North Shore Kauai

Kauai's dramatic North Shore is an enchanting setting full of rugged mountains, lush taro fields, heavenly white beaches and spectacular natural sea cliffs. You’ll be amazed at how much ancient beauty can be found in just one area of Kauai.

Begin your journey on the island’s northernmost point. Historic Daniel K.Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse is a wildlife sanctuary and a scenic spot for whale watching. Visit quaint Hanalei Town, home to stretches of green taro fields alongside colorful shops, galleries and restaurants. You’ll also find some of Kauai’s best beaches including Kee Beach, ideal for sunbathing. The most stunning feature of Kauai's North Shore is the magnificent Napali Coast. This 17-mile stretch of coastline is lined with cliffs up to 3,000-foot tall, accented with lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls and sea caves. Inaccessible by car, you can hike or take an air or boat tour to view this breathtaking natural wonder.

Tour Map of Kauai Island

Explore Kauai by region: East Side (Coconut Coast)LihueSouth ShoreWest Side.

Download Tour Map of Kauai Island

Island Highlights

- Napali Coast: Take an air tour or a boat tour to witness the towering cliffs along Kauai’s North Shore.
- Waimea Canyon: Enjoy the panoramic views of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
- Wailua River: Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii and Wailua is one of the most popular.
- Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse: Visit this beautiful scenic point at the northernmost tip of the island.
- Kauai Beaches: From Poipu on the South Shore to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore, explore Kauai’s amazing beaches.


Hanalei Town

Hanalei Town Kauai

Home to taro farms ("kalo” in Hawaiian), art galleries and the Hanalei Pier overlooking beautiful Hanalei Bay. Be sure to visit the Waioli Mission House and step back into Kauai’s history. Browse Hanalei’s art galleries for made in Kauai art and carvings made from rare, native Hawaiian woods. Locals and visitors come to Hanalei for ukulele concerts held at the Hanalei Community Center, a regular Kauai event. The historic Hanalei Pier was built in 1892 and has long been a favorite gathering place for local residents who go there to fish, swim and play music on Hanalei Bay. 

Location: In northern Kauai, a few minutes west of Princeville.


Waioli Mission House and Church

Waioli Mission House and Church Kauai

Step back in time at the 1837 home of the early Christian missionaries, Abner and Lucy Wilcox. This Hanalei Town landmark, restored in 1921 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, reflects the southern roots of its architect, the Reverend William Alexander of Kentucky.

In front of the house is the old Waioli Huiia Church, which was founded in 1834. Its green shingles and stained glass windows are a picturesque symbol of Hanalei.

Location: In Hanalei, minutes from Princeville.

Napali Coast

Napali Coast Kauai

The Napali Coast is a breathtaking coastal range that can only be accessed by hiking, sea tour or helicopter tour. The rugged terrain appears much as it did centuries ago when Hawaiian settlements flourished in these valleys existing only on the food they could grow and the fish they could catch.

The only land access to this enchanted area is via the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile trail that starts at Kee Beach, crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. This is one of the most challenging, and sometimes even treacherous, Kauai hikes with narrow sections and muddy topsoil from rainfall. Many hikers choose to break the trail up into two days, setting up camp at the beach of Hanakoa, and then heading to Kalalau the next morning. Camping permits are required from the Hawaii State Parks Division office in Lihue. Hiking during the winter months is discouraged.

Location: About 90 minutes north of Lihue.

Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse Kauai

Perched at the northernmost tip of Kauai, the 52-foot Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 as a beacon for traveling ships. Although its light was turned off in the 1970s and has been replaced by an automatic beacon, it still serves as one of the island's most frequented attractions.

The view off the rugged northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific makes this the perfect vantage point for photos. This is also the location of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for seabirds. 

Location: Roughly a 45 minute drive north of Lihue.


Popular Kauai Activities

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Kauai Adventure Tours

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Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do