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?
Kauai Guide
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.

  Na Pali Coast

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,


Nene goose
Nēnē goose
Photo: Thinkstock

​Nēnē and albatross fly-bys

Kaua‘i is mongoose-free, so native seabirds can safely nest and soar.  


Movie sets

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:



Find the fragrant green berries at Kōke‘e State Park.


Waimea Canyon

Waimea canyon

Ogle the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.


See what else there is to do on Kaua‘i at the links below! 


Kauai Guide where to stay Kauai Guide adventures

Where to stay

Natural wonders

Kauai guide where to eat Kauai Guide kalalau trail

‘Ono Grinds

Hike Kalalau

Kauai guide chickens Kauai guide shopping

Island Happenings

Where to shop