3 Must-Sees for First-Time Kauai Visitors

Kauai is Hawaii’s island of discovery, filled with stunning seascapes, marvelous mountains, and wondrous waterfalls. To now read: Its jaw-dropping beauty will make you wish you never had to book a flight back home.? To enjoy all this great island has to offer you should stay in one of the vacation rentals in Kauai to really enjoy all they have to offer. The South Shore of Kauai offers spectacular ocean views from Poipu hotels and breezes that make the mid­80s climate easy to relax in. Kauai’s North Shore is home to one of the most breathtaking places on the planet: the NaPali Coast. With that said, here are three tips (musts, really) for any first-time Kauai visitor.

1. See the NaPali Coast – You can only see these rugged emerald coated cliffs by air or sea, and you don’t want to skip them. Marvel at their beauty on a catamaran, by kayak, or on a raft in the calm summer months. You can snorkel with an array of tropical fish and sea turtles through sea caves, drink from natural waterfalls on the beach, or hike the advanced Kalalau Trail (permit required). Winter travel will mean a bird’s eye view via helicopter of this 5­million­year­old coastline. However you see NaPali, its majestic shoreline will rejuvenate your soul.

2. Rent a Jeep and explore the entire coast – You can get anywhere on Kauai in under two hours, which makes day trips on any shore possible. Jeep rentals are best because they offer the most open view, plus it’s a 4×4 vehicle in case you want to explore. And you should. One great stop while touring around is Polihale State Park. This is a remote beach at the end of a 3­mile dirt sugarcane road that will take you 45 minutes to travel. Framed by the magnificent west end of the NaPali Coast, you’ll only see a handful of beach­goers on this 7­mile stretch of hot sun and sand. Pack lots of water, an umbrella, and your camera – sunsets here are phenomenal. One thing to keep in mind is that if anything happens to your rental vehicle here, policies are void and the costs are assumed by the renter. Waimea Canyon is another must-see. It’s often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This 14­mile long, 3,600 foot deep canyon boasts dramatic colors of reds, browns, and greens. While it isn’t as big as its Grand Canyon cousin, you won’t see anything else like it on the island. The canyon lookout provides panoramic views of deep valley gorges and crags that go on for miles, while the lower lookout takes you inside the canyon’s interior. Continue on the road from the Canyon Overlook and you’ll head into the mountains at Kokee State Park, where seasoned or beginner hikers will find the picture-perfect trail.

3. Trek into the sacred heart of Mt. Waialeale on a four-wheel drive and hiking tour – A half-day tour will take you to see beautiful vistas, waterfalls, the “gate” used in Jurassic Park, and more. Make sure you dress for the weather while visiting this destination. Mt. Waialeale is the wettest spot on Earth, averaging 450 inches of rain annually.

Whatever you choose to see and wherever you choose to stay on Kauai, there’s something for everyone and the views won’t disappoint.


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