There are no words to describe the beauty of the island of Kauai. It is an island that has its own uniqueness of a place that has been minimally touched by modernism and technology. When you arrive on Kauai, it is as if you have traveled back in time to native Hawaii, untouched by worldly quests for industrialization.

Kauai is the oldest of the islands in the Hawaiian Island Chain, being estimated at approximately five million years old. It doesn’t show its age, however, with its natural beauty. This island is appropriately nicknamed the “Garden Isle”, as you will find no large cities and no high rise buildings on this island. The only thing you will find is lush greenery, large Native Hawaiian rain forests, the most clean, clear blue water at its white sand beaches, clean rivers, and amazing waterfalls.

Its diverse landscape, variety of outdoor activities and attractions, its great weather, and it serene beaches keep the local people here in a “laid back” Hawaiian style of living. There is no rush to get anywhere. Yes, there are places to shop and dine, but the serenity of the island is more appealing than any shopping mall or large, busy city. In fact, Hollywood in California has chosen to film many movies on this natural island, the most popular being Jurassic Park.


Kauai is made up of five main regions – Lihue, North Shore, South Shore, West Side, and East Side. Lihue is the main hub for Kauai with its main airport, government offices, and large commercial activity. This is as busy as it gets. Lihue still holds strong to the Native Hawaiian culture and preservation of its history. The local people prefer to live on the East Side where its white sand beaches are surrounded by coconut trees – like a scene from a postcard.

Other regions have less activity keeping focus on the “laid back” lifestyle. The North Shore is adorned with beautiful secluded beaches surrounded by lush, green sea cliffs. The most historical area is the South Shore region where it is sunnier than other places on the island and was voted as having the best beach in the United States. The West Side is similar with many sunny days and the preservation of old Hawaii with its natural scenic views, such as the famous Waimea Canyon.


Kauai’s overall theme is one of being “laid back” and taking days as they come. There are no freeways, just regular roadways to take you to different towns on the island. Driving slow allows you to take in the beauty from any side of the island. The people of this island are much grounded in their Native Hawaiian culture. Due to its simplicity, this island is a great place for both families wanting to escape the big cities and couples who want to get married, honeymoon, or just spend time alone.

Kauai is also known mostly for its outdoor activities, which is not surprising, since it is covered in natural beauty. This in itself is enough to relax anyone instantly. The island’s historical settings are setup as scenic places for visitors to experience the history of the island. Islanders are also very serious about their art, where they display specialty pieces in galleries. There are also museums for viewing ancient Hawaiian artifacts. There are the few resorts that offer you a relaxing round of golf or a day at the spa, if you choose to relax even further and bask in the beauty of the island.

Things to Do

Tours and attractions are solely based on the beauty and history of the island, allowing visitors to take part in ecotourism. By boat, foot, or helicopter, you can view the most spectacular scenery and beaches that are not accessible by vehicle, making the best experience of “untouched” Hawaii. Kauai has beaches that seem to have been frozen in time. It is great for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or just sunbathing.

There is shopping available in the towns, whether you are looking for a mall or small places to purchase locally made items. There are dining establishments in the small towns or dining and live music at night at the hotels and larger resorts. Other than that, there is no nightlife on Kauai. The nightlife is viewing the sunset, the clear skies, and the moon’s reflection on the ocean as you stroll on the white sand beaches.

Places to Stay

Despite its small towns, Kauai offers convenient places to stay based on your budget; however, there are no accommodations on the West Coast, as this area is strictly for sightseeing and visiting. In the popular North Shore region, there is the famous Princeville resort community that does offer economy hotels, timeshares, and bed-and-breakfast establishments. If you are looking for a condo, they are more readily available on the East Coast.

The South Side is the most accommodating to visitors, with resorts for the higher-end experience for a stay in Hawaii, luxury hotels, budget hotels, and vacation rentals. All-in-all, you probably will be spending the most time outdoors, so it’s nice to know that there are accommodations that fit any budget.