Discover the magic of Kauai’s North Shore
As anyone who’s visited the island can attest, some of the world’s most incredible natural scenery can be found on the North Shore of Kauai. From awe-inspiring sea cliffs to postcard-perfect ocean views, the Garden Isle’s North Shore is a special slice of heaven on Earth.
Kauai’s northernmost point is Kilauea, home to a historic lighthouse and a wildlife sanctuary. Established in 1985, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge includes more than 200 acres of protected land. Migratory birds, seabirds and Hawaii’s state bird (the Nene goose) are among the wildlife found here. Humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and spinner dolphins can also be observed from Kilauea Point. Guided nature hikes are available.
Heading west along the northern coast, you’ll come to Princeville, an upscale resort area offering a top-rated golf course, hotel and, and a small community of homes and condominiums.
Next comes Hanalei, a scenic treasure offering panoramic views and one of Hawaii’s best beaches. Swimming is usually safe here during the summer, but avoid the water during the rugged winter months. Nearby is another outstanding beach, Lumahai Beach, where Mitzi Gaynor sang “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair” in the Hollywood film classic, South Pacific.
Continuing on, you’ll come to Haena, the end of the road, another pristine spot along Kauai’s North Shore. One Hawaiian legend tells of Madame Pele, the volcano goddess, visiting Haena during a major hula festival. In order to take part in the festivities, Pele took the form of a lovely young woman and promptly fell in love with a handsome Kauai chief. The remnants of the hula platform are said to remain on the hillside, near Kee Beach.
Finally, treat yourself to the breathtaking sight of the Na Pali Coast, whose cliffs rise dramatically 4,000 feet from the crashing surf. (Translated, Napali literally means “the cliffs.”) While there is no vehicular access to Napali, commercial helicopter and raft tours are widely available to visitors.