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How to Get Off the Beaten Path on Kauai


A woman perform a traditional dance on the beach in Hawaii
Hi, I'm Jen!

Jen is a Tahoe-based writer who loves traveling, food, and adventures. She has written about food and drink for the likes of Mashed, Tasting Table, and Getaway Reno/Tahoe. Jen spent 20 years living in China and Hong Kong, and has traveled to more than 75 countries. When she’s not out exploring the world or the great outdoors, you can find her curled up with a good book.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Jen is a Tahoe-based writer who loves traveling, food, and adventures. She has written about food and drink for the likes of Mashed, Tasting Table, and Getaway Reno/Tahoe. Jen spent 20 years living in China and Hong Kong, and has traveled to more than 75 countries. When she’s not out exploring the world or the great outdoors, you can find her curled up with a good book.

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While famous attractions such as the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon are must-see sights, there are still plenty of hidden gems in Kauai. Here’s how to get off-the-beaten-path on Hawaii’s Island of Discovery.

Take a tour of the Makauwahi Cave Reserve

The Makauwahi Cave Sign. | Photo Credit: Jarek G / Shutterstock

Visit a natural treasure.

Not far from Poipu’s Shipwrecks Beach on the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, Makauwahi Cave Reserve is a 17-acre (6.9-hectare) archaeological site that boasts the largest limestone cave in Hawaii. Free tours take place daily and there’s a tortoise sanctuary next to the reserve.

Find out how to visit

Relax on Kekaha Beach

A woman watching the waves at Kekaha Beach. | Photo Credit: wolffpower / Shutterstock

Hang out on the sandy coast.

Located on the far west side of Kauai, Kekaha Beach is part of the longest stretch of white sand in Hawaii. Most visitors don’t venture this far west, so it’s usually much less crowded than other Kauai beaches; it also offers stunning sunset views, and is ideal for surfing, fishing, and beachcombing.

Escape the crowds at Allerton Garden

Reflecting pool in the Diana Room of Allerton Garden. | Photo Credit: Jordan Tan / Shutterstock

See fountains, statues, and so many plants.

Spanning 186 acres (75 hectares) on the south shore of Kauai, Allerton Garden is a masterpiece of landscape and garden design. Admire Moreton Bay fig trees, bamboo groves, tropical fruit trees, and flower gardens alongside statues, water features, and priceless artwork.

Find out how to visit

Visit Ho’opulapua Rice Mill and Taro Fields

The Taro fields near the historic Haraguchi Rice Mill on Kauai. | Photo Credit: John Sartin / Shutterstock

Get to know the island's farming history.

Located within a wildlife refuge that’s not usually open to the public, the Haraguchi Rice Mill is Hawaii’s only remaining rice mill, as well as a working taro farm. Learn about the island’s agricultural history; see old rice milling equipment; explore the cultivation and uses of taro; and observe native water birds on a tour.

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See all Kauai tours
142 tours & tickets
Things to do in Kauai
See all things to do in Kauai
Sightseeing on a Budget on Kauai
Sightseeing on a Budget on Kauai