Insights & Stories

Getaway Kauai: Experience the Garden Island

Reading time: 4 Minutes

September 14th, 2021

Due to ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, please be sure to check the latest Hawaii state and county guidelinesCDC travel guidelines, as well as company cancellation policies before booking any travel, activities, or accommodations.

Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian Island after Niihau. It's sometimes called The Garden Island in honor of its green valleys, lush rainforests, and abundant waterfalls.

On Kauai's North Shore is the Na Pali Coast, a 17-mile stretch of cliffs that rise 3,000-feet into the sky. Time and the elements have created a landscape there of sharp mountain peaks and jagged green cliffs so dramatic that they look more like a fantastic wonderland than a natural creation.

It's no wonder adventure movies like the Jurassic Park series and Pirates of the Caribbean chose Kauai's jutting mountains as their backdrop. The cliffs occasionally dip to give way to pristine beaches that are inaccessible, except by boat or intense hiking.

On the island's west side, Waimea Canyon—sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific—offers views that take your breath away. Lookout points and hiking trails lay at the edge of sweeping chasms that plummet 3,600 feet down into cool, dark valleys.

Although we are still experiencing some travel uncertainties due to the pandemic, when it's safe to travel again, a staycation on this majestic island can feel worlds away from day-to-day life.

And as we continue to spend time in the day-to-day, wouldn't it be amazing to have your future flight to the Garden Isle covered just by making the same purchases you do every day?

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Just tap to pay, and you could be one step closer to your future staycation.

Hanalei Bay and pier

Where to Stay

Waimea Plantation Cottages is an oasis of calm set on 43 oceanfront acres of lush tropical landscaping. Each of the 59 authentic heritage plantation cottages, built from the late 1880s to 1930s, have one to five bedrooms and feature garden or ocean views, fully equipped kitchens, and private lanais.

Lawn games, hammocks, an oceanfront pool, and 2 miles of expansive black sand beach provide multiple opportunities for rest and relaxation. Waimea Canyon and the Swinging Bridge in Hanapepe are a close drive away for those seeking adventure.

Where to Eat

Kalaheo Café & Coffee Co. sits in the dense greenery of upcountry Kalaheo, amidst a 4,000-acre coffee plantation. The cafe serves up fresh, local ingredients in a casual dining atmosphere. The place is best known for its breakfasts, but also serves tasty lunches and dinners. And, of course, they serve delicious Kauai coffee. Dinner specials on Friday and Saturday nights include a salt-rubbed, 14-ounce Prime Rib Roast.

Kalaheo Café makes a great to-go stop for coffee and a bite for the road on your way west to the scenic, 45-minute, winding drive up to Waimea Canyon State Park—a scene of unforgettable splendor at Kalalau Lookout.

waterfall in Waimea Canyon

Where to Adventure

While on your Kauai vacation, set aside time to view the island from the sea. Capt. Andy's Sailing Adventures offers cruises along the magical Na Pali Coast. The company's most luxurious sail is a five-and-a-half-hour voyage on their 65-foot Star Yacht. The luxury catamaran—with hardwood floors, tiled bathrooms and on-board chef—takes you out for sailing, snorkeling and a barbecue lunch with beer and wine. Guests commonly see spinner dolphins and, during the winter, whales.

Capt. Andy's also offers a dinner sail at sunset. For a more physical adventure, join an all-day expedition on their 24-foot rigid hull raft that takes you to a remote beach for snorkeling, picnicking and a hike to the ruins of an old Hawaiian village. The raft ducks in and out of sea caves and plunges under the occasional waterfall to show you the grand peaks and valleys that make the Na Pali Coast world famous. It's a fast, wild ride, so expect to get wet.

Discover our full list of must-see places to sleep, eat and adventure below!

travel infographic

The mention of Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles is not an indication of affiliation or endorsement by Bank of Hawaii. The individuals and owners of any other trademarks, logos, brands or other designations of origin shown, named or mentioned herein did not sponsor, endorse or preview this article.

Jurassic Park is a registered trademark of Universal City Studios LLC and Amblin Entertainment Inc. Pirates of the Caribbean is a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

No purchase or transaction necessary to enter. Open to legal residents of the state of Hawaii, 18 or older. Starts 12:00:01 am September 1, 2021 and ends 11:59:59 pm December 31, 2021. Odds of winning depend upon number of eligible entries. Approximate retail value of an individual prize ranges from $3,000 to $30,000. For complete rules and eligibility, visit Sponsor: Bank of Hawaii, Inc

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