Kauai Vacation Attractions

Kauai Attractions - Hawaii vacation ideas: You’ve heard of Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii, but how much do you know about Kauai? The oldest and farthest northwest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the lesser-known relative of these hot tourist destinations. There are no giant malls or skyscrapers on this little island. But what Kauailacks in metropolitan appeal it certainly makes up for with quiet gardens, lush trails, and stunning shores.

Kauai Attractions #1:

Beautiful Beaches — Because of the laid-back nature of Kauai, its beaches can differ greatly from those on the more popular islands. You have many more options for a quiet seaside experience; shores crammed with beach chairs and crowds of sunbathers are harder to find.

Some of the best beaches are public ones and instead of sitting in the shadow of a major resort, they’re surrounded by green hills and tropical trees. If you’re looking for a fun family beach, try Lydgate Park in Kapa’a, which has a shallow area partitioned off for the youngest swimmers. Hanalei Bay, located on the north shore of the island, is another gorgeous beach which is surrounded by giant volcanic cliffs and almost never crowded.

Kauai Attractions #2:

Heavenly Hikes — The untainted beauty of Kauai makes it a haven for hikers of all kinds. Waimea Canyon State Park on the western side of the island is home to one of the most stunning canyons in the United States.

With endless breathtaking views and a large variety of hiking trails, this park is a must-see for any visitor to Kauai. If you’re not the hiking type, there are several lookout points that are easily accessible. Waipoo Falls is another highly-rated hike; at three hours round trip it is not overly strenuous and you’re rewarded by a stunning 800-foot waterfall at the end.

Kauai Attractions #3:

Splendid Snorkeling — Kauai has several beaches that are highly recommended for snorkeling. Tunnels beach, named for the tunnel and arc-shaped reefs found there, is one of the most famous.

Any snorkeler, no matter the experience level, will have much to explore in the vast layout of reefs, which are teeming with fish and other unique sea creatures. The sea here is often quite calm, as well, so if you’d like to give snorkeling a try for the first time, Tunnels is a great place to start.

Ke’e beach is also great for snorkeling. In addition to being overlooked by towering green hills and surrounded by lush foliage, this beach is a good spot for sighting giant sea turtles and colorful fish. Both beaches are located on the north shore of Kauai and are at their calmest during the summer months.

Kauai Attractions #4:

Gorgeous Gardens — Take a leisurely stroll through any one of the amazing gardens in Kauai and find out just why it is called the Garden Island. Some are located on plantations or other historical grounds, and others, like the Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, were designed with public use in mind.

Na ‘Aina Kai is one of the most extensive gardens on the island with 240 acres and 13 different gardens. Admission is charged, but it is well worth it to experience the International Desert Garden, Ka’ula Lagoon and waterfall, or Rainbow Children’s Garden, to name a few.

The McBryde Garden, located on the south shore of Kauai, was originally a sugar cane plantation in the late 1800’s. This garden is home to the largest collection of replanted Hawaiian flora in the world, and is used today for research and conservation. Enjoy this garden year-round for a small admission fee.

Kauai Attractions #5:

Fabulous Farmer’s Markets — One of the joys of visiting any island is the unique variety of tropical fruits and veggies that are readily available. Kauai has a number of farmer’s markets that run year-round, with local farmers selling every type of produce available on the island.

Browse the coconuts, guava, and sweet-smelling pineapple while savoring some shave ice from a nearby vendor. Just remember to bring your dollar bills; locals usually don’t run credit cards.

An exhaustive list of farmer’s markets in Kauai is available at realkauai.com/FarmersMarkets. It may not be the most glamorous or trendy Hawaiian vacation ideas, but the island of Kauai is sure to delight all lovers of nature and the true laid-back Hawaiian way. With its glowing beaches, friendly farmers, and amazing gardens, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give Kauai a try

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