Kauai Vacations

When Hollywood producers need a backdrop for any movie that requires a stunningly beautiful tropical setting (think "Jurassic Park" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark"), Kauai often gets the nod. In addition to the more subdued activities that vacationers find on every island, such as snorkeling and sunbathing, many visitors to Kauai find that hiking and ... Read more
exploring the interior of the island are worthwhile things to do. Most visitors make a beeline to the Na Pali Coastline with its sheer cliffs, dramatic beaches and cascading waterfalls; certainly one of the island’s highlights. To get a look at it all from another perspective, helicopters are available for aerial touring of the cliffs at surprisingly low rates. Tourism here centers on the town of Lihue, which serves as a capital of sorts for the island. Some of the best food here comes from the sea, but barbequed pig at any luau is also a delicacy. Many hotels here are simpler than those, say, on Maui or Oahu, but most visitors are here for the natural environment and not drinks served out of a coconut.

Kauai places to stay and top hotels

Kauai things to do and experiences

  • Waimea Canyon
    9.6166 reviews
    Outdoors, Scenic Lookout
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure
  • Wailua Falls
    8.8145 reviews
    Outdoors, Scenic Lookout, Waterfall
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure
  • Hanalei Bay
    9.5110 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Lake
    Popular withOutdoorsyFamilies
  • Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
    9.8105 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Hiking and Nature, Scenic Lookout
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure




Depending on where you are on the island, temperatures range from 70 to 85 (21 to 29) year-round. The west and south areas of the island are normally hot and dry, while the east and north are cooler, with the ... Read more
Poipu Coast reigning in the most sun. Ironically, most visitors don’t come to Kauai when weather is at its best; instead, they travel when the weather at home is at its worst. That’s why peak season is in the winter (mid-December to March), meaning flights, car rentals and resort prices are at its highest. The better time to visit is in the spring and fall, when the weather is gorgeous and hotel rates and airfare are significantly lower.

Top Kauai restaurants


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Kauai reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Adventure Travelers
  • 9.7
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 9.1
    Family Travelers
  • 6.6
  • 6.5
    Luxury Travelers

Member Reviews(124)

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Gorgeous! Absolutely stunning! No pictures do it justice. Kauai is a wonder of nature- lovely people, mass green jungle, variety of experiences. This was an uplifting and enriching vacation.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesAdventure TravelersSpiritual Seekers

The locals were friendly. Food was amazing and fresh. There was lots to do. The beaches were beautiful.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesAdventure Travelers
Palo Alto, California

CHICKENS! So many chickens! I love the wildlife and cute stores everywhere. Wish I could go there every break.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBackpackersAdventure TravelersArt & Design Lovers
Menlo Park, California

Gorgeous scenery and weather! So many waterfalls and green scenery! I suggest hiking to some of the waterfalls because they are very pretty and peaceful

Recommended for:Family TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure TravelersArt & Design Lovers

I visit every year for at least a couple weeks and there is no where else that I would rather be. Just a great place.

Recommended for:Family TravelersBackpackersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers
Miravet, Spain

The most naturally splendid and epic of all of the Hawaiian islands - also geologically the oldest. Thankfully the scourge of sprawling resort hotels and condo buildings has been confined to relatively few parts of the island - so if you want that Disney-fied interpretation of island culture, you'd best head to one of the other islands. Nature just speaks for itself here and it's both abundant and breathtakingly beautiful. It's no coincidence that while visitors often like to talk about which is the best of the islands, this is the one that captivates people so much, they just keep coming back.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersGreen TravelersAdventure Travelers

I think the best island of all of them. You want to think of Hawaii think of Kawai is the answer

Recommended for:Business TravelersFamily TravelersAdventure Travelers

We visited in early November. Stayed at the Point at Poipu. Weather was surprisingly hot for a "winter" season. Had the unexpected occasional "nuisance" showers=liquid sunshine=rainbows. Fortunately, not a single mosquito! Not too crowded, easy to get around, had a very good time and will definitely return!

Recommended for:Green TravelersAdventure TravelersSpiritual SeekersArt & Design Lovers

The blue water and high waves are so beautiful. The brown sand and the wildlife on the beach was amazing

Recommended for:Green TravelersAdventure Travelers
Menlo Park, California, USA

Kauai is arguably the most beautiful of all the Hawaiian Islands, which is why it is the backdrop for so many movies. Cascading waterfalls, deep green jungles, turquoise waters. Kauai is less developed than Maui, so fewer choices for restaurants, shopping or nightlife. But what it lacks in the man made world nature more than compensates for. The north shore is far and away the most scenic - from Princeville to Wainiha - this is the setting for movies from Jurrasic Park to the Descendents,

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersAdventure Travelers