Kaua‘i The Garden Isle

Boasting a lush landscape, crystal waters and the breathtaking Napali Coast, among other picturesque sites, the “GARDEN ISLAND” is truly a treasure.

Penned as “A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN” by Conde Nast Traveler, it’s no mystery why the fairytale-worthy island of Kaua‘i presented an ideal filming location for numerous films—like THE DESCENDANTS and JURASSIC PARK— to mention just a few blockbusters on Kaua‘i’s resume reel. Ranked the NO. 8 TOP ISLAND OVERALL in Travel + Leisure’s WORLD’S BEST AWARDS (2015 edition), Kaua‘i is hailed for its pristine ambiance. The island’s hotels landed two spots in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2016’s Top 10 Resorts in Hawai‘i— not too shabby for the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Kaua‘i’s golden beaches, thrilling ocean sports, shopping locales and charming towns are rich in history and ALOHA SPIRIT.

Don’t let this island’s small size fool you; Kaua‘i happens to be home to some of Hawai‘i’s most spectacular attractions. At 101 THINGS TO DO, we strive to ensure that you don’t miss experiencing ESSENTIAL KAUA‘I attractions. Simply follow our handy guide to discover the best of all there is to do and see on the Garden Isle. It won’t take long to understand why travelers voyage to the WETTEST PLACE ON EARTH year after year.

To begin, PICK A BEACH, and PUT ON YOUR SNORKEL GEAR! Whether you GOLF THE GARDEN ISLE on Kaua‘i’s famous fairways, GET CARRIED AWAY IN A HELICOPTER, GO ON A FOODIE TOUR, or PAMPER YOURSELF at an outdoor spa surrounded by mountains and sea, it’s all here.

RIDE THE SWELLS IN AN OCEAN RAFT during the day, then journey down THE PATH OF THE ANCIENTS for an afternoon kayak down the river with misty jungle plants as your backdrop.

En route to your next destination, pull over to SEE OPAEKA‘A FALLS, the island’s most accessible waterfall. Perhaps you’ll FEAST AT A LU‘AU, INDULGE YOUR SWEET TOOTH with a local treat or MUSE & GROOVE. End the evening over a fruity mai tai with the locals as you DRINK AFTER DUSK.

Whether you seek activity or serenity, Kaua‘i’s 113-mile shoreline has something for you. Just don’t forget to lineup your line of sight to CAPTURE THE PERFECT SHOT and take home a few KAUA‘I-MADE GOODS amidst the excitement.

Whatever draws you to the island, enjoy! But don’t fret if you can’t squeeze in everything that Kaua‘i has to offer. We’ll be awaiting your return to one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world with 101 THINGS TO DO.

View our top picks below or see 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 »

Ride the Sugar Train

This land tour draws its inspiration from Kauai’s colorful sugar era when trains carried sugarcane to the mills. Today, KAUAI PLANTATION RAILWAY takes passengers on a 2.5 mile narrated tour around the plantation. Board their authentic narrow gauge railroad that chugs through 104 acres of transformed sugar fields which now highlights a beautiful agricultural farm…. Continue »

Laze at Hanalei Bay

HANALEI BAY is the largest bay on the NORTH SHORE, backed by steep cliffs and fronted by a 2-mile curve of white sand beach, an inviting stretch of water and a view of Makana Mountain, also known as BALI HAI. During the summer, the calm waters are ideal for stand-up paddling and swimming. Depending on… Continue »

Film on Kaua’i

Although Hollywood FILMMAKERS have been MAKING MOVIES ON KAUA‘I for many years, recent big-budget films with A-list stars continue to catapult Hawai‘i into the spotlight. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, was filmed here, as was 2011’s THE DESCENDANTS, starring George Clooney, which earned an Oscar. The family… Continue »

Hele to Jurassic Falls

MANAWAIOPUNA FALLS is not only difficult to wrap your tongue around, it’s also hard to find. Located in the wild on private property, it is off-limits to the ordinary person. Many are familiar with these falls from the 1993 blockbuster JURASSIC PARK; the movie is how the 360-foot gusher in a valley near HANAPEPE gained… Continue »

Hike and Stay Koke‘e

KOKE‘E STATE PARK, located at the very top of the island, is defined by its sprawling 4,345-acre upland forest, intersected by 45 miles of HIKING TRAILS and popularized by its SCENIC CLIFFSIDE VISTAS. The forest is home to native vegetation and birds. Daytime temperatures vary from an average of 45 degrees Fahrenheit in January to… Continue »