The 7 Best State Parks in Kauai, Hawaii (HI)

May 21, 2022 Harland Bartelt

Relaxing and pristine Kauai (the Garden Island) is the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands. Waterfalls, scenic drives and more than 60 beaches dot the landscape. Some beaches have great snorkeling, others offer child-friendly tidal pools and some are perfect for all kinds of water sports. Dry-land activities include hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coastline, taking a day trip to Waimea Canyon and experiencing life on a sugar plantation at Grove Farm Homestead Museum.
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1. Na Pali Coast State Park

Wainiha, Kauai, HI 96746 +1 808-335-6833 http://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/napali-coast-state-wilderness-park/
Excellent
94%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 1,954 reviews

Na Pali Coast State Park

A scenic area offering beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs.

Reviewed By kalisTravelGuide - Pennsylvania, United States

I was lucky enough to view Kauai's 17 miles of coastline on the northwest sides by boat. The view is riveting. I could barely take my eyes off for fear I was going to miss it. The vast cliffs are very memorable and full of untouched natural beauty. I'd even say magical.

2. Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796
Excellent
87%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 8,194 reviews

Waimea Canyon State Park

"The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep.

Reviewed By Starlinghall

Beautiful sites that I think every person visiting Kauai needs to see... the highlight for us was going to the very highest lookout point at the end of the road at the top of the mountain. We looked out across the ocean and it took our breath away!

3. Polihale State Park

Off Kaumuali'i Highway Hwy 50, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 946 reviews

Polihale State Park

A historical state beach park with breathtaking views and landscape.

Reviewed By genyit

Yes, the dirt road is rutted, potholed, and can easily take 40-50 minutes to get to the beach. I had a Jeep Wrangler 4x4 and it didn't make the trip any faster, but I wasn't worried about bashing the undercarriage or stressing the shock absorbers. I personally think it would be foolish to try this ride with a regular car (think rain, mud, sand, hard-as-rock potholes, etc.) just make sure you've paid for the rental car insurance if you do. As far as the beach is concerned, it was worth every bone jarring bounce to get there and back. I was there on a beautiful sunny day, there were only a handful of other people for miles of gorgeous beach. Recommendation: bring a towel, umbrella, maybe a light weight chair, and lots of drinking water. Note: on my visit the bathrooms were closed. Although I wore a bathing suit I never gave any thought to going in the ocean. The surf was big and wild with a serious undertow. It was amazing to watch the huge waves roll in and then explode as they neared the beach. If you look to the North end of the beach you see the mountains frame the beach. If you look south you see miles of pristine beach and dunes, really quite stunning.

4. Ha'ena State Park

End of Kuhio Highway Hwy 56, Kauai, HI 96714 +1 808-241-6670 http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/haena-state-park/
Excellent
52%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 124 reviews

Ha'ena State Park

Reviewed By P4292JDjennym - Ankeny, United States

Make sure to reserve your parking spot before you go, way in advance. It is $5. You have to pick a certain time. It is a nice beach with a trail to a lookout and waterfall.

5. Koke'e State Park

Kokee Rd, Hwy 550, Kekaha, Kauai, HI 96796 +1 808-335-9975 http://www.kokee.org/
Excellent
77%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 279 reviews

Koke'e State Park

A beautiful state park encompassing 4345 acres and containing 45 miles of scenic trails.

Reviewed By briand790 - Denver, United States

Don't miss this state park. It is located just past Waimea State Park and it is the road less traveled. Keep on the road past Waimea and you'll be in Koke'e State Park. The views are incredible and you'll get to see the Na Pali coast views from above. The clouds roll in and out here, so you may have to be patient to get a great view. It is worth the wait. There are also some hiking trails that are great and there is a gift shop and visitor center here as well. There is also a research station that is not open to the public. All of the parking lots at the viewpoints are included for the small fee that can be paid at any of the lots throughout either state park. You only have to pay once and keep your receipt for all of the lots. Don't miss this by turning around after seeing Waimea. Some of the best views in all of Hawaii are just around the bend!

6. Wailua River State Park

Highway 56, Wailua, Kauai, HI +1 808-933-0416 http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/wailua.cfm
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 94 reviews

Wailua River State Park

7. Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park

Highway 50, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96766-1875 +1 808-797-9487 [email protected] http://www.fortelizabeth.org/
Excellent
7%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
41%
Poor
31%
Terrible
9%
Overall Ratings

3.0 based on 369 reviews

Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park

Russian Fort Elizabeth/Paʻulaʻula o Hipo is a National Historic Landmark and is administered as the Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park just southeast of present-day Waimea on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi. It is located at the site of the former Fort Elizabety, the last remaining Russian fort on the Hawaiian islands, built in the early 19th century by the Russian-American Company as the result of an alliance with High Chief Kaumualiʻi. The star fort was employed by the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 19th century under the name Fort Hipo (Hawaiian: Paʻulaʻula o Hipo).

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