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The Garden Island
Kauai is smaller and less populated than other Hawaiian Islands, making it the ideal destination for those seeking laid-back luxury in an intimate atmosphere. You won’t find skyscrapers or huge resort complexes on “The Garden Island”— just miles of lush greenery, tropical rainforests, cascading waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and hidden caves waiting to be explored.
Our luxury villa rentals in Kauai are designed to take advantage of the island’s exquisite natural beauty, allowing you to watch whales breach from your sun deck or pick a mango from the fruit orchard in your own backyard. On an island of this size, all the must-see attractions will be an easy trip from your Kauai villa rental. Don’t miss a trip to Waimea Canyon, known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” or a hike along the jaw-dropping Na Pali Coast. Whether you prefer snorkeling among sea turtles or simply soaking in the sunsets, your Kauai luxury villa vacation is sure to transport you into a carefree island state of mind.
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Waimea Canyon, known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” is a 3,000-foot-deep, 10-mile-long canyon on the western side of the island formed by the collapse of the volcano that created Kauai.
Wailua Falls at the south of the Wailua River is a gorgeous double stream waterfall that can be seen from the roadway – no hiking required. You may recognize the scene from the opening credits of the TV show Fantasy Island.
The Na Pali Coast is a breathtaking 17-mile mountain range that hugs the North Shore coastline, showcasing emerald green peaks dropping into crystal-clear water below. The only way to access the range by land is via a challenging 11-mile hiking trail; luckily, viewing by helicopter, boat, and kayak is just as incredible.
Kauai’s stunning, varied landscape makes it the ideal destination for outdoor adventurers. Since 90% of Kauai is inaccessible by road, hiking trips can give you a glimpse some of the most beautiful, secluded scenery on the island. There’s a wealth of different trails at varying levels of difficulty, so even first-time hikers can enjoy the experience. Rent a mountain bike or ATV if you’d prefer to add a little more speed to your island explorations. Of course, Kauai also offers all the ocean adventures you’d expect from a Hawaiian getaway. Snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking, surfing — the watersports options are endless.
Kauai is a golfer’s paradise, complete with courses designed by PGA legends like Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. An array of resort and independent courses let you tee off amidst seascapes, lava rock, and island wildlife.
Prince Golf Course is a scenic, award-winning course that winds around hundreds of acres of tropical jungles, waterfalls, and streams with views of majestic mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
At Poipu Bay Golf Course, former home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, you can spot monk seals sunning on the beach below, sea turtles bobbing in the ocean, or surfacing humpback whales from the course. But this link-style course has its challenges—water hazards, rolling greens, and a weaving coastline.
Don’t be surprised if you feel as though you’re golfing in Jurassic at Park Puakea Golf Course — this course is set at the foot of the foot of Haupu Ridge, where much of the film was shot.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club features three unique, champion-style nines set to gorgeous ocean views. Play the Mokihana Course if you’re a recreational golfer, or try the Kauai Kiele Championship Course if you have a low handicap.
Over 50 miles of picturesque beaches—more beach area per mile of coastline than any other Hawaiian island—make Kauai the quintessential tropical paradise. If your ideal getaway involves lounging on golden sand, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, or watching the sun set over the ocean, then you’ve come to the right place.
At Poipu Beach Park, you can often spot humpback whales and Hawaiian monk seals from the palm-lined shores of this popular beach. Snorkeling here provides a glimpse of tropical fish, or if you’re lucky, Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Arriving at the beach at Hanalei Bay Beach Park feels like stepping into a postcard. Volcanic ridges laced by waterfalls are visible in the distance, and the spacious stretch of sand frames the aquamarine waters of Hanalei Bay.
Seventeen miles long and as wide as three football fields, Polihale is Hawaii’s biggest beach. After lounging in the sun, visit the ancient Hawaiian temple and burial sites in the state park.
Anini Beach Park is one of Kauai’s safest beaches for swimming. It’s framed by a large, wide reef in a blue lagoon, making it a don’t-miss snorkeling spot. Shallow waters let kids and beginners get in on the snorkeling action, while a 60-ft drop on the northwest side is great for dive enthusiasts.
With turquoise water bordered by lush, green cliffs, it’s no surprise that Haena Beach Park (or Tunnels Beach) has starred in several Hollywood movies. Depending on the season, you’ll find calm waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling or strong waves perfect for surfing.
On Kauai, the options for fun and excitement are endless. However you spend your island escape, one thing is for certain – the word “bored” will never enter your vacation vocabulary.
No Kauai escape would be complete without experiencing a Hawaiian luau. Watch the skilled hula performances and thrilling fire dances—all while feasting on delicious Hawaiian dishes—at a variety of venues throughout the island.
Visit the Kauai Museum to learn about the rich history of the island, or stop by small towns like Hanapepe and Koloa for a true taste of the local culture. The rustic, plantation-style village of Hanapepe Town has several fine art galleries worth stopping by if you’re curious about Kauai’s community of talented artists, artisans, and craftsmen.
Depending on when you visit, you can catch festivals and events like the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration, a festival complete with food, entertainment, and a parade. Or, come for the hula competitions, music and more during the Kauai Mokihana Festival.
Many vacationers seek out the quiet, serene nights of Kauai over the bustling party scenes of other tropical destinations. But there’s still plenty of fun to be had after the sun goes down. From dinner and luau shows to local hangouts around the island, Kauai offers a variety of options for laid-back entertainment.
Kauai offers large shopping markets and small boutiques alike, where you can find a variety of locally made, handcrafted gifts and souvenirs. Make sure to look for the purple “Kauai Made” sticker many merchants display when shopping for authentic island-made items—and don’t leave without buying a lovely Niihau-shell leis.
Kong Lung Trading offers a wide range of stylish and sophisticated designs, from custom jewelry to high-end home décor. Their unique pottery and hand-blown glass works make excellent gifts for anyone back home.
Right in the heart of Hanalei, the Ching Young Village Shopping Center spot is the perfect place to find classic aloha shirts, Bakelite accessories, T-shirts, and more souvenirs.
Kauai’s newest shopping center, the Shops at Kukuiula offers over 25 fresh stores, galleries, and restaurants. Pick up some beachy apparel from brands like Quiksilver and Tommy Bahama or browse contemporary works by local artists at Galerie 103.
Don’t miss Kapaia’s Stitchery for truly one-of-a-kind Kauai souvenirs. A quilter’s paradise, they offer beautiful Hawaiian fabrics as well as handmade finished quilts and locally made gifts.
When to Go
With mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine all year long, Kauai is an incredible vacation destination no matter the season. High season is mid-December through mid-April, the perfect time to escape cold winters elsewhere or celebrate holidays. While winter (November through March) is also the island’s rainy season, most rainy days consist of only brief showers — plus, it rarely rains everywhere on the island at once. Surfers seeking large swells should also consider travelling in the winter, when many of the area’s beaches offer peak surfing conditions. For the best beach weather, plan to visit June through October, when the weather is the most consistent and ocean conditions are the most ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
- The best way to explore Kauai is by car, so make sure reserve your rental in advance — especially during peak seasons.
- Pack lightly. Hawaii is a casual place, so shorts, aloha shirts, and sandals are acceptable almost anywhere. Only a few upscale restaurants require a jacket for dinner, while golfers may need to bring a few collared shirts to meet the club’s dress code. If you’re visiting in the winter, bring a light sweater or jacket for cool nights.
- Use caution and heed all warning signs at beaches. Many spots offer safe ocean swimming, but some beaches are subject strong currents and swells depending on the season.
- Drink plenty of water to combat the warm, tropical temperatures. Staying hydrated is especially important if you plan on taking part in Kauai’s thrilling outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, or kayaking.
- As in the mainland states, gratuities are always appreciated in Hawaii. Be sure to tip your staff well, not just at the villas, but when you’re out and about, too.