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Your guide to Kauai
Kauai’s reputation as the most tropical of all the Hawaiian Islands is well deserved. The verdant isle, which erupted into existence over 5 million years ago, is 552 square miles of emerald jungles, jagged volcanic spires, lush waterfalls, aquamarine pools, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. If you’re the active type, there’s so much to do on Kauai — hiking, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, horseback riding, and much more. The island is also a mellower and less crowded experience when compared to either Oahu or Maui, and it’s not uncommon to find a stretch of beach or hiking trail to call your own.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kauai?
Vacationers will be pleased to know temperatures are pleasantly warm in Kauai year- round, peaking around August with an average of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, reflective of the island’s lush greenery, it also drizzles and rains year-round. The dry season spans from April through October, with wetter storms arriving more regularly between November and March. But rain is often intermittent, allowing interludes of sunshine to peek through most days.
Despite its Garden Island moniker, Kauai hosts numerous microclimates to prepare for if you explore beyond the beaches. These microclimates span from shirt-soaking humidity in the tropical rainforests to arid heat on the southwestern side, where cactus can be common. No matter what time of year you’re staying in one of Kauai’s vacation rentals, it’s always a good idea to pack a light windbreaker, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
What are the top things to do in Kauai?
Na Pali Coast Trail
Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a hiker, the first 2 miles of the 11-mile out-and-back Kalalau Trail deserve the effort. The views along this steep oceanside trail are spectacular, with a picturesque pocket beach and the hidden valley of Hanakāpī‘ai awaiting.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Imagine the Grand Canyon overtaken by a tropical jungle and you get a rudimentary sense of the awe-inspiring vistas visitors experience while surveying this majestic, red-tinged canyon.
Visit this unusual destination and you’ll have experienced the highest-elevation swamp in the world. The Alaka'i Swamp is accessible via a system of trails, wooden boardwalks, and approximately 200 stairs that deliver visitors through an otherworldly fog-filled landscape. Be sure to stop at the forested Kokee State Park nearby for lunch before or after entering the trailhead.