Photo Courtesy of a TripAdvisor Traveler/HawaiiTourismAUBeautiful Ocean on KauaiSo close to our hotel A brief walk to our hotel to the strip mallWailua falls walking from our hotel to the town center Koloa in Kauai Koloa historic townPoipu Beach- the spouting hornAt the base of Wailua Falls

Families will love:

  • A lush and under-developed
  • Beaches, mountains, and historical sites
  • Hiking, surfing and paddling

Kauai, nicknamed the "Garden Isle," is my family's favorite Hawaiian island. Lush and less developed than either Oahu or Maui, Kauai features spectacular kid-friendly resorts plus exciting off-the-sand adventures that have enabled us to experience the island's natural beauty and ancient ... more
Kauai, nicknamed the "Garden Isle," is my family's favorite Hawaiian island. Lush and less developed than either Oahu or Maui, Kauai features spectacular kid-friendly resorts plus exciting off-the-sand adventures that have enabled us to experience the island's natural beauty and ancient traditions.

The activities we've enjoyed in Kauai remain the most memorable of our Hawaiian explorations. Years later we still talk about hovering over the Na Pali Cliffs in a helicopter, hiking to waterfalls, and paddling into a coastal cave. Even riding in the car in Kauai elicits "look-at-that" moments, especially when passing by the green, fluted mountains or driving through the tunnel of eucalyptus trees that signals the road to popular Poipu.

The Hawaiian chain's fourth largest island, Kauai, essentially divides into three major resort areas, each with a different flavor and topography. Poipu, on the island's southern coast, receives more sunshine and less rain than other areas, and it has stretches of sandy shores for swimming and "hangin' loose," as they say in Hawaii. The east side, dubbed the "Coconut Coast" for its abundance of palm trees, includes the main towns of Lihue, site of the major airport; Wailua, gateway to Wailua River State Park; and Kapaa, known for its condominium resorts. The north shore always takes our breath away with its scenery: fluted cliffs, cascading waterfalls and cloud-laced valleys, as well as some good beaches.

For us, the best way to experience Kauai is to split our stay between Poipu's beaches and the verdant north shore. That way, we maximize our outdoor time while minimizing tedious drives back and forth to our lodgings.

Written by Candyce Stapen less

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