Discover the Best of Kauai Hawaii…
While most of Kauai’s land is inaccessible by foot due to the natural landforms such as Kawaikini and Mount Wai`ale`ale, the coastal regions of the island offer a myriad of activities for visitors and locals alike. Here are some of the top places worth exploring during your stay in Kauai.
Situated in the heart of Lihu`e, the Kauai museum houses a permanent collection of traditional Hawaiian artefacts. Exhibitions in the museum feature Hawaiian, Polynesian and Japanese culture. In addition, there are displays of Kauai’s history and geology. The museum is opened from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and admission for the general public costs $10.
Grove Farm Homestand
Now a historic sugar plantation museum, the 100-acre Grove Farm site was the earliest sugar plantation in Kauai. The farm was established in 1864 by George Wilcox, son of missionaries from the north coast. Take a guided tour through the plantation and you will notice well preserved agricultural buildings, tools and furnishings. Note that you will have to book in advance for a two-hour guided tour of the buildings, gardens and grounds at Grove Farm.
The breathtaking twin streams of Wailua Falls often cast rainbow in the mist as they gush into a pool 24 metres below. They are one of the most stunning waterfalls in Kauai and a great backdrop for photographs. The best viewing time is in the early morning when the sun glistens on the water.
Further downstream is Fern Grotto, one of Kauai’s most popular tourist destinations. The lava rock grotto covered with a thick canopy of tropical ferns is only accessible by boat, which departs from the south side of the river’s mouth every 30 minutes from 9am to 4pm. While you are there, remember to catch the performances by Hawaiian musicians in the natural amphitheatre.
Also known as Alekoko fishpond, this ancient pond was dated to pre-Hawaiian times, around 1,000 years ago by archaeologists. It is a legendary pond, thought to be built by the Menehune, leprechaun-little people, on one moonlit night. Today the pond is no longer in use, but is still worth a visit when you are in East Kauai.
With its 16 kilometre-long gorge that is over 915 metres deep, the Waimea Canyon is deemed to be the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. There are many lookouts along Waimea Canyon Drive, and the view from the top is often spectacular. At the base of the canyon is the Waimea town, which has many shops and restaurants to cater to travellers’ needs.
The lighthouse is constructed in 1913 and remains the best place to observe wildlife such as the Hawaiian nene, frigate birds and albatrosses. This is also a prime location for coastal views throughout the year. During winter, it is a great place for whale-watching. As you ascend to the point, drop by Kong Lung Centre where bakeries, cafes, restaurants and gift shops can be found.
The Limahuli garden is a verdant tropical valley on the northern shore of Kauai. Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as the best natural botanical garden in the United States, Limahuli garden has demonstrated the best environmental practices of water, soil, and rare plant conservation. The breathtaking backdrop of this garden features the Makana Mountain and the Pacific Ocean.