Welcome to Kauai Hawaii, the oldest but most charming Hawaiian island. From soaring cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls to exclusive shops and quaint cafés, this is the place to be. The fourth largest island has many places worth visiting, and here are just some of them.
For a start, visit the Kauai Museum, which is situated in the heart of Lihu`e. Besides a permanent collection of traditional Hawaiian artefacts, the museum has exhibitions featuring Hawaiian, Polynesian and Japanese culture. Furthermore, there are displays of Kauai’s history and geology.
Next, take a trip down to the breathtaking twin streams of Wailua Falls. If you are lucky, you can see rainbows in the mist as the waters gush into the pool 24 metres below. The best viewing time is in the early morning when the sun glistens on the water.
Further downstream is Fern Grotto, one of Kauai’s most popular tourist destinations. The lava rock grotto covered with a thick canopy of tropical ferns is only accessible by boat, which departs from the south side of the river’s mouth every 30 minutes from 9am to 4pm.
Not to be missed is the 16 kilometre-long and 915 metres-deep Waimea Canyon. The ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ has several lookout points along Waimea Canyon Drive, and the view from the top is often spectacular. At the base of the canyon is the Waimea town, which has many shops and restaurants to cater to travelers’ needs.
Have a pleasant shopping experience at shopping centers such as the one in Lihue, which house not only typical department stores, but also other specialty stores, hair salons and restaurants. At the Kalapaki Beach area near the Nawiliwili Harbor, there are two shopping centers, namely Eleele Shopping Center and Kapaa Shopping Center, offering clothing and accessories, as well as artwork. Moreover, there are many small and quaint stores selling authentic Hawaiian products, such as island soap, beeswax candle and Ni’ihau shell jewelry.
Delicious food can be found around every corner in Kauai. On the eastern side of Kauai, you can dine at Duane’s Ono Char-Burger where you can savor a dozen different styles of burger, as well as Small Town Coffee Co., where fantastic coffee and pastries are served. Blossoming Lotus is an excellent vegan restaurant with vegetarian dishes from Asia, Europe and America.
Towards the southern and western region of Kauai, Hanapepe Café and Roy’s Po`ipu Bar & Grill are the places to dine. Fresh fish and seafood can be readily found here.
While at the north of Kauai, you may find Polynesia Café’s wide variety of salads, burgers, meat dishes, and fresh local ice cream tantalizing. Wherever you go in Kauai, it is usual to find stalls selling bento boxes, with ready-to-eat food for eating on the go. Therefore, with variety of Kauai restaurants to choose from, dining in Kauai is not only enjoyable, but also convenient.
Besides the fun from common water sports such as surfing, scuba-diving and snorkeling, you can also indulge in the live jazz music at a popular local Japanese restaurant, called Sushi blues. It is opened from 8.30pm till late and located on the northern coast of Kauai.
Since most of Kauai’s land is inaccessible by foot due to the natural land forms such as Kawaikini and Mount Wai`ale`ale, the best way to see most of Kauai’s scenery is to take a helicopter. Some companies that offer helicopter tours around the island include Air Kauai, Heli USA and Inter-Island.