Exploring the Garden Island of Kauai

Advisor - Jennifer Gerard
Curated By

Jennifer Gerard

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  • Kaua'i

  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Babymoons

  • Couples Travel

  • Domestic Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Hiking

  • Local Food

aerial view of green mountain next to body of water
Curator’s statement

Kauai is one of Hawaiʻi's most beautiful islands and is different from all the rest. It is frequently referred to as the "Garden Island" as is it known for its lush rainforests and stunning beaches. This is the perfect destination for those seeking escape and adventure!

The Fora Difference

Book with Jennifer to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Kauai

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The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Overlooking the pacific, this cliffside resort features studios and villas, a relaxed restaurant and four outdoor pools on its palm-studded property.

The Lodge at Kukuiʻula

Boasting sensational vacation rentals and luxury resort amenities, the The Lodge at Kukuiʻula is barefoot luxury at its best on Kauai.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

A quintessential island resort on 50 lush acres of white-sand beachfront on Kauai’s beautiful southern shore.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Jennifer Gerard

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Things to do in Kauai

aerial view of waterfall and green mountain
  1. Helicopter Tour: This was the absolute highlight of our trip. Parts of Kauai can only be seen by air. Take the sky with Blue Hawaiin Helicopters to see absolutely breathtaking views that may actually bring you to tears (it did for me!). You will see the jaw-dropping Nā Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon allowing you to experience Kauai’s beauty from a totally different viewpoint!

  2. Sunset Cruise Nā Pali Coast: After seeing the coast from the sky, you will cruise along in a luxury catamaran to see it from the sea while having dinner. The coast is only able to be viewed by sky or sea, so see it from both! It will provide you with a completely different and stunning viewpoint. Highly recommend using Captain Andy’s company – They have local Hawaiians on board who can share the history of the island during your cruise.

  3. Hiking: Explore Waimea Canyon in Koke’e State Park while walking along trails that lead to the most incredible views. The Sleeping Giant Trail is a 2-mile trail through the rainforest with lookouts along the route.

  4. ATV Tour: For the very adventurous, I highly recommend an ATV Tour with Kipu Ranch Adventures. They will take you on an off-road adventure through Kipu Ranch’s beautiful green pastures into a tropical rainforest and finish up the trip at a waterfall where you can wash off the dirt! They are very knowledgeable about the island and are safety-conscious, so even for new adventurers, this will be a blast.

  5. Explore the Towns: Check out Princeville and Hanalei for shopping, great food, and local boutiques.

  6. Beaches: Poipu Beach, Kee Beach, Makua ‘Tunnels’ Beach, Hanalei Beach Park are some of the most popular and beautiful!

  7. Lūʻau: The most authentic on the island is ʻAuliʻi Lūʻau at the Kauai Sheraton. You will learn about Hawaii’s history while enjoying a Polynesian buffet on the beach!

Places to eat & drink in Kauai

colorful drink with a pineapple with mountains in the background

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my 5-Day Iceland Itinerary: Adventuring in Fire and Ice.

Advisor - Jennifer Gerard

Travel Advisor

Jennifer Gerard

Get in touch with Jennifer

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Kauai.