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Top 5 - Kauai

Waimea Canyon

Called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, Waimea Canyon is a geological wonder unlike any other in Hawai‘i and is worth a trip to Kaua‘i’s west side. Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, Waimea Canyon offers stunning panoramic views of crags, crested buttes and deep gorges. The winding Waimea Canyon Road leads you to two dramatic lookout points where you will see majestic tropic birds soaring within the canyon. The canyon was carved thousands of years ago by numerous floods and rivers flowing down from the summit of Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on Earth.

Click here for directions from Poipu Shores to Waimea Canyon.

The Shops at Kukui‘ula

Some of the most unique shopping and best gourmet dining all in one place, the Shops at Kukui‘ula are filled with artful provisioners dedicated to lively diversion and dynamic connection to Kaua‘i. From casual eateries to fine dining to a gourmet farmers market every week the restaurants are committed to showcasing locally grown products. Kukui‘ula also features art at its most inspiring, including galerie 103 (a piece from gallery owner Bruna Stude shown), a 2,400-square-foot space that features contemporary art at its best and is redefining Hawai‘i’s art scene. 

Visit kukuiula.com/theshops

Click here for directions from Poipu Shores to The Shops at Kukui‘ula.

Lawai Valley

In 1904, the first generation of Japanese immigrants to Kaua‘i built 88 shrines in Lawai Valley that replicated an ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. Today, the site is an archaeological and cultural treasure and has long been recognized as a healing sanctuary. It is the only such site existing outside of Japan and is one of the oldest Buddhist temple sites in the country. 

Visit lawaicenter.org

Click here for directions from Poipu Shores to Lawai Valley.

Eco Tour

A phrase you might often hear in Hawai‘i is “malama ‘aina,” which means to care for the land. This idea of respecting land and culture is deeply rooted in traditions of ancient Hawaiians, and is nowhere as evident than on Kaua‘i. There are a variety of opportunities to see how ancient Hawaiians traditions continue to be used to work the land and continue to keep Hawai‘i sustainable and beautiful for future generations. 

Visit hawaiiecotourism.org for information on these unique opportunities.


With its tranquil crystal clear waters and many near shore reefs, Kaua‘i is home to some of the best snorkeling in Hawai‘i. This free, family-friendly activity is great for anyone at any age, and with great snorkeling beaches around Kaua‘i’s entire coast, there’s no excuse the pass up this experience. Tunnels, Anini Beach, Lydgate State Park, Poipu Beach Park are a few such beaches. Sea tours to the Nā Pali Coast offer unparalleled, uncrowded snorkeling opportunities. Kauai Sea Tours offers snorkel adventures to beaches on the north and south shore. 

Visit kauaiseatours.com

Click here for directions from Poipu Shores to Kauai Sea Tours.