The North Shore of Kauai extends from Moloaa to Napali, and along its coastline are miles of beaches, great snorkeling, striking cliffs and lush countryside. The first town with plenty to see and do as you make your way north on the Garden Isle is Kilauea which lies between the 22- and 24-mile markers.
Take a turn down Kilauea Road to see the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Lighthouse and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Kilauea Point is famous for shearwaters, boobies, frigates and monk seals, with a rugged, jaw-dropping coastline.
Kalihiwai Valley, located at the 25-mile marker, is the site of the Kalihiwai River and a spectacular waterfall. To reach Anini Beach, turn onto Kalihiwai Road on the Hanalei side of the bridge. At the dead-end sign, take the left fork onto Anini Road. Anini Beach is good for beginning windsurfers, snorkeling and swimming—just take extreme precaution as there is no lifeguard on duty and currents can get dangerous, especially beyond the reef. There are public restrooms, showers and picnic tables.
Princeville is the major resort development on the North Shore, with the St. Regis Princeville Resort, a golf course, a shopping center, Hanalei Bay Resort, stables and more.
Hanalei Valley Lookout is on the left side of Kuhio Highway, just past Princeville Shopping Center and offers one of the best views of Hanalei Valley. An informative plaque tells of the valley’s rich agricultural history.
When in Hanalei Town, turn right at Aku Road to reach Hanalei Bay. Another right at the dead end leads to Black Pot Beach Park, Hanalei Pier and Hanalei River.
Beyond Hanalei, the road winds past Lumahai Beach, Maniniholo Dry Cave, Haena Beach Park and Limahuli Garden, ending at Ke‘e Beach, gateway to the Napali Coast.
Photos by Steve Heap, John Hester Photography, Nickolay Stanev / Shutterstock