Gardens, Canyons and Endless Beaches

Alekoko (Menehune) Fishpond

Remarkable stone walls are said to have been built in one night by the menehune. The fishpond they enclose is still in use.

Botanical Gardens

Abounding in natural vegetation, Kauai also has four botanical gardens that are open to the public for small fees. The Smith's Tropical Paradise at Wailua, Moir Gardens in Poipu, National Tropical Botanical Garden (Allerton, McBryde, Limahuli) and Na Aina Kai in Kilauea 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 a favourite provisioning port with Pacific traders and whalers for many years.

Fern Grotto, Wailua
Fern Grotto, Wailua
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Kirk Aeder

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 that 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 and is just south of Lihue on Highway 58.

Hanalei Valley

Hanalei Valley
Hanalei Valley
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Ron Dahlquist

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 colour accent they give the valley's myriad shades of green and blue.

Kalalau Lookout

Once peacocks preened their plumage in this tropical Eden and families cultivated terraces of taro.

Kalalau Valley, from Kalalau Lookout
Kalalau Valley, from Kalalau Lookout
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Ron Dahlquist
No one lives here now and very little remains of an ancient civilization, but it still provides one of the most beautiful views imaginable.

Kamokila Hawaiian Village

Above the great bend of the Wailua River, where war canoes of the King Kaumualii of Kauai once assembled, lie the ruins of an old Hawaiian village.

Kauai Museum

The museum in Lihue presents a factual history of Kauai, using artifacts and photographs. Other fascinating historical and art exhibits are also displayed.

Kee Beach Park

Kauai Museum
Kauai Museum
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Robert Coello

A fine bathing and excellent snorkelling beach at the end of the road where the trail begins to the Napali cliffs.

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.

Koloa Heritage Trail

A 7.5 mile trail through Koloa and Poipu with bronze pedestals at each of the 13 locations describing the historical and cultural significance of each location.

Lumahai Beach

Chosen for "Nurses' Beach" in the movie South Pacific, this lovely spot is undoubtedly the most photographed beach on Kauai.

Menehune Ditch (Kiki A Ola)

Menehune Fish Pond
Menehune Fish Pond
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Linda Ching

Only small portions remain of what was once a great water course and aqueduct. Archaeologists say it was built before Hawaiians came, possibly by the Menehune.

Opaekaa Falls

The Wailua River makes a dramatic plunge over a high cliff. Opaekaa means "rolling shrimp" and dates from days when swarms of shrimps were seen rolling in turbulent waters at the base of the falls.

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Robert Coello

An 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.

Russian Fort

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 remain of his efforts and dream.

Sleeping Giant (Mt. Nounou)

The outline of a mountain ridge shows a striking resemblance to a reclining giant.

Smiths Tropical Paradise

This 23-acre site has gardens, lagoons, exotic birds and a 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 theatre.

Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn near Poipu
Spouting Horn near Poipu
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Ron Dahlquist

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 — need we say more?

Waioli Mission House

Visitors are welcome to look through this quaint home, built in 1834 and restored by descendants of the first missionaries.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Ron Dahlquist

This is more than a view, it's an experience! You will treasure the memory of its grandeur and jewel-tone colors, its awesome depth and breadth.

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.