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Natural Wonders of Kauai

 

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Kauai is the oldest island in Hawaii and its timeless beauty and spirit manifests itself through lush mountains, fertile gardens and idyllic beaches.

National Tropical Botanical Garden
Visit the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and you’ll understand why they call Kauai the “Garden Island”. There are three expansive and pristine gardens to explore on Kauai:
 
McBryde Garden
Located on Kauai’s South Shore in the Lawai Valley, this is the headquarters of the National Tropical Botanical Garden featuring 104 hectares of gardens and the world’s largest collection of native Hawaiian plants.
 
Allerton Garden
Also in southern Kauai, this 32-hectare gem is the public entrance to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. It features impressive garden design and is home to the towering Moreton Bay Fig trees from the film “Jurassic Park”.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Located in the lush North Shore of Kauai, Limahuli Gardens covers 404 hectares, three distinct ecological zones and is home to early traces of early Hawaiian culture.

Other notable gardens include the 97-hectare Na Aina Kai Garden on the North Shore and Smith’s Botanical Garden in Wailua.

Waimea Canyon
Known as the “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon is a natural wonder located in the heart of the West Side. The views from the canyon include Kauai’s lush valleys and tropical forest canopies.

Travel further north along the winding road past the canyon and explore Kokee State Park. At the Kokee Natural History Museum you’ll find hiking maps and exhibits. Near the end of the road, the famous Kalalau Valley Lookout offers a view of Kalalau Valley opening out to the Napali Coast.
 
Napali Coast
The Napali Coast on the North Shore of Kauai is an awe-inspiring sight. These towering cliffs are a symbol of the timeless spirit of Kauai. You can see the Napali Coast by taking a tour by air, boat or hiking the Kalalau Trail.
 
Historic Towns
Explore the spirit of Kauai’s people by visiting its charming small towns. Stroll through Old Koloa Town, the home of Hawaii’s first commercial sugar mill. Not only is Koloa a great place to shop and eat, but you can learn about Kauai’s multicultural plantation past here too.

Hanapepe Town, “Kauai’s Biggest Little Town”, is a charming place that exudes an old-fashioned appeal, with its plantation-era buildings, slow-paced lifestyle and fantastic art galleries.
 
Beaches
From Hanalei Bay on the North Shore to Poipu Beach on the South Shore, Kauai’s picturesque and intimate beaches offer something for everyone.
 
Waterfalls
Kauai is also known for its beautiful waterfalls. Opaekaa Falls on the East Side is one of the island’s most accessible waterfalls, while Wailua Falls is known for being in the opening credits of the TV show, “Fantasy Island”.
 
Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse
This scenic viewpoint on the northernmost tip of Kauai is not only a great place to spot whales during the winter, but is also home to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for seabirds.