dominated the island’s economy, culture and landscape. Today, it’s no longer a working plantation,… Continue »

Stroll Kaua‘i’s Prized Botanical Gardens

Kaua‘i is nicknamed “THE GARDEN ISLE,” and for good reason: Kaua‘i is home to three BOTANICAL GARDENS belonging to the NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN (NTBG), a private, nonprofit organization and the only officially recognized tropical garden in the United States. This institute is dedicated to scientific research, conservation and education, working every day to protect… Continue »

Get Carried Away in a Helicopter

Although available on all of the major Hawaiian Islands, HELICOPTER TOURS are most popular on Kaua‘i, where the ageless beauty of the island’s rugged interior comes into full perspective. Expect to see waterfalls cascading down 3,000-foot cliffs and unique geographic and mythical sites described to you through noise-canceling headphones connected to your pilot’s microphone. In… Continue »

Feast at a Lu‘au

Like Broadway shows, each LU‘AU has its own signature. Menus may be similar, but the shows, performers, music and costumes are deliberately designed to be unique from one another. The popular and long-running show at SMITH’S TROPICAL PARADISE is staged in a torch-lit amphitheater on the banks of the WAILUA RIVER. It features music and… Continue »

Scale Waimea Canyon

Often called the “GRAND CANYON OF THE PACIFIC,” WAIMEA CANYON is a geological wonder located along Highway 550 en route to KOKE‘E STATE PARK. Approximately 10 miles long and 3,000 feet deep, the canyon is only a fraction of the size of its Arizona namesake, but its location—carved into the lush landscape of a tropical… Continue »

See a Vintage Lighthouse

KILAUEA POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE is a regular stop on the flight path of the largest colony of seabirds on the main Hawaiian Islands. Every day, hundreds of birds come and go from the nooks and crannies of the refuge’s cliffs and hillsides. Though eight species of birds nest on the refuge, the main attraction… Continue »

Sail Along the Na Pali Coast

The majestic NAPALI COAST on Kaua‘i’s northwest shore is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Pacific. This 6,175-ACRE STATE PARK was inaccessible at press time due to flood damage; but there’s still a way view this natural wonder— head toward the ocean. A number of outlets can provide access to the famous… Continue »

Put On Your Snorkel Gear

Kaua‘i’s warm, crystalline water, its thriving reef system and its mostly sunny skies make it a natural for snorkeling. Because the GARDEN ISLE is the oldest of the inhabited islands, nature has had millions of years to develop its reefs and the hundreds of species of fish—some found nowhere else in the world—that populate them…. Continue »

Meet Hawai’i’s Giant Sea Turtles

It’s as common to get a look at Hawai‘i’s GIANT GREEN SEA TURTLES as it is rare to come across the nearly extinct HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE. Either way, both species are a treat to see, and both happen to frequent the waters of the Garden Isle. Green sea turtles aren’t shy. Expect to see them… Continue »

Learn to Surf

References to SURFING are found in the earliest legends of ancient Hawai‘i. Around A.D. 400, a form of belly boarding on small wooden planks was introduced; later, Tahitian explorers brought their tradition of riding waves with canoes. The Hawaiians merged the two techniques to create the sport of surfing. Today, the fascination with the sport… Continue »