Enjoy Stunning Views Without The Crowds At This Under-The-Radar Hawaiian Town

Hawaii is a destination many travelers dream of when they're looking to spend some quality time relaxing on a beach under a palm tree, far from the hustle of life. Whether you're hoping to enjoy an island getaway in the name of unforgettable family vacations or you're planning a romantic trip for two, Hawaii has a way of beckoning adventurers towards the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, when it's a stunning and tranquil destination you're after, the dream doesn't always match reality when you break it down by the numbers.


Those who picture Hawaii as a remote and crowd-free destination might be surprised to learn that according to Hawaii Guide's tourism statistics, the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu collectively receive over 1 million monthly visitors. The majority head to Oahu, which welcomes upwards of 570,000 travelers per month. Alternatively, the scenic island of Kauai welcomes no more than 140,000 visitors a month. 

These drastically different numbers are eye-opening yet encouraging to travelers excited to enjoy stunning island views without the crowds included on Kauai. If you want to make things even more inviting, the under-the-radar town of Waimea is a place where you can breathe easily with plenty of space to relax and roam. Situated on Kauai's west shore, Waimea is located far from many top tourist stops and instead offers travelers rich culture, history, and outstanding natural beauty to explore. If you're looking to disconnect and unwind, this island town of just over 1,800 residents is the place to do exactly that.


Admire canyon and valley vistas in Waimea

Travelers will find so many things to do in Kauai, and when it comes to Waimea, your main focus will likely be on outdoor adventure and immersive experiences in nature. Far from high-energy crowds, Waimea sits close to breathtaking stops like Waimea Canyon State Park. With an impressive five-star rating on TripAdvisor, this thrilling destination provides an idyllic platform to admire Waimea Canyon. Referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," this dramatic landmark measures 14 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep.


Follow Waimea Canyon Drive to the primary canyon overlook and admire canyon views paired with crags, valley gorges, and crested buttes. There are many hiking trails to explore around the canyon and opportunities for fantastic bird watching on-site. There's always a chance you'll spot the endangered Hawaiian owl or the Hawaiian honeycreeper. If you prefer a bit of direction with your sightseeing, the team over at Adventure in Hawaii offers a full-day Waimea Canyon tour followed by a stop at a local coffee plantation.

Another beautiful place for scenery seekers in Waimea is Kokeʻe State Park. Located north of Waimea Canyon, the park can be reached by continuing on Waimea Canyon Drive. Spanning over 4,345 acres of terrain, this plateau-based park hosts an array of colorful and tropical plants, forests, and 45 miles of hiking trails. For one-of-a-kind views, head over to the Pu'u o Kila Lookout, which frames the lush Kalalau Valley with glimpses of the Na Pali Coast. 


Add gorgeous water views to your itinerary

If you're a Kauai-bound traveler with a heart for finding the best views under the waves, your trip to Waimea should include time at Polihale State Park. This destination is well suited to those who are comfortable with a rugged trek to the sand. The path leading to the secluded park is unpaved and best conquered on foot or with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Because it's a bit more difficult to reach, you'll typically find the shorelines of Polihale State Park are refreshingly empty. This makes it a great place for snorkeling in Hawaii when the summer waters are calm. Fishing, picnicking, and beach camping are all options to add to your itinerary here as well.


When you're longing to include as many great ocean views in your Waimea stay as possible, you'll find a visit to the Waimea State Recreation Pier is worth your while. A simple stroll down the peaceful pier provides a chance to take in the sun, sand, and tranquil surroundings at your own pace. You might find a few anglers casting a line from the pier, but this once-busy port area is now a preferred destination for relaxing by the water and relishing your time away — without the noisy crowds.