Kauai is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, forests, waterfalls, and volcanic peaks in the world, making it a popular travel destination for all kinds of holidaymakers. It's home to many famous natural wonders, from towering waterfalls to tranquil botanical gardens and diverse nature preserves. Whether you want to see local wildlife, hike to a scenic waterfall, or spend some time looking at gorgeous flowers and plants, here are 10 famous natural wonders in Kauai to explore on your trip.

    1

    Opaekaa Falls

    See this massive 151-foot waterfall

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    Opaekaa Falls is a 151-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide waterfall that's one of the most famous natural attractions in Kauai. It's easily accessed from the east side on well-marked trails. You can travel up Kuamoo Road from Highway 56 to find the scenic lookout point, or continue hiking to get views of the falls and plains below. The hike is 2 miles from start to finish. Along the way, you'll find picnic areas and bathrooms for a break from the hike, perfect for travels with kids.

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    2

    Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

    Explore numerous botanical gardens with various exotic species

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    The Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens are a collection of botanical gardens comprising different climate and geographic regions. You can take a guided tour to see the gardens or explore on your own. Some of the highlights include the International Desert Garden, the Wild Forest Garden, and Shower Tree Park & Ka'ula Lagoon, which features a lagoon and Japanese-style teahouse. The kids will like the "Under the Rainbow" Children's Garden, which has a paddling pool, train, treehouse, tunnels, and slides to explore.

    Location: 4101 Wailapa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754, USA

    Open: Gift shop open Monday–Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, tour hours vary

    Phone: +1 808-828-0525

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    3

    Allerton Garden

    See tropical plants and scenic water features

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    Allerton Garden is a vibrant botanical garden on the South Shore that spans 80 acres near Lawa'I Bay. Along with a variety of wildflowers and exotic tropical plants, the Allerton Garden also has miniature waterfalls, fountains, pools, and sculptures that you can see while strolling along the pathways, plus garden rooms to see different plant species. Some of the highlights of Allerton Garden include the Mermaid Fountain and the Diana Waterfall. If you want to learn more about the gardens and the inhabitants, you can take a guided tour.

    Location: 4425 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA

    Open: Hours vary by tour

    Phone: +1 808-742-2623

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    4

    Limahuli

    Explore 3 full ecological zones

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    The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is a botanical garden and nature preserve on the North Shore. It covers 3 ecological zones of native and introduced plants, including koa, papala, banana, kukui, and breadfruit. In the garden, you can see a spectacular waterfall near the Makana Mountain Ridge and take in the views of the landscape from the taro terraces, which date back to the early Polynesian arrival on the island. Though the nature preserve is part of the botanical garden, it's not open for public tours.

    Location: 5-8291 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA

    Open: Hours vary by tour

    Phone: +1 808-826-1053

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    5

    Kilauea Point

    See preserved seabird nesting colonies and whales off the coast

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    Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is a spectacular natural area that was constructed to preserve seabird nesting colonies. It provides a habitat for many seabird species, such as the frigatebird, the Pacific golden plover, the Hawaiian goose, and the ruddy turnstone. Many other types of wildlife call the refuge home, including the Hawaiian monk seal, the green turtle, spinner dolphins, and humpback whales. Each year, the whales migrate from Alaska to breed, making this spot one of the best for whale-watching tours.

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed Sunday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +1 808-828-1413

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    6

    Hanalei

    Relax in this peaceful, laid-back town

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    Hanalei is a peaceful town with a leisurely pace and a variety of creative places to explore. You can find contemporary art galleries for local art and carvings, performance venues for ukulele concerts, and other types of arts and culture experiences. Hanalei is also home to the Hanalei Pier, a historic pier that's popular for musical events, fishing, swimming, and shopping. One of the highlights of Hanalei is the Waioli Mission House, a 19th-century historic landmark and home with period furnishings, unique architectural details, and the old Waioli Huiia Church.

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    7

    Waimea Canyon

    See the Grand Canyon of the Pacific

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    Located in Waimea Canyon State Park, the Kai Waimea Canyon is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" and spans approximately 10 miles on the western side of Kauai. The Waimea River rushes through the canyon from Mount Waialeale, which is one of the wettest places on earth. You'll find numerous hiking trails and wilderness areas in the park surrounding the canyon, so you can take in the scenery and enjoy the stunning canyon views from multiple vantage points.

    Location: Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796, USA

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 808-274-3444

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    8

    Napali Coast

    See the dramatic views and emerald cliffs on the North Shore

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    The Napali Coast on the North Shore offers natural beauty with dramatic rivers and emerald-colored cliffs set against the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The coastline has sandy beaches and towering valleys, as well as rugged terrain for hiking. You can experience the beauty of the coast many different ways, such as taking a boat tour, a guided kayaking trip, a raft tour, or an aerial tour, which gives you an excellent vantage point of scenic and remote areas. One of the highlights is Manawaiopuna Falls, which was used in the film "Jurassic Park."

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    9

    Spouting Horn

    See this impressive natural blowhole

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    Spouting Horn is one of the most popular landmarks in Kauai and is an impressive natural phenomenon. The blowhole was created when waves eroded lava rocks on the coastline, creating narrow openings that shoot water into the sky with a hissing sound. Spouting Horn's spray can go as high as 50 feet in the area, making it a sight to behold. You can hike to the blowhole on the 10-mile Koloa Heritage Trail to experience it yourself and get some photos.

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    10

    Huleia

    Spot Hawaiian waterbirds across 241 acres of land

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    The Huleia National Wildlife Refuge is a picturesque natural area near the Menehune Fish Pond. The refuge consists of 241 acres of bottomlands, wooded slopes, wetlands, and the Huleia River, which provides a habitat for Hawaiian waterbirds such as the Hawaiian stilt, the Hawaiian coot, and the Hawaiian duck, along with other endangered species. Most of the refuge is closed to the public, but you can see the scenery by walking the shoreline from Niumalu Beach Park and spend some time enjoying the sunshine.

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