Kalalau Valley seen from Koke‘e, with the stunning Kalalau Beach down bellow.

Kalalau Valley seen from Koke‘e, with the stunning Kalalau Beach down bellow.

Hawai‘i is known as one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the world. The ocean, beaches and vegetation are gorgeous, the food is delicious and the activities on the island can range from relaxing to exhilarating. However, one of the most amazing things about the Islands is that, even after multiple visits, there are always new amazing sites to see, unique foods to taste and one of a kind adventures to experience.

The best part of Hawai‘i is that all of the Islands, which each have their own must sees, eats and do, are so accessible to each other. One island that consistently sticks out is Kaua‘i – it is often referred to as Hawai‘i’s best kept secret.

Kalalau Trail

What makes Kaua‘i so different from the other islands is that only 10 percent of the terrain is accessible by car. Hiking is abundant on the island and one of the most scenic routes is the eleven mile Kalalau trail along the Napali Coast. Located on the north side of the island, both the mountain and ocean views are spectacular. This is not so secret, but it made this list because it is not a trek for a novice, though there are some easier parts. The full 11-mile odyssey that covers five different valleys is often performed over two days with a camp out in between at Hanakoa Valley.

Maha‘ulepu Beach


Maha‘ulepu Beach.

Kaua‘i is known for its secret beaches and Maha‘ulepu is one of the best. Obviously, because it’s a “secret,” Maha‘ulepu is not an easily accessible, soft-landscape beach, and it’s not very suitable for surfing and snorkeling. Instead, the terrain is a little rugged and waves are rarely more than a few feet high. However, if windsurfing or kite surfing is your pleasure, Maha‘ulepu is the beach to find. This no-facility area is located on the South Shore and is also an excellent spot for intermediate and expert hikers to use as a start or finish point.

Hanapepe Town Art Galleries

Hanapepe Art Night in full swing.

Hanapepe Art Night in full swing.

One aspect of Kaua‘i culture that is rarely spoken about is its abundance of beautiful art. The beautiful surroundings inspire the colorful paintings, glassware and ceramics and some artists even use native koa wood for carvings. The Mecca of art in Kaua‘i is in the plantation-style Hanapepe Town, located on the west side of the island. The best time to visit is during Art night, which is every Friday night throughout the year. On those nights, the galleries and studios all open their doors to honor the art of Kaua‘i

Manoa Chocolate

This company is THE craft chocolatiers in the United States as Hawai‘i is the only state that can grow cacao. They pride themselves on being a “bean-to-bar” chocolate company and exercising sustainable practices that produce very little waste products (even their packaging is biodegradable). OK, Manoa chocolate bars are actually made on O‘ahu, but they are available at three different Kaua‘i locations to enjoy or bring home: Vim ‘N Vigor, Papaya’s and The Wine Garden.

Mountain Tubing on Kaua‘i

mountain-tubing-adventureThis one of a kind activity can be found near Lihu‘e. A series of canals and tunnels were built to bring water to the Lihu‘e Sugar Plantation, which has since closed. These waterways are now used to gently guide tubers down on a relaxing and fun adventure that offers spectacular views from a unique perspective. Truly, this is an experience that cannot be found anywhere else on the islands or even in the world.


  • Guest post by the editors at Kukui‘ula. Most of what Kaua‘i has to offer is a short trip from the luxury real estate at Kukui‘ula. Visit www.kukuila.com for more information.