- Travel Guide
- Kauai Experiences
Say your vows under the North Shore sun, on the sands of the South Shore or on a historic estate like Kilohana. Perform a traditional ceremony or do something unique that speaks to you. The beautiful "Hawaiian Wedding Song" made famous by Elvis in the movie "Blue Hawaii" (which was filmed on Kauai) is often sung at Kauai ceremonies. Arrange your wedding on your own or get help from Kauai’s wedding planners, the Kauai Wedding Professionals Association or resort specialists. Choose a ceremony at a beautiful resort, or select from unique sites throughout the island.
Family Fun on Kauai
The serene environment of Kauai is ideal for keiki (children) of all ages. From beaches to old-fashioned railroad trains, this island offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family. See Waimea Canyon and learn about Kauai’s environment at the Kokee Natural History Museum in Kokee State Park. Let the little ones walk to the end of the pier at Hanalei Bay and play in the sand on the North Shore. You can also catch the hula show at the Smith Family Garden Luau or head to Lydgate State Park to play in the wooden play structure that will entertain your kids for hours. Don’t forget a ride on the Kauai Plantation Railway in the Kilohana Estate, which is bound to bring a smile to your child’s face. And that’s what really counts on your family vacation on Kauai.
Kauai offers boating, kayaking, and other unique activities, such as mountain tubing in the miles of water flumes of Lihue, ziplining above Kauai’s lush rainforests, off-road exploring by 4x4 or ATV on Kauai’s South Shore, horseback riding in the pastures of Princeville, or hiking the trails of Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon.
Lose yourself to the gentle trade winds. Listen to your thoughts as the native red iiwi (Hawaiian honeycreeper) sings its song. Inhale deeply and smell the fragrant flowers all around you. In Kauai’s atmosphere of pure tranquility, you can take pleasure in life’s simplicities. From hiking the trail of Nounou (Sleeping Giant) to strolling at sunset along Poipu Beach, you’ll sense a spirituality that exudes from this magical island. Several botanical gardens provide excellent spots for reflection. Some of the scenic views atop Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coast can be especially therapeutic.
Heritage Sites of Kauai
Kauai features two Heritage Sites of Hawaii. Waimea Canyon State Park has been appropriately nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Stretching for 14-miles within Kauai’s west side, this geological wonder offers breathtaking canyon views and great hiking trails. On Kauai’s northernmost tip, the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge rewards visitors with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the island’s rugged north coast.
The island of Kauai is simply intoxicating. Magnificent mountaintops give you a cinematic stage to create new memories together. Beautiful beaches from Hanalei to Poipu Beach provide the perfect places to enjoy each other’s company. Take hand-in-hand hikes into Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. Spend intimate dinners at romantic restaurants in Kauai’s finest resorts. Sail along the towering Napali Coast to see sights you’ll never forget. Whether you’re here for a wedding, a honeymoon or just to share a special getaway, like the fertile gardens around you, Kauai provides you with endless opportunities for romance to flourish.
An important value for Native Hawaiians and Hawaii locals is the idea of “malama aina” or to care for the land. On Kauai there are a variety of activities visitors can explore to see how Native Hawaiian traditions continue to be used to work the land and how locals today are keeping Hawaii more sustainable for generations to come.
Take farm tour in the beautiful green fields of Hanalei Town and see how taro (“kalo” in Hawaiian), an important Hawaiian root starch, is cultivated. The South Shore of Kauai is also home to Kauai Coffee, a working coffee plantation. Some of Hawaii’s largest botanical gardens can also be found on Kauai. The National Tropical Botanical Garden has three sites on the Garden Isle: Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden just west of Koloa, and Limahuli Garden on the North Shore.
Learning about animal conservation is also important on Kauai. You can often see endangered Hawaiian monk seals on Poipu Beach. There are only about 1,200 Hawaiian monk seals remaining and many swim in the waters of Kauai. The law requires that you give these endangered animals plenty of space on land and sea. And during winter, from December through May, you can go on a whale watching tour to learn about humpback whales and their annual visit back to Hawaii’s warm waters.
Kauai Arts & Culture
When you take a walking tour of Hawaiian culture on Kauai, you’ll feel the spirit of aloha in the air. Hawaii’s Island of Discovery is proud of being the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain and a sense of pride is infused in Kauai’s history as well as in the beauty of its hula.
You can learn about the history and culture of Kauai by visiting the Kauai Museum or Grove Farm Museum in Lihue, the Waioli Mission House in Hanalei Town and the Kokee Natural History Museum on the West Side. Visit Kauai small towns like Hanapepe, Koloa, and Waimea to get a taste of local flavor and culture. Kauai’s many festivals (www.kauaifestivals.com) and events give you a chance to see the island from a local’s perspective. Explore beyond Kauai’s luxurious resorts to experience the true culture of Kauai.
With your wedding complete, it’s time to relax and start your lives together on the island paradise of Kauai. Whether you want to get away to a luxurious Kauai resort, pampering yourselves with spa treatments and fine dining, or you want to share an unforgettable adventure together, Kauai is home to the honeymoon of your dreams. Kayak together down the Wailuku or Wailua River or explore one of Kauai’s lush and sprawling gardens. Share unforgettable views along the Napali Coast, within Waimea Canyon and on the cliffs of the Kilauea Lighthouse. Take a mid-morning drive to Opaekaa Falls or witness other incredible sights like the 80-foot Wailua Falls and the Spouting Horn blowhole at sunset. Your new beginning deserves a special celebration, and Kauai offers an unforgettable place to start.
Roughly 10 percent of Kauai is accessible by car, while the rest of the island can only be explored by hiking, air tours and kayaking. Many travelers seeking unconventional experiences come to Kauai just for that reason. On Kauai’s peaks, experienced hikers can trek along the Napali Coast on the 11-mile Kalalau Trail to see incomparable views. Kokee State Park also features some of the island’s best hiking trails. On Kauai’s shoreline, you can discover a variety of hidden beaches. From Mahaulepu Beach east of Poipu Beach Park, where George C. Scott portrayed Ernest Hemingway in the film "Islands in the Stream," to the North Shore’s Kauapea Beach (Secret Beach), Kauai’s beautiful beaches are always a joy to discover.
From Princeville to Poipu, Kauai is home to some of the world's best golf. Visitors can play beautiful resort courses or affordable independent courses, where the rough is lined with lava rocks while mountain ranges and seascapes frame the greens.
There are 10 golf courses at seven venues on Kauai. Princeville on the North Shore offers two challenging options with an 18-hole and a 27-hole course. PGA legend Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. also designed signature courses in this resort area. You may even see some PGA pros out on the greens during on your visit.
Full list of Kauai golf courses:
- Makai Golf Club at Princeville
- Makai Golf Club at Princeville – Woods Course
- Prince Golf Course at Princeville at Hanalei
- Wailua Golf Course
- Kiahuna Golf Club
- Kukuiolono Golf Course
- Poipu Bay Golf Course
- Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
- Puakea Golf Course