The Travel Channel calls Kaua‘i an untouched paradise, and with its stunning natural scenery and laid back Aloha vibe, it’s easy to see why. With an abundance of adventure activities and charming small towns, Kaua‘i is truly an island paradise. With Island Air’s resumed service to Kaua‘i, you have no reason not to make this amazing destination your next island getaway. Be sure to check out these 5 can’t-miss sights as you explore all that Kaua‘i has to offer.
1. Waimea Canyon
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is a geological wonder stretching 14 miles wide and more than 3,600 feet deep. Located on the western side of Kaua‘i, Waimea, most notably a place name is also the Hawaiian word for “reddish water,” referring to the striking red soil that lines the canyon. If you come at sunset, you’ll catch a great photo opportunity as the sun lights up the soil and appears to glow. The Waimea Canyon Lookout is your best bet for panoramic views of crested buttes and deep gorges. Waimea Canyon Drive also goes down further to a lower lookout point that gives you a great up close view of the canyon’s interior. For those who want to hike the canyon, the Cliff and Canyon trails are island favorites.
2. Princeville Ranch
Located off Highway 56 on the northern side of the island, Princeville Ranch offers a bunch of unique family friendly outdoor adventures, which made it the winner of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence award. Tours include horseback riding, off roading, ziplining, kayaking and hiking—and their are also fun combo options, like a horseback ride to a beautiful waterfall for a swimming break.
3. Secret Beach
Kauapea Beach—popularly known as Secret Beach—is a hidden gem on Kaua‘i’s north shore. Stretching 3,000 feet, Secret Beach is known for its beauty, size and seclusion. To get in on this local secret, you’ll make a short but steep hike through vegetation off a small unmarked dirt road. Secret Beach is a great way to get away and truly unwind in serenity. While the ocean here can be rough for swimming, there are tidal lagoons that form on the beach’s west end, and on the eastern side, a small waterfall offering a good spot to rinse off with fresh water.
4. Ke Ala Hele Makalae
Ke Ala Hele Makalae is Hawaiian for “the path that goes by the coast.” Stretching along the eastern shore of Kaua‘i, this is a great path for walking or biking while taking in the gorgeous views of the Pacific. Stop in for a bite to eat at Ono Family Restaurant first ( located at 4-1292 Kuhio Hwy in Kapa‘a), then rent a beach cruiser from Hele Kauai Bike Rentals directly behind the restaurant. They offer full day beach cruisers rentals for just $15. The Ke Ala Hele Makalae path offers plenty of great spots to pull over to admire the scenery and take photos.
5. Po‘ipū Beach
Located on the southern shore in Kōloa, Po‘ipū Beach is the most popular beach on Kaua‘i and was named America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. Fronted by Po‘ipū Beach Park and a few resorts, this beach is a series of unique golden sand crescents that undulate along the coastline. What makes Po‘ip so great? Those crescents are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding, and surfing—offering something for everyone.