Kauai is known as the ‘Garden Island’ of the Hawaiian Islands and while not the largest it is arguably one of the most beautiful with the awe-inspiring Napali Coastline and Waimea Canyon, followed by the beaches of Hanalei Bay. Kauai is an island comprised of many different areas to stay in depending on what kind of experience you want to have. Let’s have a look at what this tropical island has to offer.
The south shore is where a lot of families like to stay as the Poipu Beach area is good for snorkeling and has relatively calm waters. A bit inland from this you will find Koloa Town which has few little boutiques and restaurants as well as the main grocery store and fish market. You can choose to stay at one of the big resorts such as the Sheraton Kauai Resort or the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club. We suggest renting one of the lovely beach condos at Nihi Kai Villas or one of the houses that face Brennecke Beach. It is nice to have the autonomy of making your own meals and a living room with a giant lanai to watch the sunset from.
The north shore is largely considered to be the most beautiful area on the island. This is where the Napali coast is which goes on and on for a whopping 17 miles and features lush rainforests, powerful waterfalls that rain down on the valleys below, and deep caves. This is not an area with roads so to truly experience the majesty of it you will have to hike, take a catamaran cruise by it, or a helicopter ride to get up close and personal with the waterfalls. Remember those scenes in Jurassic Park when they first come upon the park? Yeah, that’s the Napali Coast. The elite tourist area of Princeville is found here, along with its golf courses. This is a place you have to visit to truly realize how breathtakingly beautiful it is, and how it is unparalleled in our opinion by any other Hawaiian island.
The west side is where Waimea Canyon is found. This will be just as breathtaking as the Napali Coast but in a totally different way. The canyon has been dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” that is how vast it is. You can go hiking all throughout it and be met with many unique viewpoints unseen by those arriving by car. If you are planning to do more than a short day hike then we would suggest staying at Waimea Plantation Cottages. If not, head to the South or the North for the majority of your stay so you can get some sun and sand in. Kauai truly has something for everyone from fancy shopping, hiking, to breathtaking beaches for tanning and snorkeling. Take your pick!