Your Guide to the Different Parts of Kauai

Kauai is the oldest and the fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It’s nicknamed The Garden Isle and known for its pristine beaches, fabulous resorts, breathtaking scenery, and exciting tourist attractions. Here are a few key areas to check out the next time you’re on Kauai.

An Introduction to the Regions of Kauai

The North Shore

Kauai’s North Shore maintains temperatures in the mid-70s year-round and receives nearly 120 inches of rainfall annually, making it a lush, verdant jungle paradise. It’s also home to the Limahuli Gardens, a valley teeming with diverse plant and animal life not found anywhere else on earth.

Visit Kilauea Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge to learn about coastal plants and seabirds. You can also tour the Waioli Mission House & Church, home of the earliest Christian missionaries to the islands, and view the splendor of Kalihiwai Falls, a beautiful multi-tiered waterfall, from a bridge that spans the Kalihiwai River.

The South Shore

The South Shore is home to beautiful beaches and the Spouting Horn, a 20-foot coastal blowhole. Tour the charming shops and eateries in the series of picturesque towns along the southern coast, including Old Koloa Town and Kalaheo, which is filled with golf courses, shopping, and cultural activities for all ages.

The East Side

East Side tourist attractions include the Menehune Fish Pond and the Fern Grotto, a gorgeous, fern-covered amphitheater that’s popular as a wedding venue. You can also enjoy numerous waterfalls, including Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls. The East Side of the island is also ripe for kayaking, tubing, and off-roading.

The West Side

Visiting Kauai’s West Side is like traveling back in time. Tour Captain Cooks Landing on the shores of Waimea, where the first European explore established contact with the Hawaiians. You can also view the Russian Fort, which was built in 1817 to provide Tsarist Russia a trading foothold in Polynesia. Finally, don’t forget to tour the sugar plantations; they were once the island’s primary agricultural/manufacturing industry.