As the most picturesque island of the Hawaiian archipelago, Kauai acommodates travelers with abundant flora and indigo-colored waters. Only a short flight away from L.A., we were excited to experience the natural wonders of our close neighbor. Our guide provides you with the best sights to see that every local from Kauai would recommend.
Los Angeles is only a 5-hour long flight away from all Hawaiian Islands and the most convenient departure airport. Prices vary from 400 – 600 US Dollars, depending on when you book and what months you would like to visit. As the weather doesn’t change drastically during “winter” months, visitors can plan ahead of time and not make weather conditions a deciding factor. As to getting around the island, renting a car is highly recommended. Although it is not necessary to have a 4-wheel drive on the island, it is definitely a fun factor to rent a jeep if you want to take it for a cruise on a secluded beach (just don’t get stuck…).
Only a 10 – minute drive away from the St. Regis Hotel, Queen’s Bath is a very unique spot to swim with fish and truly breathtaking. Once you arrive in a residential area, you should start to look for parking. The entrance to this natural swimming pool is on the right side of a small parking lot and it takes about 15 – minutes hiking alongside a waterfall to get to the lava rocks. As soon as you get there, keep left and walk for another five minutes and you will see the pool that is safest swimming in (if the tide is not too high). It is a slippery hike down, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Despite the beautiful scenery, it is an area to approach with caution, as there are no lifeguards or safety officials. Make sure to check for changing weather conditions and don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear!
Kapiolani Road | Princeville | Kauai, HI 96722
2. WAILUA FALLS
The 173-foot waterfall near Lihue is off the beaten path and an adventurous undertaking. As there is no ‘official’ path, that leads to the waterfall, pack lightly and wear comfortable shoes for a steep descent on a slippery trail. Actually – Prepare yourself for a climb, as you have to use ropes to get to the bottom and be ready to get dirty in the mud. All of the struggle is worth it though, and once you get to the waterfall, you will be rewarded with an awe-inspiring sight. The water is very clear and super refreshing. Don’t forget to bring towels!
Maalo Road off Hwy 580 | Lihue | Kauai, HI
3. HIDEAWAY'S BEACH OR 'PALI KE KUA'
Although it is only a 5-7 min walk away from the St. Regis, it is a very private and secluded beach. In order to get to Pali Ke Kua, you have to take on a hidden path (again) that is east of a small parking area on the left side of the road (coming from St. Regis Hotel). Although it is not as difficult to get to as to Wailua Falls, the path to Hideaway Beach is still challenging. As most of the exceptionally fascinating and must-see places in Kauai, Hideaway Beach is not an easy undertaking. Besides the beauty of its blossoming plant life and turquoise waters, it is also a great place to spot sea turtles and go out for snorkeling during calm weather.
Ka Haku Road | Princeville | Kauai, HI 96722
4. NA PALI COAST AND KE’E BEACH
Out of all the activities and sights in Kauai, hiking Na Pali Coast is without a question a must-do. Once you park your car by Ke’e Beach, you begin your hike via the ‘Kalalau Trail’, a 11-miles long (22 – miles roundtrip) path that leads you to the isolated beaches of Hanakapi’ai and Kalalau. The trail from Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai is the most popular and accessible hike, as it is two miles long (four miles roundtrip) with outstanding views of the coastline and Kauai`s lush forests. It is not allowed to camp at Hanakapiai Beach, which makes the trip a day tour. Many hikers we encountered used trekking poles and hiking boots, which are definitley needed for going beyond Hanakapiai Beach. From there the hike gets more difficult and hazardous. We made it to Hanakapiai Beach and the views were more than we could ask for. Seeing and exploring some of Na Pali only validated for us why Kauai deserves its nickname as the “Garden Isle”.
Highway 560 | North Shore | Kauai, HI 96716
The St. Regis Princeville Resort is on the North Shore of Kauai and situated perfectly for those who prefer lesser crowds and a scenic view on Hanalei Bay. The hotel owns a small area of the beach, offering snorkel gear and boards for rental. Stand up paddling is a great way to explore the environment and get a work- out done at the same time. Just within few minutes of paddling is the ‘Hanalei River’ that offers calm waters and a scenic view of Kauai’s beautiful taro fields.