Last updated on April 22nd, 2019 at 06:37 pm
Are you looking heading to Kauai and looking for Instagrammable spots? Find out some of the best photo opportunities on Kauai that are fun and definitely “Insta-worthy!”
May contain affiliate links.I just read a statistic that 40% of consumers under 30 are prioritizing “Instagrammability” of potential destinations when making purchasing decisions.
As a family travel blogger, I’m trying to get better about getting some of those Insta-worthy shots while traveling with my kids.
Before our most recent trip to Kauai, I scoured Google looking for an Instagram guide to Kauai and couldn’t find anything.
Most sites just showed me places to take pretty photos of scenery. And Kauai is FULL of gorgeous natural beauty including Waimea Canyon, Spouting Horn, Wailua Falls, and the Na Pali Coast.
But, I was looking for fun, colorful photo ops that would look good in my Instagram feed.
So, I decided to create my own guide to Instagrammable spots on Kauai!
Best Photo Opportunities on Kauai for Instagram
Best Photos on the North Shore (Hanalei)
The North Shore is known for being extra green and lush with drop dead gorgeous beaches. They’ve filmed many movies here, including The Descendants.
It’s the rainiest side of Kauai, so it’s important to check the weather before you go.
1. WAIOLI HUIIA CHURCH
When you drive up to Hanalei, you can’t miss the Waioli Huiia Church. It’s right off the highway and it’s absolutely stunning!
The building was given to the Waioli Huiia mission in 1912 and it was built in the American Gothic architectural style. And it has a belfry tower with the old Mission bell.
The backdrop includes stunning views of the mountains and the church is surrounding but lush plants.
Walk around the entire church because there are so many beautiful angles. If you go on a Sunday (like I did), services will be happening and please remember to be respectful.
The entire backdrop is green, so wear white, yellow, pink, or any other color that will stand out.
How to get to Waioli Huiia Church:
The address is 5 Kuhio Hwy #5363A, Hanalei, HI 96714.
Head north on the highway through Hanalai town and the church will be on your left. There is lots of on-site parking in their lot (even on a Sunday.)
2. HANALEI PIER
Hanalei Pier is definitely one of the most iconic spots on Kauai.
Originally made of wood in the later 1800s, it’s undergone several updates throughout the years. It’s now made of concrete and has survived a few hurricanes.
I love doing photos at Hanalei Pier because it’s wide enough to do a large family photo. Plus, it’s easy to set up a tripod and a timer so that everyone can get in the photo.
There are beautiful mountains in the background and you can take photos on the pier, under the pier, and in front of the pier for many different vantage points.
Bring a tripod, if possible, so you can set up your shot.
It’s also a great spot to take photos of the beach. The water is really calm and it’s perfect for little kids to splash in the water or build sandcastles.
And underneath the pier is also a cool backdrop!
How to get to Hanalei Pier:
It’s located at the end of Weke Road in Hanalei.
It’s actually a little bit tricky to get to Hanalei Pier right now because of the road closure (due to the 2018 flash flood.)
There’s a parking lot at Ama Ama Road that’s open (near the lifeguard tower.) Unfortunately, several of the other parking lots aren’t accessible right now.
Best Photo Opportunities on the East Shore (Kapaa)
The East Shore has a lot of photo spots really close together, so it’s easy to do them in a short time frame on your way to an activity.
3. LAVA LAVA BEACH CLUB
If you are looking for a complete Insta-worthy photo spot on Kauai, the folks at Lava Lava Beach Club have you covered!
They have created this cute photo backdrop and even have a sign with their social media handles and hashtags!
If you scroll Instagram, this is one of the most popular places to take photos on Kauai. I love the bold colors and you can wear just about anything in front of it.
It’s really tucked away, so if you haven’t heard of it, you probably won’t come across it (unless you are staying at the Kauai Shores Hotel.)
This is a cute one to wear a swimsuit, a sarong, or wear pin-up clothing. Plus, you can grab a drink inside after your photo!
How to get to Lava Lava Beach Club:
The address is 420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaʻa, HI 96746.
The photo spot is located outside of Lava Lava Beach Club at the newly renovated Kauai Shores Hotel.
Parking is super tricky, unless you park at the Coconut Marketplace. The easiest way to get here is to walk, if you are staying at a nearby condo.
4. KAUAI JUICE CO.
At their Kapaa location, Kauai Juice Co. has THE most Instagram-worthy wall on Kauai. It’s the pineapple wall and it’s all over Instagram, for good reason!
I mean, it’s so bright, colorful and it makes me happy just looking at it!
Since so many use this wall in their Instagram photos, you can scroll through to get photo ideas.
Lots of people grab their yummy drinks from Kauai Juice Co and use their drinks as a prop in their photos.
And make sure to walk around to the other side of the pineapple wall to find another great Instagram backdrop and go to the front entrance for yet another Instagram wall!
The afternoon light can be harsh on this South-facing wall, so try to get there in the morning, if possible. And wear colors that will compliment this colorful wall.
There’s also an Instagram wall behind the pineapple wall and at the front entrance. Be sure to hit up all three!
How to get to Kauai Juice Co.:
Their address is 4-1384 Kuhio Highway Kapaa, Hi 96746.
There’s a parking lot behind Kauai Juice Co., Mermaids, and Java Kai and that’s where the wall is.
5. JAVA KAI
Right next to Kauai Juice Co., is Java Kai. They are a great place to grab breakfast before heading up north. I recommend their Shark Bite latte!
They make specialty lattes and have a lot of cute merchandise, including clothing and branded Hydro Flasks.
This Kauai Instagram wall is just around the corner from Java Kai’s entrance down a little alley. There was hardly anyone there when we went in the afternoon.
Start at Kauai Juice Co. and do their 3 photo walls, then head to Mermaid’s Cafe for their mural, and end at Java Kai where you can do photos inside, in front of the colorful cafe, and then hit this photo wall on the way back to your car.
How to get to Java Kai:
The address is 4-1384 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746.
Park either on the street or in the parking lot behind Mermaids, Java Kai, and Kauai Juice Co.
6. NOKA FAIR
The NoKa Fair used to be called the Kauai Products Fair and it was tent spaces where you could find sarongs, clothing and lots of souvenirs.
It recently went under a complete transformation and now it’s one of the best photo opportunities on Kauai. I mean, it’s adorable!
Sometimes the photos are hard to find on Instagram because people don’t tag NoKa Fair. I think they don’t know what this place is called.
But, this is one of my new favorite places to take photos on Kauai!
It’s usually not very crowded (we were the only people there in the afternoon besides the shopkeepers.)
Try to get here first thing in the morning for the best light. It’s also nice if you go before it opens because the shops all have white garage doors that come down for a clean look.
Be sure to walk all around this area because there are tons of different angles and fun pops of color everywhere you turn!
If you are looking for a cute sarong on Hawaiian print dress, this is a great place to buy one. Plus, you can put it on and start your photo shoot asap!
How to get to Noka Fair:
The address is 4-1613 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746.
If you are heading north from Kapaa town, it will be on your left. They have a large parking lot right in front.
Best Photo Opportunities on the South Shore (Hanapepe + Poipu)
Known for it’s almost always sunny weather, the south shore has a ton of easy photo spots!
7. KAUAI COFFEE COMPANY
On the south shore, take a few minutes to swing by Kauai Coffee Company. It’s the largest coffee farm in the United States and they are famous for their flavored coffee!
There’s a free guided walking tour you can take at specific times each day day that meanders through the estate. And you can always walk the estate on your own.
You can read signs to learn about coffee production and some historical facts.
Not only is a great place to take photos on Kauai, but they have tons of free coffee samples and they have one of the best gift shops filled with Kauai made products.
They recently launched tours of their farm, which could be fun!
They also have a giant coffee cup that you can sit inside! It happened to be under repairs when we were there (we hunted all over for it!) but now it’s back!
How to get to Kauai Coffee Company:
The address is 870 Halewili Road, Kalaheo HI 96741.
Turn off Highway 50 and follow the signs to get to the estate. There’s tons and tons of parking in their lot.
8. HANAPEPE SWINGING BRIDGE
I remember crossing the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge when I was a kid.
It’s been totally redone after Hurricane Iniki and now you can easily run across the bridge after shopping at the boutiques and galleries nearby.
It’s not in the least bit scary. The bridge strategically wobbles a bit with the cables and it’s a total hit with kids!
There are signs not to swing on the bridge, so please bear that in mind.
The bridge connects the residents who live on the other side to the town of Hanapepe. So, when you cross the bridge, please be respectful of the homes.
The town really comes alive on Fridays for their Hanapepe Art Night. So, that’s a really festive time to go for golden hour before exploring the town.
How to get to Hanapepe Swinging Bridge:
The address is 3857 Iona Rd, Hanapepe, HI 96716.
You’ll want to park in town. There’s a lot outside of the Banana Patch Studios, or lots of street parking.
9. HANAPEPE TOWN
If you or your kids are big Lilo & Stitch fans, you’ll definitely want to explore Hanapepe Town! It’s a tiny town on the way to Waimea and it’s the setting for Lilo & Stitch!
There’s a big mural right on the main drag. Plus, there’s a smaller mural nearby of a shelf featuring lots of movies that were filmed on Kauai.
Because it’s a town filled with artists, you’ll see incredible artwork, storefronts, and murals all over town.
It’s definitely worth walking around and finding your own special backdrops.
Tasting Kauai does an awesome walking tour of Hanapepe where you can taste gourmet food all over town.
A lot of stores and restaurants have very limited hours. It’s worth checking to see what will be open before you go.
Fridays they have their Hanapepe Art Night from 5pm-9pm and everything will be open!
How to get to Hanapepe Town:
It’s between Koloa and Waimea. As you head to Waimea, you’ll see a little sign on the right side of the road for Hanapepe Road. That’s the road to Hanapepe Town.
There’s a reason it’s called “Kauai’s biggest little town.”
10. HAWAIIAN TRADING POST
If you are looking for a place with kitschy roadside attractions, the Hawaiian Trading Post in Lawai is the place to be!
It’s a store that sells Aloha wear, souvenirs, artwork, and lots of Hawaiian jewelry. It’s one of the few places you’ll be able to see rare Niihau shell leis.
But, you’ll be awed by their parking lot attractions!
My favorite photo spot is the giant pineapple! And yes, you might start singing the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song in your head!
I remember taking photos in their surfing display when I was younger and it’s always a hit with my little boys!
There’s also a bunch of Hawaiian tikis, a seaside scene with red Adirondack chairs, beautiful gardens, and more!
If you are exploring Kauai with kids, this makes a great spot for them to get out and run around. There are picnic tables to sit and relax a bit.
It’s also just down the road from Warehouse 3540, which is a great spot to stop for lunch or shave ice!
How to get to Hawaiian Trading Post:
The address is 3427 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI 96756.
You can’t miss it from the highway. There’s plenty of parking in their lot.
11. GRAND HYATT KAUAI
We stayed at the incredible Grand Hyatt Kauai on our most recent trip. But, I’d include it on this list even if we didn’t stay there.
The grounds are just gorgeous and worth a leisurely stroll.
There are more than 50 acres of gardens, multi-level pools, a saltwater lagoon, and just endless unbelievable photo ops.
Be sure to take a moment inside the lobby to appreciate the unparalleled view of the ocean! And try out some of the built-in binoculars for a closer look.
Plus, it’s just steps away from Shipwreck Beach.
Make a dinner reservation at Tidepools Restaurant or get tickets to their luau and come an hour early to stroll the property and take photos.
It’s a really nice resort, so it’s a perfect opportunity to dress up a bit in Aloha wear or show off a super cute swimsuit and cover up.
How to get to Grand Hyatt Kauai:
The address is 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, HI 96756.
There is paid valet parking available or you can self-park for free.
12. SHOPS AT KUKUI`ULA
I really wasn’t expecting to include a shopping mall on this list (these photos were taken with an iPhone), but the Shops at Kukui`ula are quite an exception.
It’s an outdoor resort mall filled with super trendy boutiques and some of the best restaurants on Kauai. I highly recommend Kiawe Roots for some of the tastiest food!
My husband and I were perusing the shops when we spotted the bright green cottage just a little ways from the rest of the shops. It’s super cute and I thought it would be a great spot for photos!
We also stopped for coffee at Living Foods Market & Cafe and they have a gorgeous mural in their outdoor seating area.
Head to the back of the shopping center to find the cute little green cottage. There’s also a pathway and a little gate back there.
On Wednesdays from 3:30pm-6:00pm, they have their Kauai Culinary Market. It’s a popular event and they even do a chef demo.
On Fridays from 6:30pm-8:30pm, they feature local musicians who play all over the Shops at Kukui`ula.
How to get to the Shops at Kukui’la:
The address is 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd, Koloa, HI 96756.
There’s tons of space in their large parking lot.
5 Tips for the Ultimate Insta-Worthy Kauai Photo
1. GET A HAKU LEI
Haku leis, also referred to as Hawaiian flower crowns, are super trendy right now! It’s an easy way to add some tropical flare to any outfit!
The one I’m wearing in some of these photos is from Kealoha Flowers. She has a fabulous Instagram account and I just messaged her with screenshots of the haku leis I liked.
Then, I was able to pick it up from her house in Kilauea.
I kept it in a refrigerator and was able to wear it on and off for 5 days.
I suggest keeping it covered in the fridge in a box or with a wet paper towel on top. And keep it in a cooler in your car if you plan on being out all day but want to wear it for some photos.
2. WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES
Kauai is not a great place to wear high heels and fancy clothes. The whole vibe is laid back, and a combination of hippy, boho-chic and hipster.
And you should definitely find a swimsuit that flatters your body (and that you feel like a rockstar in!) Pair it with a sarong or fun beach cover up for cute resort photos.
3. USE LOCAL FRUIT AS PROPS
In case you need another reason to hit up on of Kauai’s many farmer’s markets, it’s a great place to pick up photo props!
Get a delicious coconut drink, pineapple, mangoes, papayas, apple-bananas, etc and use them in your photos.
You can also stop by a grocery store and peruse their produce department.
These are fun to hold out away from your body, in front of your face, or hold them on your head! The sky is the limit!
4. CHECK THE WEATHER
Kauai is known as the “rainy island” and that’s because it’s home to one of the wettest spots on Earth (Mount Waialeale.)
So, I highly recommend checking the weather every morning to figure out which side of the island to head to.
And keep an eye on what time sunrise and sunset are.
Personally, I’d head up north the first day the weather looks good up there because it has the most “iffy” weather. Then, I’d focus on the east side and save the south side until last.
5. SHAVE ICE
There’s something about seeing shave ice that instantly transports me to to Hawaii and I feel all happy and sun-kissed when thinking about it!
Stop by one of the many shave ice stands on Kauai and snap a photo holding your favorite combination.
If you need help finding ones that will look great on the ‘gram, read my post about the 5 Best Shave Ice Spots on Kauai.
And there you have it! My Instagram guide to Kauai with the very best photo opportunities on Kauai.
If you’d like to do professional photos in any of these spots, consider hiring a photographer through Flytographer. You can get $25 off using this link.
Did I miss any good photo spots? If so, please leave me a comment below!