Hawaii December 10, 2017
An Awesome Hawaii Weekend Road Trip That Takes You Through Perfection
The eight main Hawaiian Islands are incredibly diverse, but the fourth largest island, Kauai, is easily one of our favorites. Kauai is the geologically oldest of the main islands and is often referred to as the “Garden Isle,” thanks to the tropical rainforest that covers most of the island. It also just so happens to be the perfect setting for a dreamy weekend road trip. This dreamy road trip will lead you from the Alekoko Fishpond near the Lihue Airport to end of the road near Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, and includes two hours of drive time (one way) and stops at several of Kauai’s most picturesque settings.
Click here for a link to the full road trip itinerary, and follow along as we head out on a magnificent journey around Kauai.
1. Alekoko Fishpond
Also known as Menehune Fishpond, Alekoko, located near Lihue on the island of Kauai is a historic Hawaiian fishpond that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is said that the Menehune — a mythical people who inhabited the islands before Hawaiians arrived — are responsible for the fishpond construction.
2. Opaeka'a Falls
The first waterfall on our list may only be 151 feet tall, but it is one of Kauai’s most famous waterfalls, and is visible from the road, making it a popular tourist destination on Kuamoo Road between Lihue and Kapaa.
3. Fern Grotto
Located on the Wailua River, at the base of Mauna Kapu — also known as Forbidden Mountain — is the magical Fern Grotto, known for its ferns that grow upside down from the roof of the grotto. The naturally-formed lava cave was formed millions of years ago, and is home to various native Hawaiian plant species as well as colorful, exotic plants, that come together to make visitors feel as though they have entered a tropical rainforest.
4. Kilauea Point National Refugee & Lighthouse
Located on Kauai’s north shore is 203 acres of protected land, where the Pacific golden plover, Laysan albatross and the nene — the Hawaii state bird — live. The Kilauea lighthouse is just a short walk from the parking lot. First illuminated on May 1, 1913, it is the northernmost point of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands.
5. Stay in Princeville overnight.
Princeville will be your resting point overnight. There are a variety of accommodation options depending on your preferences and budget. If you’re looking to splurge, it doesn’t get any better than the St Regis Princeville, but if you’re on a shoestring budget, check out any of these gorgeous
6. Queen's Bath
Located in the town of Princeville on Kauai’s north shore is a unique tide pool known as Queen’s Bath once used as a bathing spot for Hawaiian royalty. A sinkhole surrounded by igneous rock, this incredible geological formation is not only a vibrant turquoise pool set in the striking black lava shoreline, but it is also a dangerous lava bench exposed to deadly high surf.
7. Hanalei Valley Lookout
A jaw-dropping vista awaits you at the Hanalei Valley Lookout — the Hanalei River and expansive taro fields are flanked on either side by majestic mountains and waterfalls. Just off Highway 56/560, this picturesque lookout point proves that it’s not always about the ocean views.
8. Hanalei Bay
Though Hanalei is located just north of the Princeville resort area, it feels like worlds away from the Hawaiian tourism scene. With a small one-lane bridge leading into town, and an unusual mix of shopping and dining options, the very small town — approximately 0.8 square miles — is full of old world charm. The beautiful town and neighboring Hanalei Bay have been featured in various films, including the 1958 musical classic, South Pacific.
9. Haena State Park
Located in Haena State Park is the always jaw-dropping Ke'e Beach marks the end of the Kuhio Highway, the furthest you can drive on Kauai's north shore. A protected reef makes this an idyllic spot for snorkeling and swimming during the summer. Other notable attractions within the park include sea caves and the trailhead to the famous Kalalau Trail.
How many of these incredible destinations have you experienced for yourself? Looking for road trips on the other main islands? Why not check out
this hidden beaches road trip on Oahu, this Hawaii Island volcanoes itinerary, or this Maui waterfalls road trip?