There'a a saying about Kauai - They call it the Garden Isle for the 'newly wed or nearly dead’. However, if I had to give it a title, it would probably be Kauai: The Island of Beautiful Landscapes, Amazing Photography Opportunities, and Land of the Dinosaurs (Because Jurassic Park was filmed here!) We couldn’t help but play the theme song while driving around.
If you're in search of a travel destination surrounded by extravagant mountain ranges, quiet beaches, and outrageously good food, look no further. The island is 25 miles long and 33 miles wide at the furthest points. We stayed on the North side of the island where it receives more rain compared to the south side. Driving on the roads in Kauai felt as if you were in a Jurassic Park Jeep cruising through the jungle!
Here’s the top 5 places we visited in Kauai that’ll make you want to drop what you’re doing and go buy a plane ticket.
1. Wailua Falls
The Wailua Falls are located in Lihue just off the beaten path. The falls drop a whopping 173 feet to the pool below. The trail leading down to the falls is usually muddy and slippery, so be careful.
2.The Lighthouse Kilauea Point
The Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge was a fun little spot to visit. I wanted to get a sunset shot with the lighthouse in the foreground but the Refuge is only open from 10am-5pm. If you do decide to go, pick a day with lots of cool clouds to get a more interesting shot.
The little white spots on the mountain are birds. They are known as the Red-footed Boobies and they nest on the cliffs.
3. Waimea Canyon
Mark Twain entitled it The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
And look! The Jurassic Park falls!
4. St. Regis Princeville Beach
The St. Regis Princeville Beach was just magical. To get to the beach, you have to park at the hotel, walk through their elegant lobby, and take a few elevators to get to their beach.
5. Hanalei Bay
Hanalei Bay was by far my favorite spot. A river flows into the ocean where you can find small boats and stand up paddle boarders floating in the river. The Pier also gets you up close and personal with all the surfers out in the water. The town of Hanalei is only about 512 acres but has some great shops and restaurants that you don’t want to miss. If you continue on the road from Hanalei there is a hike that leads to the Na Pali Coast. To learn about that trip, check out Michael Demidenko’s “Knee Deep in the Kalalau Trail, Hawaii” blog post.
On that note, if you want to be blown away by all of Kauai’s beauty, definitely stick it on the bucket list.
Written by Kasey Crook
Kasey is a THISWORLDEXISTS Brand Ambassador. See more of her adventures on Instagram: @kaseylynn00