Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, friendly natives, unique culture, and amazing landscapes, with each island making up the Aloha State having its own distinctive scenery and charms to set it apart from the rest. Many people who visit Hawaii will spend a lot of their time on the Big Island or over on Oahu, but the island of Kauai is also definitely worthy of a visit, especially if you happen to be a nature lover or wildlife enthusiasts. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Home to the wonderful Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai is the fourth biggest of the Hawaiian islands and is also technically the oldest, geologically-speaking. Nicknamed the 'Garden Isle' for its amazing natural beauty and large swathes of wilderness, Kauai only has a small population, being home to less than 70,000 people at the last official count.

This island has been used as a filming location for movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Raiders of the Lost Ark due to its unique beauty and is regarded as one of the most pristine inhabited islands anywhere on the planet, home to amazing cliffs, mountains, coastal areas, forests, and more, with the Hanalei River, the Na Pali coastline, and the Kalalau Valley standing out as a few of the very best locations to admire and appreciate.

Kauai is a very popular spot with backpackers and people who like to travel off the beaten path, but you won't find many big resorts of fancy hotels here. Instead, you can stay at some good guesthouses and hostels if you choose to visit Kauai, with these forms of accommodation offering simple rooms and basic comforts at low prices. Read on to learn all about a couple of the best hostels on Kauai.

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2.Kauai Beach House Hostel

Kauai Beach House Hostel
© Kauai Beach House Hostel

Situated in a prime spot, just off the scenic Kuhio Highway along the eastern coast of Kauai, the Kauai Beach House Hostel is a great place to rest your head for a few nights while visiting the island of Kauai. You'll find a warm welcome and good service at this location, which has been beautifully laid-out and decorated, and also happens to feature one of the most chilled-out, laid-back vibes you could ever hope to find in a Hawaii hostel.

The Kauai Beach House Hostel offers wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean and features both private rooms and shared dormitories, so you'll have the choice of accommodation style depending on how you're traveling and who you're traveling with, although the number of private rooms is very limited so you'll need to book early if you're hoping to have that extra privacy.

The hostel itself features a communal kitchen space to prepare meals with your fellow travelers, as well as a wonderful rooftop terrace with lots of comfy seats and tables to hang out in the evenings and watch the sun go down. It's also only a couple of minutes away from the beach, so if you're heading to Kauai to do some surfing, swimming, or sunbathing, you'll find this hostel to be one of the best.

4-1552 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746, Phone: 808-652-8162

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3.Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai

Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai
© Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai

A simple hostel in a good location on the eastern coast of the island, Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai is another excellent place to stay during your trip to Kauai. The main advantage of this hostel is its prices; you really won't have to pay big bucks to stay at the Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai, so you can spend a few days here and really enjoy the local area, heading over to the beach in a matter of minutes, without eating into your travel budget.

This hostel offers both private rooms and shared dorms, so if you don't mind sharing with other travelers and perhaps even making a few new friends, this is a good option, but you can choose to have a little extra intimacy if you prefer. All rooms featured shared bathrooms, and you'll also find a shared kitchen and dining space with lots of storage, multiple refrigerators, and lots of useful cooking equipment too.

The bed linen is clean and the rooms are all decorated with nice, bright tones to reflect the lively nature of the local neighborhood and make everyone feel right at home. You can also borrow snorkeling gear direct from this hostel, which is a nice little bonus, especially if you plan on taking a trip out into the ocean and down beneath the waves to see what you can find.

4532 Lehua St, Kapaa, HI 96746, Phone: 808-823-6142

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Best Kauai Hostels

More Ideas: Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

The founders of the Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, Ed and Joyce Doty, retired to the island of Kauai of the state of Hawaii in the year 1982, moving from their ranch located in northern California. What started as just a project in landscaping in the Doty’s front yard and now expanded into 240 acres of land that has been transformed over the year into an assortment of diverse gardens. The property also features one the largest bronze sculpture collections in the entire United States.

Joyce and Ed Doty established a non-profit foundation in the year 1999, to which the couple donated the botanical gardens in its entirety. At this time, the Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens was opened to visitors for events and tours. The mission of the Foundation is to support and promote tropical forestry, agriculture, and horticulture. Along with this, the Dotys strive to provide ever-evolving gardens, as well as art experiences, to both the visitors and residents of the island of Kauai.

The Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens serves as a testimony to an amazing potential of the constantly evolving union between artistry, imagination, nature, and countless hours of hard work. When Joyce Doty, founder of Na 'Aina Kai Gardens, set her sights on the grand dreams she had for the grounds, her vision wasn’t a set in stone master plan. Instead, she considered it as more of a creation that would be continuously unfolding, a vision that would be created from the palette of nature and evolved every year from human creativity. At the heart of Joyce’s goals for Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens was her love for the arts that she’s had her entire life. Joyce Doty has always had an interest in several different facets of art, and wants to create a place full of beautiful things that lift her spirits, and the spirits of others.

The challenge and hard work of creating the landscape of Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in the beginning occupied the enthusiasm of Joyce Doty. She then realized that, like an artist who sometimes feels like their work of art isn’t quite finished, that the already abundant gardens could actually become more alive than ever if the culture and art muses were to actually share the grounds with the remarkable artistic creations of nature. Still today, the botanical gardens of Na 'Aina Kai are very much alive. The gardens are home to many different species of fauna and flora, as well as the home of a sculpture gallery outdoors. There is also a performance center for the arts of an unmatched distinction in the area.

In 1987, Joyce Doty designed the iconic Poinciana Maze. The centerpiece for the Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens was inspired by the couple’s trip to England. Work on the Ka’ula lagoon took roughly three years to complete, and began shortly after the creation of the maze. The International Desert Garden at Na 'Aina Kai was inspired by the enchantment Joyce had with the beautiful dry wash of New Mexico.

4101 Wailapa Road, Kilauea, Hawaii, Phone: 808-828-0525

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More Ideas: Kauai Museum

The Kauai Museum situated within a structure made of lava rock in the town of Lihue. The museum is home to various remarkable collections of work by artisans from the island Kauai, as well as the island of Niihau, which is a small island to the east that is part of Kauai county. Tourists and locals alike can to the museum and learn more about the different geological formations that make up the islands of Hawaii, how early Native Hawaiians lived, the Hawaiian Monarchy, and the arrival of Captain Cook in Waimea on the shores of Kauai. Visitors can also view different galleries that display the artwork of multi-cultural artists, craftsmen, and sculptors. Guided tours are offered to visitors upon request.

The interesting cultural and geological history of Niihau and Kauai are well represented within the small Kauai Museum, providing plenty for visitors to see despite its smaller size compared to other history museums. The entrance of the compact museum is the Wilcox Building, which was constructed in the year 1924 as the former library for the county. The exterior lava rock features a somewhat out of place Greco-Roman facade.

Inside the Wilcox Building, visitors will find temporary exhibitions, as well as a gift shop that possesses an extensive selection of books. The Heritage Gallery features cases lined with koa that display exquisite shell lei from Niihau, stunningly carved umeke, or wooden bowls, and other interior furnishings that belonged at one time to the royalty of Hawaii. Included in the gallery is a display china from the Iolani Palace, which is believed to be coveted by the curators at the Honolulu site.

Adjacent to the Wilcox Building of the Kauai Museum is the Rice Building. Opened to the public in the year 1960, this two-story structure made of lava rock shares “The Story of Kauai.” The exhibits on the main floor of the building have an emphasis on the volcanic origins of the island of Kauai up to the arrival of voyagers from Polynesia and the start of Western contact, which include missionaries who followed in the wake of Captain Cook and whalers. Among the rare artifacts on display in the Rice Building is a torn piece from a Niihau makaloa mat, which is an art form and highly prized bed covering that was basically abandoned during the late nineteenth century.

On the Rice Building’s second floor, the tale of the history of Kauai shifts over to the days of the plantation era. This was a time when the influx of immigrants fostered the complex concoction known as the “local” cultures. The story of Kauai on this floor extends up through the Second World War. On of the displays highlights the not very well known tale of a Japanese pilot during the Pearl Harbor attack who crashed on the island of Niihau. The pilot took captives, and then was eventually overpowered by many of the native Hawaiian residents after other islanders had rowed to the island of Kauai to notify the authorities.

4428 Rice Street, Lihue, Hawaii, Phone: 808-245-6931

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More Ideas: Kilohana Plantation Estate

The Kilohana Plantation Estate is the only site on the islands of Hawaii where guests can ride a train, shop, try locally crafted spirits, hike in a rainforest, dine on delicious food, or relax at a spa all in one place. Visitors can also have a chance to see part of the history of Kauai while enjoying the best of what the island has to offer today. The property has shared the best of the island of Kauai, both present and past, for more than twenty-five years.

The name of Kilohana, when translated from the Hawaiian language, literally means “not to be surpassed.” In the year 1935, this was definitely the case when Gaylord Wilcox, a sugar baron, constructed his legendary plantation estate that encompassed sixteen thousand square feet. During its heyday, the Kilohana Plantation Estate hosted several different ceremonies and extravagant parties. The estate today is a Historic Landmark, as well as one of the best examples of the architecture of the plantation era in Hawaii.

Kilohana Plantation Estates first opened to visitors in 1986. Since then, the estate has expanded from thirty-six acres of quant gardens to a destination of 104 acres. The property includes the Plantation Railway, Koloa Rum Company, Lu’au Kalamaku, Mahiko Lounge, Gaylord’s Restaurant, an agricultural park, and more. Visitors can choose one of these or experience all of them during their visit to the Kilohana Plantation. The estate is open daily, providing guests with the chance to see a part of the history of Kauai any day of the week.

A visit to the Kilohana Plantation Estate lets visitors step back in time to the 1930’s Kauai, the Golden Age of Sugar. Gaylord Wilcox, the head of the Grove Farm sugar plantation, built his dream home in 1935 with his wife. Wilcox hired highly respected architect Mark Potter to design his Tudor-style house that would turn into Kilohana. The mansion consisting of sixteen thousand square feet was situated in the center of the twenty-six thousand acre sugar tract. The home served as the homestead for the Wilcox family for several generations.

The mansion of Kilohana was richly built with detailing in the Art Deco style and fine woods. Materials and lumber arrived at the property from the west coast of the United States by barge, and the detailed moldings used in the house arrived from England. The living room, foyer, hallways, and library of the mansion feature coffered ceiling and stunning pine wainscoting. Rare works of art from the island in the Pacific, as well as from the Orient, and Hawaiian artifacts were displayed proudly inside the home. Upon its completion the mansion of the Kilohana Plantation Estate became the most expensive house ever constructed on the island of Kauai.

There’s fun for the whole family at Kilohana Plantation Estate. Visitors can climb aboard the property’s train, tour the plantation, and stop and take some time to feed the animals on site. Tours of the plantation lasts around forty minutes, and leave every hour.

3-2087 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, Hawaii, Phone: 808-245-5608

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