Kauai is Hawaii's fourth largest island and is sometimes called the "Garden Island," which is an entirely accurate description. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls! Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination. More than just dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. You can kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach, hike the trails of Kokee State Park, or go ziplining above Kauai's lush valleys. But, it is the island's laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns that make it truly timeless. Explore the regions of Kauai and make your escape to discover the undeniable allure of the island.
At just 25 miles long and 33 miles wide, Kauai is relatively easy to explore. In the span of a few miles, you might pass by palm-fringed beaches, vivid green taro fields and soaring, verdant mountains. No matter how you get around the Garden Isle, prepare to be treated to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the Hawaiian Islands.
ARRIVING ON KAUAI
Most visitors arrive on Kauai at Lihue Airport (LIH) on the island’s East Side. Many airlines offer nonstop service, though some visitors may choose to fly to Honolulu International Airport on Oahu first, then connect to Kauai (depending on times and prices). Ground transportation includes rental cars (every major rental company is represented here), taxis and limited bus service. Several companies provide guided tours aboard motor coaches, mini-buses, vans and limousines. If you’re staying at a hotel on Kauai, check to see if airport transportation is offered, as many provide complimentary pick-up and drop-off service.
GETTING AROUND KAUAI
Please note: Rental cars are in high demand, so please plan ahead to secure a reservation. Information about vehicle rentals and ground transportation can be found here.(link is external) There is one major highway that nearly circles the island; beginning in Lihue and going north, Kuhio Highway (Hwy. 56) goes to Kee Beach past Hanalei. Beyond the Napali Coast on the West Side, Kaumualii Highway (Hwy. 50) travels to Kekaha and then cuts inland, leading all the way back to Lihue.
Drivers on Kauai follow "aloha" traffic customs: drive slowly, yield to others and don’t tailgate. At one-lane bridges, yield to oncoming traffic. If you approach a bridge and there is a line waiting on the other side, stop and let your neighbors cross. Driving here is much more laid-back than the mainland, so relax, enjoy the scenery and drive safely— and plan on making plenty of impromptu stops along the way for photos and adventures.