Kauai Hawaii is one of the most magical places I have been to. From the second you walk off the plane from you are immersed with indescribable aromas, greenery like no other, and the most pristine beaches. This, my friends, is why they call it “The Garden Isle” and it is one of the best parts about this little slice of paradise. From the dramatic cliffs of the Na Pali coast, the Waimea Canyon’s gorgeous colors, and the most turquoise blue water I’ve ever seen, it’s easy to say that Kauai is my favorite island EVER. That’s why I’ve created the “Best Photo Spots and Things to Do in Kauai Hawaii” to help make your trip the best it can be!
Queens Bath, North Shore Kauai
Queens Bath is a hidden treasure on the North Shore of Kauai. If you’re a good hiker, check this spot out. It’s kinda dangerous to get to and although people do, I wouldn’t recommend swimming here – it’s super rocky and unpredictable. Danger aside, it’s a peaceful place since not many people are up for the hike with their beach gear.
I’ve written an entire blog post about getting to Queens Bath in Kauai check it out here!
The Waimea Canyon is known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” or as some may call it the “Little Grand Canyon”. Waimea Canyon is a geological gem with tall walls filled with orange, red, and green colors that will take your breath away. There are also many hiking trails that you can discover in this untouched paradise. I outline them all in my Ultimate Guide to Kauai Hawaii.
LOCALS ONLY TIP: Most of these locations involve hiking up / down steep, uneven, and sometimes muddy trails. When starting a hike, at the trailhead, take a look around, you might fight a walking stick which will really help you keep your balance as you make the hike up / down.
Wailua Falls, Kauai
This 173 ft waterfall is the main attraction for Kauai but what most don’t know is there is a trail to the bottom where you can capture the raw beauty of this waterfall up close and personal. If you have the athletic ability, the hike down will take you about 15 minutes but do know it is ADVANCED – I have scars to prove it. That aside, it was one of the most rewarding moments of my life to get down. (Subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss the blog post dedicated to hiking Wailua Falls!)
Na Pali Coast, Kauai Hawaii
The dramatic mountainous cliffs of the Na Pali Coast are raw, untouched land that spans for 17 miles. The emerald hues of the ridges that tower above the turquoise ocean make this one of the most beautiful coasts in the world. There are many ways to experience the Na Pali Coast but the most popular and safest ways are by air and sea. We chose the sea route and I could not recommend Captain Andy’s more for all your sailing needs to experience the gem of Kauai!
PS – there are no filters on those photos that is how blue the water is.
Tunnels Beach, North Shore Kauai
A locals beach on the North Shore popular for snorkeling, diving, surfing, and the crescent-shaped golden beach with views for days. Tunnels get their name from the coral formations, lave tubes, tunnels, and arches all underwater. For that reason, this is one of the most popular dive spots in the world!
Hanalei Pier, North Shore Kauai Hawaii
The most absolute most cutest picturesque town located on the North Shore of Kauai is called Hanalei. The town is filled with shops, restaurants, and food trucks. Note that the food trucks are only open from 11 am-2 pm. Super bizarre if you ask me, but I can’t stay mad at you Hanalei! The Hanalei Pier in Hanalei Bay is a great place to catch a sunset.
This overlook is another easy stop on the main road that has a small parking lot. It’s a prime place for photo opportunities during golden hour. The sweeping views of the mountains and Hanalei fields are not to be missed!
Red Dirt Falls
Mars or Hawaii? This small waterfall is on the way to the Waimea Canyon and can’t be missed! There are multiple places to park on the side of the road here, which makes it an easy spot to visit. If you’re looking to up your photo game, try jumping across the falls!
Secrets Beach Kauai Hawaii
Another locals-only beach is known for its seclusion, size, and beauty. Not only that but legend has it, the cliffs that surround this beach have divine healing energy. You can catch yourself swimming with dolphins in these waters. A must-see if you’re in Kauai!
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What to Pack for Kauai to help your photos stand out
Hawaii has tons of lush background so I would opt for lighter colors to stand out against the greens and blues of this beautiful island:
- Bathing suits! If you overpack anything in your suitcase let it be this. Being that Tulum is full of beautiful beaches, ocean activities, and multiple cenotes you’ll always want to have bathing suits handy! I always find great suits at Aerie, Cupshe, + Revolve.
- A sturdy pair of flip-flops. These Olukai Sandals are my go-to and have lasted me years!
- Chic and comfortable slide sandals
- Flowy Dresses: These really come in handy when the temperatures are high in the spring/summer. My favorite white dress for photos is linked here, here + here.
- A wide brim sun hat: I love this one from Brixton I have it in multiple colors. Also, I’ve been eyeing this Lack of Color Boater Hat and I just purchased and it has easily become my new favorite!
- Shorts: Abercrombie has the best shorts for all sizes and shapes. Check my favorite pairs that have lasted multiple seasons here and here. I also love my Levi cut-offs they’re so classic and never go out of style.
- Workout sets: I love getting mine from Lululemon because they last forever. If you’re on a budget, Amazon has some amazing Lululemon dupes that you can shop here.
Finally, I hope you enjoyed my “Best Photo Spots and Things to Do in Kauai” and found some useful tips for your visit. If you’re planning a trip to Kauai you can’t miss my Ultimate Kauai Travel Guide! I’ve also got you covered on packing for Hawaii – head here for my Ultimate Hawaii Packing List!
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