Hawaii - Kauai
*Please visit our Hawaii "Overview" page for cruise & land offers.
Kauai stands out as the vacation destination of choice, blending the enchantment of ancient Hawaii with all modern conveniences. Kayak on the same river where Indiana Jones escaped, or windsurf with playful spinner dolphins swimming at your side. Enjoy a whalewatching expedition, or explore exquisite waterfalls on a scenic helicopter tour, or from a zodiac craft. Sportfishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling are all popular in the pristine waters off the incomparable coasts. Horseback riding offers breathtaking vistas from the mountains to the beaches.
Kauai is a magnificent natural setting for golf. Kauai is home to many top-ranked courses as Golf Digest rates four of the championship golf courses among the top seven in the State of Hawaii and Wailua Municipal Golf Course consistently ranks in the top 100 municipal courses in the country.
KAUAI Points of Interest:
- BOTANIC GARDENS - abounding in natural vegatation, Kauai also has four botanic gardens which are open to the public for small fees. The Smith's Tropical Paradise at Wailua, Ola Pua Gardens at Kalaheo, Kiahuna Plantation Gardens in Poipu, the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Lawai, offer an unusual assortment of flowers, shrubs, cacti and other magnificent species of plant life.
- CAPTAIN COOK'S LANDING, WAIMEA BAY - the first place in which the intrepid British explorer set foot in Hawaii in January, 1778. This bay was for many years a favorite provisioning port with Pacific traders and whalers.
- FERN GROTTO - this hauntingly beautiful cave, luxuriantly festooned with growing ferns, is reached from the Wailua Marina.
- GROVE FARM HOMESTEAD - founded in 1864 by George Wilcox, the homestead is now a museum complex which includes the old family plantation home, wash house, tea house, guest cottage and other amenities. The homestead is typical of the old Hawaiian plantation experience and tradition. It is just south of Lihue.
- HANALEI VALLEY - another name for Hanalei is Hanohano, meaning "glorious." You will want to stop at the vantage point near the marker to gaze at this sweeping scene of majestic tranquility.
- HANAPEPE VALLEY - note the red cliffs and the handsome color accent they give the valley's myriad shades of green and blue.
- KALALAU LOOKOUT - once peacocks preened their plummage in this tropic Eden and families cultivated terraces of taro. No one lives here now... nothing remains but one of the most beautiful views on earth.
- KAMOKILA HAWAIIAN VILLAGE - above the great bend of the Wailua River, where war canoes of the King of Kauai, Kaumualii, once assembled, lie the ruins of an old Hawaiian village.
- KAUAI MUSEUM - the museum in Lihue presents a factual history of the Garden Isle, using artifacts and photograph. Other historical and art exhibits are also displayed.
- KE'E BEACH PARK - a fine bathing beach at the end of the road where the trail begins to the Na Pali Cliffs.
- KILAUEA LIGHTHOUSE & KILAUEA POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE - a refuge for nesting seabirds, the isolated promontory where the lighthouse sits is open to visitors.
- KOKEE STATE PARK - adjacent to Waimea Canyon this park has picnic grounds, cabins and a wide variety of outdoor activities including hunting, trout fishing and hiking. The NASA Kokee Tracking Station is located nearby.
- LUMAHAI BEACH - chosen for Nurses' Beach in South Pacific, this lovely spot is undoubtedly the most photographed beach on Kauai.
- MENEHUNE DITCH - only small portions remain of what was once a great water course or aquaduct. Archeologists say it was built before Hawaiians came possibly by the Menehune.
- MENEHUNE FISH POND, NIUMALU - remarkable stone walls are said to have been built in one night by the Menehune. The fish pond they enclose is still in use.
- OLD RUSSIAN FORT (FORT ELIZABETH) - hoping to seize Kauai for his Czar, an employee of the Russian Fur Company of Alaska built this fort near the mouth of the Waimea River in 1817. Rocky ruins are all that remains of his effort and dream.
- OPAEKAA FALLS - the Wailua River makes a dramatic plunge over a high clif. Opaekaa means "rolling shrimp" and dates from days when swarms of shrimp were seen rolling in turbulent waters at the base of the falls.
- POIPU BEACH - Exceptionally fine bathing beach.
- ROYAL BIRTHSTONES, WAILUA - women of Hawaiian nobility always tried to reach these sacred stones in time to give birth to insure the royal status of their children.
- SLEEPING GIANT - the outline of a mountain ridge shows a striking resemblance to a reclining giant. SMITH'S TROPICAL PARADISE this 23-acre site has gardens, lagoons, exotic birds and unique narrated train ride which meanders through a rain forest, a Polynesian village, a Japanese island, a Filipino village and other interesting areas. Kauai's ethnic heritage is reflected nightly in a 75-minute musical production in the lagoon theater.
- SPOUTING HORN - when tide is running high, waves pressured through lava tubes are forced through a hole in coastal rocks to burst noisily into spectacular fountains of salt spray and foam.
- WAILUA FALLS - nicknamed Fantasy Island Waterfalls.
- WAIMEA CANYON - this is more than a view, it's an experience! You'll treasure in memory its grandeur and jewel-tone colors, its awesome depth and breadth.
- WAIOLI MISSION HOUSE - visitors are welcome to look through this quaint home, built in 1834 and restored by descendants of the first missionaries.
- WET AND DRY CAVES OF HAENA - these eerie caverns, one dry, the other two filled with limpid green water, are where chiefs are said to have gathered in ancient times.