The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the fourth largest island in the archipelago and is home to one of the country’s most beautiful canyons, Waimea Canyon. Major cities on Kauai include Kapaa, Lihue and Waimea. With volcanic origins and lush greenery, the island has fertile soil that is used to grow crops such as guava, coffee and sugarcane. Kauai’s is home to mountain peaks, waterfalls, rainforests, cliffs and 50 miles of beautiful beaches. This island paradise is a popular spot for honeymoons, family vacations and relaxing getaways.

What to Do

50 miles of beaches means all sorts of water activities are available, including swimming, snorkeling, surfing or just lounging around on the sand. North Shore is known for the best waves for surfing, while Kalapaki Beach and Poipu Beach Park are family-friendly swimming spots. Visitors can hike down into Waimea Canyon to view the red lava beds up close or view the canyon from the air with a helicopter tour. Also not to be missed are Kauai Museum, where Hawaiian history thrives, and Wailua River State Park, a site filled with waterfalls, rivers and rainforest. Adventure seekers can set sail along the coast or zipline through the island’s valleys, while nature lovers can enjoy green pastures with a tranquil horseback ride. There’s plenty of shopping at Poipu Shopping Village, Kong Lung at North Beach and the local boutiques scattered across the island. At night, the resorts light up with live music and performances, and Coconut Marketplace offers free hula shows.

Where to Stay

Kauai offers a myriad of accommodations that cater to both short- and long-term visitors. High-end hotels and resorts offer direct beach access with a laundry list of amenities. Bed and breakfasts range from simple rooms to large, secluded properties with gardens and ocean views. Condo and vacation rentals are also available for large groups, longer stays and more privacy.

Getting There

Flying to Kauai is possible via Lihue Airport, which handles interisland flights and those coming from the mainland. International visitors will need to catch a connecting flight through Honolulu International Airport.