Lush and green, Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands; created from a single volcano rising from the ocean floor. A tropical paradise, the island has been the backdrop for many cinematic blockbusters from Jurassic Park to King Kong. So whether you hope to hike the North Shore peaks or soar over the towering seacliffs, kayak the jungle waterways or hang-ten at Hanalei, Hawaii’s ground zero for surfing, and there’s no better escape. Here is a list of our favorite things to do in Kauai:
Na Pali Coast -- “The Cliffs” are said to be the most beautiful spot in all of Hawaii. A 15-mile stretch of rocky coastline that creates 3,000-foot-high sawtooth seacliffs, the dramatic landscape is chock-full of hiking trails and gorgeous beaches that give way to secluded sea caves.
Kalalau Trail -- This strenuous trail through a thickly-jungled landscape leads to some amazing craggy palisades, or cliffs. Not up for the rigorous hike? Take a catamaran or a kayak down river, or spring for a hour-long helicopter tour over Na Pali for the most spectacular views.
Waimea Canyon -- Known as the spot where James Cook first dropped anchor in the islands, Waimea is often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Ten-miles long and 3,500-foot-deep, the gorge is painted in brilliant shades of ocher and amber. Take a winding drive through the canyon or hike down one of the lush-green trails.
Poipu Bay -- Nestled at the center of the island’ South Coast, Poipu is known for its beautiful beaches, excellent diving spots and lavish resorts like the Grand Hyatt, which is home to the legendary 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. course.
Kilauea Lighthouse -- Perched at the tip of the North Shore in the center of a wildlife refuge, this isolated lighthouse is a must-see for any visitors to Kauai. Enjoy the jaw-dropping panoramas, the migratory seabirds that nest along the cliffs and the occasional glimpses of humpback whales that swim these waters during the winter.
Lumahai Beach -- Tucked away on Kauai’s North Shore, this is the spot where Nurse Nellie tried to wash that man right out of her hair in the 1957 classic South Pacific. Known for striking scenery, private sunbathing beaches and romantic sunsets, it’s also notoriously rough so use caution in the surf.
Mount Waialeale -- Smack in the center of Kauai, this summit is said to be one of the wettest spots on earth, leaving it almost always shrouded in clouds. As a result, Hawaiian legend holds that this is the birthplace of the rainbow.
One of the best ways to experience the Hawaiian Islands is with YMT Vacations’ Ultimate Hawaii Tour with Pearl Harbor Experience. This 13-day itinerary takes you to all four main islands: Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. With the guidance and expertise of a local Polynesian Tour Director, you’ll witness the magical Fern Grotto and Volcanoes National Park, stroll the world-famous Waikiki Beach and visit the moving USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor Center at Pearl Harbor. To make your plans to join this trip, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.