Kauai is an island filled with abundant natural beauty. One of the best ways to experience the wide breadth of ecosystems and terrain Kauai has to offer is by exploring the island’s state parks. Kauai is home to four state parks: Kokee, Polihale, Waimea Canyon, and Wailua River. Each is well worth exploring. However, at Parrish Kauai, we know it can be a little intimidating to plan your trip to all of these parks. To help you out, we have compiled a helpful guide on all four of Kauai’s state parks.
Kokee State Park
Located on the northwest side of the island, Kokee State Park is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on Kauai. Here, visitors can take in breathtaking views of the Kalalau Valley from 4,000 feet of elevation. You will not want to forget your camera when you visit this park. The photo opportunities are abundant; photographers of all skill levels will capture stunning photos here.
Kokee State Park is also an excellent spot for observing native plants, birds, and insects. Additionally, there are intriguing seasonal activities to explore, such as plum picking and trout fishing in the summertime. And if you are interested in hiking, Kokee State Park is one of the best places for hiking on the island.
Polihale State Park
For those looking to explore the more rugged parts of Kauai, Polihale State Park is an ideal destination. Four-wheel drive vehicles are highly recommended here due to the dirt road and high sand areas.
However, those that decide to make the journey to Polihale State Park enjoy a stunning beach park. The sunsets here are immaculate, and visitors are also treated to scenic views of the high sea cliffs of Napali Coast. Shore fishing is one of the park’s most popular activities, along with swimming. However, beware of strong off-shore currents. A trip to Polihale State Park is not suitable for everyone, but those looking for adventure will find it here.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Kauai’s gorgeous landscapes are diverse, and this next state park comes as a surprise to many visitors. Instead of the impeccable beaches and dense rainforests that many imagine when thinking of Kauai, Waimea Canyon State Park is reminiscent of the brown and red-painted canyons of the Southwestern U.S.
Also known as “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is one of the island’s finest landscapes. You can take in gorgeous views of Waimea Canyon when you visit Waimea Canyon State Park. There are a variety of hiking trails, ensuring everyone can find a hike for their skill level. Driving around Waimea Canyon State Park, visitors will experience breathtaking views of the canyon from all angles. Waimea Canyon State Park is a must-visit for those looking to experience a different side of Kauai’s raw beauty.
Wailua River State Park
For those looking to experience the tropic environments Kauai has to offer, Wailua River State Park is an excellent choice. This park is lush with beautiful green tropical foliage and home to the Wailua River, the longest river on Kauai.
Fern Grotto, a unique fern-covered cave, is one of the park’s notable highlights. However, visitors should note that one can only access Fern Grotto by taking a riverboat cruise, which comes at a price. The park also features a pair of beautiful waterfalls, Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls, the latter of which is recognizable from the TV show “Fantasy Island.”
If you are going to explore the amazing state parks of Kauai, you will want a place to rest after your adventures. At Parrish Kauai, we have well-appointed vacation rentals throughout the island, allowing you to find the perfect place to call home on your getaway to Kauai. To stay at any of our properties, please check availability online or call us at 1-800-325-5701.