Rocks jut out of the sand at Hanalei Bay on Kauai's northern shore.

Best Beaches in Hanalei, Kaua‘i

The best beaches in Hanalei are along Hanalei Bay & Waikoko Beach, all excellent for sun, sand, and surf. Hanalei Bay is big, popular, and full of conveniences, while Waikoko is smaller and less-crowded but still located close to Hanalei’s amenities.

Close up of white-petaled naupaka flowers in the Oahu mountains.

Pele Legends in Hawaii

Pele, the goddess of fire, features in many Hawaiian legends, most of which showcase her fiery nature. Here are two, one to explain the curious appearance of certain flowers, and another a cautionary tale about the consequences of stealing her lava rocks.

Eucalyptus trees forming a natural tunnel near Koloa Kauai.

Sightseeing in Koloa, Kaua‘i

Many of the sights on the Hawaiian Islands are a combination of history and beauty, and the same holds true for sightseeing in Koloa, Kaua‘i. Two of Koloa’s main sights to see give visitors a deeper understanding of the town’s heritage, which in turn deepens appreciation of wandering its lovely landscapes.

The Alakoko Fishpond tells the story of Hawaiian history and myths.

Sightseeing in Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i

While Lihu‘e certainly has some amazing sights to see, such as a beautifully preserved plantation and truly inspiring museum architecture, the stories behind the sights make them worth the time to fully experience.

Koloa offers shoppers many boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops, and clothing stores.

Shopping in Koloa, Kaua‘i

Shopping in Koloa on the south side of Kaua‘i is contained to several areas where many boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops, and clothing stores are clustered together. Many offer local goods, giving you a chance to support the island and sometimes get a sneak-peek into how things are made.

Take a kayak up the Wailua River in Kaua'i.

Spend a Day Exploring East Side Kaua‘i

To experience the best of the best on the east side, begin early, be ready for a busy day, and since the best beaches are found on other parts of the island, go with activities rather than lounging on the sand. Begin in Kapa‘a, then work your way toward Lihu‘e.

A beautiful beach in Po'ipu, Kaua'i.

Shopping in Po‘ipu, Kaua‘i

Shopping in Po‘ipu on Kaua‘i’s south side is weighted towards arts and crafts of all kinds from home decor to furniture to jewelry. Amongst all the galleries and boutiques you’ll find a few clothing stores that meet island apparel needs.

Palm trees on the yellow sand of Po‘ipu beach.

Exploring Kaua‘i’s South Shore

Kaua‘i’s south shore, the island’s main resort destination which includes the Koloa, Kalaheo, and Po‘ipu areas, boasts lush green pastures above warm sunny coastlines, oceanfront accommodations bordered by the birthplace of Hawaiian royalty, and thick tropical inland jungles.