arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newfullscreen-closefullscreen-opengallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreensharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Adventure Town: Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Lihue adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat.

View Images

Fish go into a frenzy as scraps of food are dropped into the water off Kauai, Hawaii.

Pop. 5,674
GPS: 21°58N; 159°20W

Lihue (lee-hoo-ay), an old sugar-mill town on the island of Kauai, has a prime location between heavenly Kalapaki Beach—perpetually ranked as one of the world’s finest stretches of white sand—soaring mountains, and the 3,000-foot (914-meter) deep, jungle-fringed Waimea Canyon.


The protected waters of Kalapaki Beach are ideal for swimming and bodysurfing (free and open to the public). Or sign on with Outfitters Kauai and kayak Hawaii's largest tropical river, deep into the rain forest of central Kauai, to 100-foot (30-meter) Wailua Waterfall (


For breakfast, Tip Top Motel Café & Bakery combines Macadamia nuts—a Hawaiian staple—with their banana pancakes (+1 808 245 2333). Mark’s Place, tucked away on Haleukana Street, serves up enormous portions of Hawaiian-style beef stew and chicken katsu (+1 808 245 2522).


The modest, family-run Garden Island Inn is just across the street from Kalapaki Beach (doubles from $99;

Follow Nat Geo Adventure


Get exclusive updates, insider tips, and special discounts on travel and more.

Sign Up Now

Subscribe Now

Trips with Nat Geo