The North Shore of Kauai is found at the oldest island of Hawaii. This isolated paradise not only lets you take a peek at its cinematic panorama, but also offers you a great number of adventures. The island of Kauai is composed of only two major highways that is why it’s very easy to go from the north shore down to its beaches of shimmering white sand. Be ready for rains, though, because when you go to the northern shore of Kauai, you'll experience what it's like to stay at the rainiest part of the island.
Because of the weather, Kauai's landscape are lush, giving it the nickname "The Garden Island." However, the rains shouldn't prevent you from enjoying your vacation at North Shore because the weather is predictable.
Staying one week or one month in Kauai is going to be one memorable experience, so make sure you're ready to capture every moment with your camera. Deciding on which among the astonishing locations in the northern shore of Kauai to visit is a difficult task. So consider your interests very well and plan where you will go. To help you out, here's a list of places to explore:
Hanalei Bay and town of Hanalei
The beautiful Hanalei Bay, popularly described as a crescent beach, is great for a walk, dip, or a game of frisbee. It also offers white sand beaches and some of the best waves on the planet for surfing, making this an enjoyable spot for surfers. This spot also offers other fun and exciting outdoor activities such as snorkeling and hiking. Surely, if you visit North Kauai, you will also fall under its spell like every traveler who’s been there. That’s why Hanalei Bay is considered one of the most stunning tourist destinations in the world. The water is so clear here you can actually see the fish swimming and even the coral yards underneath.
In Hanalei, you will find the Waioli Mission House, a very historical place made of coral limestone that was built in 1837 by the very first missionary who set foot on Kauai. There is also the Makana Peak, a witness to the ancient tradition of throwing burning spears into the wind up into the sky, and to land in the ocean. Walking through this town is a very fascinating and memorable experience you shouldn’t miss. So, make sure you squeeze it in your schedule.
Anini Beach is one of the safest beaches in Kauai and one of the most protected along the North Shore of the island. What’s amazing is that the water on one side of this beach is only four feet deep, gradually flowing to about 100 feet deep on the other side. Kids are safe to swim in the shallow waters while the adults can snorkel in the adjacent reefs. You may also go camping in the park, or watch polo matches held across the street during summer and spring. Anini Beach, just like Kee Beach, is a tourist and family-friendly destination. If you take a plunge, you'll definitely feel as if your swimming in a paradise. The motion picture “Honeymoon in Vegas” was actually filmed in this scenic spot of Kauai.
If you want to enjoy a strikingly beautiful tropical panorama and incredible sunsets, Kee Beach of North Kauai is the place to go. It even offers a snorkeling lagoon of clear blue water teeming with reef fish known for their vibrant shades, and other colorful forms of marine life such as sluggish sea turtles. Kids and snorkelers will surely enjoy plunging into the waters on a calm day. However, swimming outside the reef might be dangerous since there are sometimes strong currents as well. Also, come early when planning to go to Kee Beach because parking slots are so limited since this spot entertains so many guests most of the time.
Another source of pride of Kauai is the Tunnels beach, located 8 miles from Princeville, and is also referred to as Makua, which is considered to be one of the premier dive sites in the world. Tunnels Beach is a jumble of coral formations, lava tubes, tunnels, and arches, and is home to multicolored species of marine life. There’s even a shallow reef that's very safe for kids. Tunnels Beach is truly a tropical bliss and a sure treat for snorkeling fanatics and scuba diving enthusiasts. However, bear in mind that to scuba dive in Kauai, you should have taken professional classes administered by licensed or certified professionals. If you’re an amateur diver, simply join a class for a refresher on scuba diving basics.
To reach Tunnels Beach, follow Highway 560 east from Hanalei going to Ha’ena. After passing right through two short rocky roads and a little bit past over Mile Marker #8, you will already see the parking area for the beach. Remember though that you need to come early as there are limited parking slots in the area. Or better yet, you may just drive up to the Haena Beach parking and walk down the shore to Tunnels, and enjoy the stroll.
Na Pali Coast
Na Pali Coast is a world-famous tourist destination in the island of Kauai, what with its breath-taking cliffs rising about 4,000 feet. This spot was the very first region in the island that was populated by the native Hawaiians and is believed to be a mystical area where spirits play tricks on travelers visiting this region. There are a lot of fun activities you can do in the Na Pali Coast. You may do horseback riding on the cliffs of this coast for a breath-taking experience, or simply witness the coast’s unpopulated cliffs and valleys. Travelers may also choose to get a peek of this coastline by kayaking, taking a tour in an inflatable boat or catamaran, or by taking a helicopter or airplane tour. Truly, the physical exquisiteness of the North Shore will affect you in as much as the locals’ aloha spirit has affected your arrival and visit to the island.
If you travel more to the north, you will see the very lavish Princeville Resort sitting on a flat terrain leading to the low cliffs at the ocean's rim. Princeville boasts of its own shopping center, stylish homes and condominiums, tennis courts, a fitness center and health spa, as well as resort accommodations while offering a peek of the fabulously clear waters of the oceans, as well as a magnificent view of the mountains. This is also where Hawaii’s two most popular and top-rated golf courses, the Prince and Makai Golf Courses, are located. These are some of the jewels in Princeville Resort’s crown as one of the popular locations in Kauai.
And if you’re the type to party and have some drinks at night, there are some entertaining places in Princeville that you can go to and have some cocktails. The Princevill Restaurant & Bar within Princeville Hotel is a bar that is well-known in the area, offering great ambiance, magnificent views, and the familiar aloha greetings of the friendly Hawaiian locals.
Truly, the locals of Kauai, Hawaii, can truly take pride in themselves for their beloved island of Kauai being one of the most outstanding travel destinations in the world. The more tropical north shore beaches are framed by dark green tree-covered mountains, while the beaches seem like deserts with their golden sand. There are quite a number of splendid beaches in North Kauai, and they are all so easy to find, so plan your vacation to North Kauai months ahead for a spectacular vacation you won't forget.