Kauai Destination Guide
Click over to Oahu or Maui right now if bustling nightlife and shopping sprees are what you are looking for on your Hawaiian trip. Tranquil and sparsely populated, Kauai offers a very different type of holiday – exactly why people love it so much! A lush haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the nickname 'The Garden Island' will give you some clue of what to expect from Kauai. Home to a multitude of luxury resorts and an over-supply of white sand beaches, Kauai is just the destination if you want the perks of an island oasis, but don’t want to sacrifice on amenities.
You’re going to have to write a long list of things to do if you visit Kauai. From Waimea Canyon, also known as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific', to kayaking along the Wailua River and snorkelling at Kee Beach, it’s hard to beat Kauai if you’re a nature lover. Take a boat cruise along the secluded Na Pali Coast and you might be lucky enough to spot whales, or stay on dry land exploring small towns such as Hanapepe and Old Koloa Town. Hire a car and venture to impressive waterfalls, Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls, and if you’re an Elvis fan, pay a pilgrimage to Fern Grotto, a location used in the film Blue Hawaii.
Eat And Drink
Fellow tourists might be harder to locate in Kauai than on other islands, but restaurants definitely are not. Across the island you’ll find hundreds of meal time options with Kaapaa home to many of the best choices. It’s a good idea to make a booking if you want to dine at one of the island’s finest eateries such as Hukilau Lanai, but if you miss out on a table there are plenty of diners in Kaapaa, Hanalei and Poipu serving a delicious variety of Asian, Polynesian and American cuisine. For a drink with kick, head to Tahiti Nui in Hanalei to enjoy some native music, aloha vibes and one of their famous Tahitian Mai Tais.
Where To Stay
Though you’ll find accommodation to suit almost every taste and budget on The Garden Island, the greatest amount of options can be found in the mid to higher end of the market. Indulge in luxury on the North Shore, home to a number of lavish resorts, or head to Poipu in the south of the island and take your pick from the widest selection of beachside hotels on Kauai. If you are on a tight budget, Kapa’a, on the eastern side of the island, is where you will get more for your dollar. If surfing is a higher priority for you than slumber, then Hanalei is the place to make your base.
Throughout Kauai’s towns you’ll find plenty of stores selling a range of made-in-Hawaii items such as sarongs, aloha shirts, and jewellery and art featuring local shells and pearls. The open-air Coconut Marketplace is a great stop for souvenir shopping and is home to more than 70 shops. For international buys, Kukui Grove Shopping Centre is the island’s largest mall and where you’ll find Macy’s and Sears. Hanapepe, along Hanapepe Road is known for its artists and art galleries selling ceramics, furniture and other Kauai specialty products. Friday night is an especially great time to visit, with galleries and shops staying open late for Hanapepe Art Night.
Kauai Like A Local
The sugar industry is a big part of local life in Kauai, having been harvested in the area since 1837. These days sugar also means rum. The Kilohana Plantation is where you’ll find a 16,000 square-foot sugar cane plantation estate, as well as a more recent addition, the Koloa Rum Company. Located in Lihue, rum tastings occur every half-hour during opening hours, and if you fancy what you sample, there’s the option to take some rum home with you. Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiis don't have to be a distant memory of your Hawaiian holiday!