The Holoholo Guide to Kaua‘i
Kaua‘i is the oldest, the most beautiful, the unconquered island. It's the lush home of spiritual pilgrims, privacy-seeking billionaires and rowdy roosters. Isn’t it time you paid a visit?
Photos: Left, Mallory Roe, right, Lora Lamm
More than 5 million years ago, Kaua‘i rose out of the sea as a large volcano. Ever since, the wind, rain and ocean have ceaselessly carved valleys, canyons and caves into its contours, creating a splendid sculpture. Kaua‘i is home to free spirits—Hawaiians who trace their lineage to warriors who resisted Kamehameha, generations of plantation workers and entrepreneurs, hippies, birdwatchers and adventure seekers of every stripe. Here’s our guide to making the most of a long weekend.
Before You Go: Save Up and Train
The helicopter and boat tours that probe the wild heart of Kaua‘i cost big bucks, but are worth every penny. The hikes atop the island’s chiseled ridges are extreme, but also worth the pain. And paddlers, take note: Nā Pali has been called “the Everest of kayaking.” Hit the gym and fill the piggy bank before traveling to Kaua‘i—it will make a big difference.
TIP: Almost every business mentioned offers a kama‘āina discount.
Nā Pali Coast
Photo: Shannon Wianecki
Only on Kaua‘i
Hawai‘i’s only navigable river
Explore Wailuā River by kayak or stand-up paddleboard
Pie vending machine
Need pie now? The Right Slice sells insta-pies (savory and sweet) from a fancy machine at Harbor Mall in Nāwiliwili.
3501 Rice St., Līhu‘e, rightslice.com
Nēnē and albatross fly-bys
Kaua‘i is mongoose-free, so native seabirds can safely nest and soar.
Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hook, South Pacific and The Descendants … Hollywood has filmed many blockbusters here. For a self-guided tour visit: gohawaii.com/kauai
Find the fragrant green berries at Kōke‘e State Park.
PHOTO: LORA LAMM
Ogle the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
See what else there is to do on Kaua‘i at the links below!
Where to stay
Where to shop