The list you’ve all been waiting for! To be honest, Kaua’i hasn’t been my favorite island. The bus system only goes so far and is hourly so I can’t get around. You have to be 21+ to rent a car too. Also, that said car can only get around 20% of the island anyway so having a car isn’t even that useful. Also, the shorelines are rough here, very few beaches are people friendly when going in the water or even snorkeling or surfing. Many people told me this is the place to escape the crowds but there are plenty of tourists here. What do I even believe anymore?
Besides that, there are several things to do on the island from Lihue to Hanalei. Kaua’i is made for hikers so if you don’t like hiking (like me) these are some of things you can enjoy too!
When you first pay the entry fee you get a 7 day pass, now that’s a win in my book! Also, it’s right up the street from the bus stop (you want Eiwa Street in Lihue). While adults are $15 per person, it seems worth it! Instead of the Bishop Museum talking all about Polynesia, Kaua’i Museum talks about the last chief of Kaua’i and Niihau before King Kamehameha I united the islands. It also talks about pre-European contact and how the island has changed over the centuries.
Kaua’i Multiuse Trail
This was something I actually didn’t expect when coming here. This trail has been created by the people of the island for years and they’re still expanding on it (in fact, it’s so new some parts aren’t even on google maps yet). This leads you along orange beaches, seal spots, places to whale watch, and just a great place to ride your bike. It gets really windy along here though, if you have long hair tie it up! Don’t wear a hat.
As I said before, it’s the Grand Canyon of Hawai’i, only greener. There are hikes available for it at all levels or you just drive up to it with your car to see it from the top. Buses don’t go there so a car is a way to go for sure. It’s most people’s favorite think to visit while on Kauai so it has to be seen while you’re here.
Far along the north shore is the small town of Hanalei with mountain views everywhere and a wonderful bay. If the swells are high enough you can go surfing there (when I was there they were only like 4 feet). Also, in the town is a cute town center with everything you need and a place that sells Hawaiian chocolates (called Hanalei Chocolat and no this isn’t sponsored, they’re chocolate is just really good). It’s also easy to walk around so no car needed and the bus goes there!
Whether you hike it yourself, take an aerial tour, or a boat tour you have to see the northern mountains that just reach out of the ocean, possibly making it Hawaii’s more iconic image (at least on Kauai). The green plants against the red/orange dirt coming from a turquoise ocean waters just makes a beautiful contrast that’s worth the price of a tour. How could you make it Kauai and not see that?