Destination guide

Memorable Hawaiian holidays in Kauai vacation rentals

Smaller than the Big Island, Maui, and O'ahu, "The Garden Island" offers a Hawaiian hideaway that's as close to a picture postcard as it gets – think lush tropical rainforests, turquoise waters, and dramatic canyons and cliffs. Travellers come to Kauai to commune with nature, whether it's by slowing things right down on the beach or ramping up the activity with hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and surfing. Choose a base from thousands of vacation rentals, including large selections of cool condos and spacious houses in Kapaa, Hanalei, and Princeville.

History

History buffs have a sweet deal on Kauai, since a visit to Old Koloa Town will take you back to the time when Kauai was the centre of Hawaii's sugar mill industry. Former plantation buildings now house restaurants and shops, but you can pop into the History Center to gain some insights into plantation-era life. Waioli Mission House in Hanalei Bay dates from the 1830s and is now a small museum on a property with 2 old churches. If you're more about the natural history, visit the Kokee Natural History Museum for exhibits on the flora and fauna of Waimea Canyon.

Things to do

Top things to do when staying in Kauai vacation rentals

Slap on some sunscreen and grab your camera – Kauai has some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in all of Hawaii, and you'll definitely want some souvenir photos. Waimea Canyon State Park and Na Pali Coast State Park are Kauai's crowning jewels, and the latter was a filming location for Jurassic Park – though fortunately it's now a Tyrannosaur-free zone. Cap off your day with a dip in the Queen's Bath sinkhole, but make sure to heed the swimming safety signs.

Activities

Sightseeing in and around Kauai

Do you want to discover attractions to see in the city? Travelers enjoy Kauai for its hiking, snorkeling and kayaking. Venture out of your vacation home and experience everything that makes Kauai a fun spot to vacation. Here are some of the top attractions to explore, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Princeville Golf Course (8.7 mi / 14 km)
  • Makai Golf Club (9 mi / 14.5 km)
  • Kauai Mini Golf (10.6 mi / 17.1 km)
  • Smith Family Garden Luau (12.3 mi / 19.8 km)
  • Kukuiolono Golf Course (12.4 mi / 19.9 km)
  • Wailua Golf Course (12.8 mi / 20.6 km)
Weather

Seasonal weather averages in Kauai

Travelers speak highly of Kauai for its snorkeling. If you're hoping to enjoy some warm-weather activities on your vacation, August, September, October and July are the hottest months to visit, when temperatures average 85°F.

Natural features

Exploring the beaches and other natural features in Kauai

Travelers love Kauai for its island views and beautiful waterfalls. Whether you're looking for exciting outdoor activities or just want to appreciate the scenery, Kauai is a great place to spend some time outside. These are some of the area's noteworthy natural features, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Waimea Canyon (9 mi / 14.5 km)
  • Na Pali Coast State Park (9.3 mi / 14.9 km)
  • Hanalei Bay (7.7 mi / 12.4 km)
  • Limahuli Garden and Reserve (9.1 mi / 14.7 km)
  • Lydgate Beach Park (12.9 mi / 20.7 km)
  • Polihale State Park (15 mi / 24.1 km)
How to get there

Transportation to and around Kauai

The nearest airport is in Lihue, HI (LIH), located 14 mi (22.5 km) from the city center.

How to get around

Getting around the island from your Kauai vacation rental

Although most travellers fly into Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu – the state capital located on O'ahu island – you can also touch down at Kauai's Lihue Airport. The small open-air facility services limited flights to and from the continental US, but it's mostly used for trips between the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Airlines offers frequent inter-island flights, while smaller air carriers and air taxi services transport passengers on low-flying turboprop planes. The Kauai Bus network runs 9 routes on the island.

Food & drink 

Sample quintessential Hawaiian dishes in Kauai

Treat your tastebuds to Hawaii's traditional fare, such as poi (ground and boiled taro plant root), poke (a salad made of cubed raw fish, chopped onions and a local seasoning), and kalua pig (pork slow-cooked in an underground oven). If you want to make like a local, order a classic plate lunch, which consists of 2 scoops of white rice, some macaroni salad, and an entree. One variation, called loco moco, has fried egg and a burger patty topped with brown gravy. For a snack, pick up some Spam musubi (rice and a slice of Spam, wrapped in nori) or some refreshing shave ice.

Essential info

Essential information for your Kauai vacation rental stay

Kauai is the northernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and it has a population of around 67,000. Kapaa is the most populous town. Travellers should have an eye for local etiquette, like removing your footwear when you go into a local resident's home. You're also not supposed to move or collect rocks from national parks, as they're generally considered sacred. Tipping is customary in Hawaii, as in the rest of the US. Hawaiian and English are the official languages spoken.

Where to stay near Kauai?

Our 2019 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 4,103 house rentals near Kauai. From 846 Houses to 2,480 Condos/Apartments, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best place to stay near Kauai for a long holiday or a weekend break is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Kauai?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Kauai. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Poipu: 1,498 vacation rentals
  • Kapaa: 2,485 vacation rentals
  • Kiahuna Plantation Resort Kauai: 156 vacation rentals
  • Hanalei: 1,857 vacation rentals
  • Kuhio Shores: 58 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Kauai! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Kauai?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Kauai:

  • Kapaa: 2,485 rentals
  • Hanalei: 1,857 rentals
  • Koloa: 1,504 rentals
  • Haena: 1,491 rentals
  • Wailua: 836 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in Kauai?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in Kauai. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Hanalei Bay: 1,522 vacation homes
  • Mt. Waialeale: 4,102 vacation homes
  • Na Pali Coast State Park: 1,595 vacation homes
  • Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital: 1,555 vacation homes
  • Waimea Canyon: 2,345 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around Kauai listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Kauai

Kapaa
2,485 vacation rentals
Hanalei
1,857 vacation rentals
Koloa
1,504 vacation rentals
Haena
1,491 vacation rentals
Wailua
836 vacation rentals
Waimea
4,083 vacation rentals
Anahola
2,349 vacation rentals
Kilauea
1,596 vacation rentals
Lawai
1,509 vacation rentals
Pakala Village
46 vacation rentals
Wainiha
1,530 vacation rentals
Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve
2,345 vacation rentals
Port Allen
1,545 vacation rentals
Wailua Homesteads
930 vacation rentals
Hanapepe
4,025 vacation rentals
Puhi
2,470 vacation rentals
Kukuiula
1,511 vacation rentals
Hanamaulu
899 vacation rentals
Makaweli
36 vacation rentals
Kealia
836 vacation rentals