Unique Places in Kauai

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by kellinwood
  • The original St. Raphael’s Church.
    The original St. Raphael’s Church.
    by Etoile2B
  • The cemetery at St. Raphael’s.
    The cemetery at St. Raphael’s.
    by Etoile2B

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Kauai

  • goshawk301's Profile Photo

    'Anini Beach Park

    by goshawk301 Written Mar 21, 2004

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    Beaches like this are not supposed to exist, right? Only in tourist brochures? :)

    'Anini Beach features a large, sweetest blue lagoon protected by fringing reefs that block the North Shore surf. The beach is narrow, but with clean beige sand and lined with hau trees that provide shades. Behind the beach, there's ample lawn and picnic area with covered shelters.

    Anini Beach

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    Locals beach

    by cyndyj1 Updated Mar 24, 2004

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    Kalihiwai Beach on the north shore, between Kilauea and Princeville, is an undiscovered-by-tourists local beach. The beach in summer is generally calm, and in the winter (or if you are traveling with small children) there is a small river emptying into the ocean that you can swim in. There are lots of trees for shade and plenty of wide open beach space for sun. You will usually run into a few locals barbecuing on the beach. A peaceful and beautiful place to spend an entire relaxed day.

    Playing in the Kauai surf
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    • Beaches

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  • agapotravel's Profile Photo

    Not for the Faint of Heart...Kalalau Trail

    by agapotravel Written Feb 25, 2007

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    The Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile roundtrip hike on Kauai. We wimped out and only hiked 4 miles to Hanakapiai Beach. It was a bit scary, with narrow paths, drop offs, and wet ground. The views were incredible and well worth it. Make sure you take lots of water!!

    See that drop off?!?!? Hanakapiai Beach Oh, what a view!!
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches
    • Mountain Climbing

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    Hanapepe

    by goshawk301 Updated Feb 26, 2004

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    Hanapepe was once the largest town on Kaua'i, and its harbor, Port Allen, the main point of entry into the island. Back in these days it was also known to be a wild place; the town boasted two theaters, numerous bars and pool halls, and a bordello or two, all catering to seamen of the navy and sailors. When a storefront that used to be a pool hall was renovated recently, digging up the street in front brought up a number of opium vials, apparently discarded there in the days of wildness.

    But then the port activity, and the center of the island, shifted to Lihue-Nawiliwili; the new Route 50 bypassed the town center; and a shopping complex was built in nearby Ele'ele. Hanapepe and its town center went into a decline, and damage from the Hurricane Iniki of 1992 seemed to do the town in for good.

    In the past decade, however, the dilapidated storefronts of the downtown Hanapepe have been taken up by artists, who have renovated them into art galleries. Today, Hanapepe is showing signs of rejuvenation. The downtown, off the main highway, is gaining in charm if it still feels a little deserted. There are about ten galleries now, some featuring Hawaiiana, some charmingly idiosyncratic.

    The town hosts an art walk every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. It's very nice to stroll through the town in the evening, stopping in this gallery and that, enjoying art, and having long conversations with artists themselves over a glass of wine.

    (Mahalo to Arius Hopman of Arius Hopman Gallery for telling me the story of Hanapepe.)

    An attractive gallery/pottery workshop

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    A wonderful private beach!

    by jeadon Updated Feb 19, 2004

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    It's called Kalihiwai beach, unvisited by most tourists on Kauai. Take Lihue Highway north from Kilauea a short bit. Watch for the Kalihiwai street sign BEFORE (south of) the beautiful suspension bridge. There's another Kalihiwai Rd. just north of the bridge; that's the wrong one!

    Take the road all the way down to a quiet little residential street with man-made signs that say " Slow, keikis (kids) at play. " On your right, across the "street" from some funky homes, is the beach. It's big and beautiful, and the waves are rough(so watch it) but fun to play around in! Note the cliff on your right, behind you. See photo.

    Kalihiwai Beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Photography

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    Maniniholo Dry Cave

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Aug 26, 2008

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    If you take a drive along the north coast past Hanalei, you will see the Maniniholo Dry Cve, across the street from the Haena Beach State Park. The cave cuts several hundred yards into the base of a vertical cliff. The high roof at the entrance of the cvern gets progressively lowe as you want to the rear of the cave. There are spooky recesses and rooms off the main passageway which were too dark for us to explore without artificial light, which we didn't have. It is said that those who go back far enough will find a small gap which opens to the top of the cliff at the very back of the cave.

    According to Hawaiian legend Maniniholo was the cheif fisherman for the Menehune, (fabled Leprechan-like folk who inhabited the island in prehistoric times. Maniniholo and other Menehune dug the cave in a vain effort to unearth an evil supernatural being called "akua," who had been stealing their fish. The Menehune never found the creature, and neither did we. But I may have seen his beady red eyes faintly glowing from a dark recess in the rock. GRIN!

    Karen at the Entrance to Maniniholo Dry Cave Looking  out from Inside the Maniniholo Dry Cave This is as far as we went ini the cave.  Getting t
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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    The Kalalau Trail

    by BlueCollar Updated Jun 14, 2007

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    The odd thing about me putting this tip in this category is that THIS IS a beaten path! :) It’s just one that leads you away from all the other beaten paths on the island.

    The Kalalau Trail runs most of the length of Nâ Pali Coast on the rugged north shore of Kaua‘i. Starting at Ke‘e (kay-ay) Beach and terminating at Kalalau Beach, it is eleven miles of hiking along one of the most beautiful coastlines.

    Some precautions: This area is remote and can be dangerous. You’ll encounter narrow rocky trails with steep drop-offs. If it rains, runoff flows on and across the trail (see video linked below) and can be strong. Bring a poncho in case it rains. Cell phones do not work out here and help is always a long hike back to Ke‘e. So be very careful. Bring a couple liters of water per person and some high-energy snacks. Wear a good sunscreen, maybe a hat, and an easy-going attitude.

    Although it is not required to hike too far on the trail to get some awesome views, most people simply choose the two-mile hike to Hanakapi‘ai (hah-nah-kah-pee-eye) Beach. If you're really in for a long day-hike, from that beach you can venture inland for another two miles to Hanakapi‘ai Falls. I've never done it, but they say it's really nice.

    I have put together my pictures and video of the three hikes we have made along this trail. You may view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOlWDfPLVQs .

    If you would like to hike beyond Hanakapi‘ai Beach, the trail continues along the coast for about another 9 miles to Kalalau Beach. However, to go further, the state requires you to obtain a camping permit.

    I have another video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQMqJgYA7zs ) of my ultralight flight over Nā Pali. It has some good shots of this entire coast. It gives you a better idea of the ground on which you are walking

    Whichever way you choose to see Nâ Pali, you cannot lose. Just be sure to experience it!

    About 1/2 mile into the trail Trailhead warning.  Please heed it. Ironwood roots create natural terraces Trailside graffiti.  People etched the leaves We are sitting on Hanakapi���ai Beach
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    • Beaches
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • pamstravels's Profile Photo

    Thar she blows!! (not a whale)

    by pamstravels Written Jan 28, 2005

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    This is a blow hole called Spouting Horn. The old hawaiian story says that a brave warrior trapped a giant lizard in the lava rocks and to this day you can hear it moan and then spout off.

    The lava rock has some holes in it and the ocean flows in an out creating a loud suction sound and then a blowout.

    South near Poipu beach

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  • GlobalMatt's Profile Photo

    Take a drive along the entire coast....

    by GlobalMatt Written Jan 18, 2004

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    If you drive along the coast...either northeast to Princeville or west and northwest to the beginning of the Na P'ali coast, there are endless beautiful sights to explore on Kaua'i. Here I am on the way to the northwest coast with Ni'ihau island in the background. This small and relatively unknown island is home to people who are 100% Hawaiian. No one else is allowed access to the island. Personally, I think more of Hawai'i should be that way.

    Ni'ihau

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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    Hike to the bottom of Wailua Falls

    by BlueCollar Updated Jun 14, 2007

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    Just about everyone who goes to Kaua`i manages to drive up "mauka" to see Wailua Falls. It's one of the easiest waterfalls on the island to see, albeit you only get to experience its beauty from a distance.

    So why is this tip in the "Off the Beaten Path" section? Because an adventure awaits at this spot.

    If you've read the "Revealed" guidebook, you'll know that there is more to see and do here than just gaze at a beautiful waterfall from behind a fence.

    In October 2006, I did the hike down to the bottom of the falls mentioned in the book. Just look at all my photos. It was easy! BUT, the tough part is coming back up. The elevation change is dramatic. Get ready to huff and puff.

    Here's my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC0Kg9UxUC8

    It was worth it, though.

    Some thoughts:
    On my way down, I ran into a couple who was returning from a failed attempt. They made it to the "wall" and thought they had to cross the river but could not find a way.

    The "wall" is a section of the embankment that is almost verticle and a little intimidating. But if you fall, it's no major deal because you are at water level (Just make sure you do NOT have your camera inhand if you do).

    Look at the "wall" and find the worn areas on the rocks. Find the tree roots hanging from the wall and be sure to test them before putting all your weight on them. It will become apparent how to traverse this area to make the entire trip feet-dry WITHOUT crossing the river. I did.

    Warning: If you go down here during flash-flood advisories, you are risking your life. While I was down there, the debris line from previous floods was very high and would make a trip down here very troublesome. Be cautious.

    This is what most visitors see of Wailua Falls. THIS is what I got to see of it! And I managed to get even CLOSER! With camera on tripod, I scrambled out there. When you find this sign, you have found the trail.
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Water Sports

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Ha! Ha! This is really off the Beaten Path!

    by GracesTrips Updated Oct 21, 2014

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    We're just driving along trying to get to the north shore to Tunnel's beach and we see this sign that read's "Hawaiian Hardwoods". My boyfriend, who is driving, makes a quick u-turn and we look down this dirt road. He wants to know what the Hawaiian Hardwoods are all about. We drive slowly and carefully down the dirt road, passing one house after another until we get to the last house (and there are additional arrow signs pointing the way). We park the car and knock on the screen door. No one is there. We enter the house structure and to our amazement, there are all kinds of wood items on display like a store. Wood boxes, sculptures, bowls, etc. Sign says, if you want to buy anything, put your money in an envelope and put it in the box. The box was a cardboard box. My boyfriend ended up buying a custom coffee table from this place (the owner showed up while we were there).

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    Rain Forest Rope Swing Off a Waterfall, Wheeee!

    by Waxbag Updated Dec 5, 2003

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    One of my favorite places is in all of Hawaii is Kipu falls in Kauai. It is located near the Fish Pond close to the town of Nawiliwili. You must find a local map to get the exact location as it is off a secondary road.

    Here the opening scene of Indiana Jones was filmed with all the natives and bow and arrows.

    There are two banyan trees that grow right next to a falls that sits about 20 feet above the pool. One of the trees has a rope swing on it that allows you to swing way out in the middle of the pool. The water is warm and refreshing. The spot is really idyllic...

    Swinging at Kipu Falls
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    • Jungle and Rain Forest
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    Menehune Ditch

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 22, 2005

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    Although this site is not well developed and is seldom visited by tourists, I found it absolutely fascinating. The Menehune Ditch is an aqueduct of cut and dressed stones that was once used to bring irrigation water from the Waimea River to the taro fields. Only 50 or 60 feet of it are now visible, including a section of tunnel. The rocks for construction of the ditch came from a quarry more than six miles away.

    What's so impressive about is that this is one of the only relics that was almost certainly NOT created by the current race of Hawaiians who came from Tahiti around 1,000 years ago. It was probably built by the original "native Hawaiians", who migrated from the Marquesas Islands around 300 A.D. The Tahitian invaders displaced them and their culture after they had lived on the islands peacefully for 700 years, establishing the Hawaiian culture that was discovered by Captain Cook, the first European to "discover" these islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

    Directions:
    On Menehune Road, 1.3 miles north of the town of Waimea. Look for the ditch directly across the narrow roadway from the Waimea Swinging Bridge, which you can't miss.

    The Menehune Ditch Wiamea Ditch and Tunnel Historical Marker beside the Menehune Ditch The Waimea River beside the Menehune Ditch Waimea Swinging Bridge, across from the Menehune D
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    • Archeology

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    Hawai'ian Salt Pads

    by keida84 Written Jun 7, 2006

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    For many many years the Hawai'ians have used Pa 'akai (salt from the seas) to flavor their foods. Today the tradition of salt drying is handed down through the Kau'ai generations. The art is slowly dying out but there are still some who cultivate this savory seasoning and make it available for purchase in the local markets. The Sea Salt is produced from the Hawaiian waters. A natural mineral called "Alaea" (a red clay from Kauai rich in iron oxide) is added to the salt to add beneficial trace elements to the product. This natural additive is what gives the salt it's distinctive pink hue.

    Many locals Hawai'ians like to say, "it 'broke da mouf" translated to mean the taste is truly "ono" or delicious!

    When in Kaua'i you can visit these salt farms up on the Western shores of the islands, but take heed not to step in or disturb any of the pans that are drying out, in other words "look but don't touch!"

    Waimea Canyon
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    The Kalalau Trail

    by SUSAMY Written Oct 28, 2003

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    This is the trail that starts at Ke'e Beach, and climbs through the Napali Coast. This hike is WAY HARD! Don't take that to mean that we are wimpy girls who don't know what we are doing - we know how to hike, and this trail is WAY HARD. We rate it a 9 out of 10 for difficulty - any more difficult, and I don't think you could actually call it a 'trail'. If you're going to do it, we seriously recommend a walking stick. We got about a mile in, and it started to rain. Wear clothes you don't care about, because the red-dirt of Kauai does not wash out easily. The photo shows what Susan looked like when we finally got out of there.

    The Kalalau Trail Beat Us and Ruined Our Clothes
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Kauai Hotels

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Kauai Off The Beaten Path

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