What part of the island you want to stay on will dictate, to a degree, what kind of vacation you have. Although Kaua‘i is small enough to do a driving tour in one day, where you stay will dominate certain activities. Winter is our rainiest season, but that’s also when you will see waterfalls at their best. The north shore is a more popular place to stay in the summer, and the south shore is more popular in the winter due to rainfall distribution and surf.

Kauai Island - Plan Your Trip

How did the islands begin?

The Hawaiian Islands were born of fire thousands of feet below the surface in the icy cold waters on the Pacific Ocean floor. A rupture in the earth’s crust caused a vent to spew hot magma that built upon itself as it reached upward. When it began, no one knows exactly, but the first of the still-existing islands to boil to the surface was Kure. Nothing remains of that island today but its fringing coral reef called an atoll.

As the Pacific plate shifted over the opening of the vent like steel over a cutting torch, more islands were created. Midway, French Frigate Shoal, Necker, Nihoa—all of these once-great islands were….

Read the full chapter in our app. Download here.

Getting there

In order to get to the islands, you’ve got to fly here. While this may sound painfully obvious, many people contemplate cruises to the islands. Here’s a tip—there isn’t a single speck of land between the west coast and Hawai‘i. And 2,500 miles of open water is a pretty monotonous stretch to cover.

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The rental car prices in Hawai‘i can be (but aren’t always) cheaper than almost anywhere else in the country, and the competition is ferocious. Nearly every visitor to Kaua‘i gets around in a rental car, and for good reason. The island’s towns are separated by distances sufficient to discourage walking. Many of Kaua‘i’s best sights can only be reached if you have independent transportation.
At Lihu‘e Airport, rental cars can easily be obtained from the booths across the street from the main terminal. It’s usually a good idea to reserve your car in advance since companies can run out of cars during peak times.

What to bring?

This list may assist you in planning what to bring. Obviously, you won’t bring everything on the list, but it might make you think of a few things you may otherwise overlook:

    • Water-resistant, reef-safe sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher, with the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide)
    • Two bathing suits


    • Shoes—flip-flops, trashable sneakers, water shoes, hiking or trail shoes


    • Mask, snorkel and fins


    • Digital camera with lots of memory


    • Waterproof case for phone


    • Hiking sticks (carbide-tipped ones are good for boulder-hopping hikes)


    • Shorts and other cool cotton clothing


    • Hat or cap for sun protection



    • Cheap, simple backpack—you don’t need to go backpacking to use one; a 10-minute trek to a secluded beach is much easier if you bring a simple pack.


  • Long, lightweight pants for hiking if you are going through jungle country.
  • Wool socks for walking on hot Polihale sand. (If you’ve been there before, you know what it’s like.)
  • Mosquito repellent for some hikes (Lotions with at least 10 percent DEET seem to work best)

Download our Hawaii Revealed app to keep this checklist handy or read everything you need to know about the Big Island before you plan your trip to Hawaii.

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Featured Resorts

Resorts aren’t actually rated 5 or 4 stars in Hawaii per se.  We’ll call them the “Top Resorts on Kauai”

We have also included the best values on each island.

Top 10 Resorts on Kauai

Top 10 Best Resort Values on Kauai

That’s a lot of resorts to choose from! But we didn’t stop at simply reviewing the resorts, we’ve organized them based on amenities, prices and region in one app. If you wanted to know more information, such as which resorts have an outdoor lanai, weddings on site, and a swim-up bar, we’ve catalogued all of that information on our app, which you can filter through.

We have the same custom maps found in the book on our app, only now you can zoom in and quickly see what’s nearby, then tap on the activity to read more. The maps will also show you the distance between the resort and the attraction, making it easy to plan your Hawaii trip.

You can also find the following in our app:

    • Restaurants Reviews


    • Sights Information including their location, pricing, contact details


    • Adventure activities and their reviews


    • A planner to save your favourites spots


  • Maps to view nearby activities, resorts, restaurants and more.

Download the Hawaii Revealed app to see all the real gems and not to be missed sights on the islands.
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