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Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

Kauai is the most northwestern of Hawaii's major islands and is the 4th largest by size and population. Nicknamed the Garden Island, it is covered with lush greenery and tropical plants, watered regularly by abundant rainfall. As the oldest of the islands, it has been changed the most by the forces of erosion, and this has resulted in natural wonders such as

Waimea Canyon

and the

Na Pali Coast

. As a consequence of its age, Kauai also has more miles of sandy coastline than the other Hawaiian islands.

In many ways, Kauai is different from the rest of the islands. It's almost as if you've stepped into a separate kingdom, and for many years Kauai was just that in relation to... Read more

Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

Kauai is the most northwestern of Hawaii's major islands and is the 4th largest by size and population. Nicknamed the Garden Island, it is covered with lush greenery and tropical plants, watered regularly by abundant rainfall. As the oldest of the islands, it has been changed the most by the forces of erosion, and this has resulted in natural wonders such as

Waimea Canyon

and the

Na Pali Coast

. As a consequence of its age, Kauai also has more miles of sandy coastline than the other Hawaiian islands.

In many ways, Kauai is different from the rest of the islands. It's almost as if you've stepped into a separate kingdom, and for many years Kauai was just that in relation to Hawaii. Kamehameha I was able to conquer all the islands by force, except Kauai. Two separate campaigns to take the island ended in failure. In the end, it took diplomacy, a royal kidnapping, and an arranged marriage to bring Kauai into the kingdom of Hawaii.

Kauai is also known as the place where the sugar cane industry in Hawaii was born. Sugar was once the industrial mainstay of the Kauai economy but in recent years has taken a back seat to tourism. In October of 2009, Gay & Robinson harvested the last sugar crop in Kauai, ending 117 years of the sugar business in Kauai.

In short, compared to Oahu, Maui or the Big Island, Kauai is smaller, less populated, more rural, and more laid back. That's why it's the favorite destination for many visitors to Hawaii, and for many Hawaii residents as well. Visitors come to explore the island's beaches and natural wonders, but the multitude of resorts on white sand beaches provide ample opportunity to just sit and do nothing if you're so inclined.

Because tourist development reached Kauai considerably later than the other islands, the island has a larger proportion of timeshares, condominiums, and bed and breakfasts. Also, a strict cap on building heights (hotels can be no more than 40 feet high) prevent the development of the mega-resorts and towering skyscrapers found on the other islands. The local rule is that nothing can be built taller than a coconut tree.

One look at a map will show you an important difference between Kauai and the more populous islands of Hawaii: Due to the massive Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast, no roads circle the island. Once you've made the drive along the south shore to Waimea and seen the canyon, the only options are to go West on dirt roads to

Polihale Beach

or turn around and go back the way you came. Same story for Princeville and Na Pali on the north shore. However, the island is compact enough that both ends of the road can be seen in the same day. But the Garden Island cannot be enjoyed or appreciated if you are pressed for time.

Kauai offers a very unique experience also — from the western coast of the island on one of its piers, in the far distance travelers can see the island of Niihau, which is the forbidden island — forbidden, that is, to all but residents (about 130 mostly Native Hawaiians), U.S. Navy personnel, government officials and invited guests. It is often forgotten about because of its privacy so seeing its outline in the far distance is an amazing and majestic experience!

Also, know that Kauai is a place where many famous people go to get away. Since it is much less drastic of a plane ride from L.A. in California than it is from the East Coast, this island which is the most secluded, private and relaxing provides getaway homes to many stars, although the normal traveler won't see these celebrities out on the beach, probably because their beach-front properties provide their own private beaches. To get a glimpse of one of these stars, check a nook in the wall bistro. Celebrities like Beau Bridges can be found relaxing with his wife in the island's countryside restaurants.

Also, visitors should beware of the fact that along many of Kauai's streets and especially their main highway that there are wild roosters and chickens everywhere! It is almost like the equivalent of seeing squirrels in more eastern parts of the United States. Also, and quite surprisingly, stray cats are also everywhere in Kauai.


The major regions of Kauaʻi can be defined by their location on the island relative to the prevailing trade winds. The north and east sides of the island are on the "windward" side of the island, where the winds blow onto the shore. These parts of the island tend to get the most rain, and as a result, are the greenest and most tropical parts of the island. The south and west sides of the island are on the "leeward" side of the island, which receive less rain since most clouds have already dropped their rain on the windward side of the island.


The word "city" might be an exaggeration for an island of 63,000 people, but here's some information on the towns of Kauaʻi.

Lihuʻe, on the island's southeast side, is the civic and commercial center of the island, host to the island's main airport, county offices, and largest shopping mall (Kukui Grove Center). The Kauaʻi Museum, located in the old part of Lihuʻe and is the island's best museum on the history, geography, and people of Kauaʻi.

Poʻipu, on the south side, branded "the sunny side of paradise", is the major visitor destination for the island. Poipu features beautiful beaches, including the beautiful Poiʻpu Beach swimming, snorkeling and surfing, boogie boarding, sea turtles, whales, monk seals, trade winds, palm trees, and spectacular sunsets. The Allerton and McBryde National Tropical Botanical Gardens of the Pacific are located in Poipu. The Grand Hyatt Kauai, Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club and Coastline Cottages Kauai lead the area's accommodation choices.

Waimea, on the west side, is a small town with a flavor of old Kauaʻi. Most visitors pass through town on the way to Waimea Canyon and Kokeʻe, but the town itself is worth a relaxing visit.

Kapaʻa, on the east side, about a 20-minute drive north of Lihuʻe, is the largest population center on the island. It anchors what is known as the Coconut Coast, which hosts many inexpensive to moderately priced resorts and much commercial activity with many strip malls along the highway. The corridor between Lihuʻe and Kapaʻa is the island's most congested.

Hanalei, on the north shore, is home to a quaint little beach town and famous Hanalei Bay, a crescent-shaped bay known for its sandy white beaches and world class surf. The center of town provides a young, relaxed vibe perfect for the young traveler. The center of town provides amazing views of one of Kauai's biggest mountains with a visible waterfall in the center.

Princeville is a planned resort community on the north shore, consisting of homes, condo developments, the St. Regis hotel, and 2 golf courses. Kauai's impressive north shore mountains form the backdrop. Several small beaches are located within Princeville, with many more a short drive away.

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Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI: Port Information

Your cruise liner will dock at Nawiliwili.
Aloha Center is nearby (one block away). It offers a lounge zone, shops, a coffee shop, different tours, and rentals. 

Get around Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI


Despite the island's relatively small size and the fact that most traffic and sites to visit are concentrated along one main highway, motorized private vehicles are the most common form of transportation on Kauai. If you don't mind traffic (especially in Lihue, Wailua, and Kapa'a) and driving yourself, rental cars are a convenient way to visit the island. Most major rental car companies have offices at the Lihue airport or nearby by shuttle bus. Car rentals are available in a large variety of makes and models and provide travelers flexibility and freedom to explore the island and crowd the roads. While there are numerous rental car locations right outside of the Lihue airport some hotels also offer onsite car rental services which can be used as needed. Most rental car companies have restricted areas, notably Polihale beach. Check before you go, or take the risk of paying yourself out of trouble if your rental car breaks down or gets stuck. The red dirt that Kauai is so famous for is also highly concentrated around this area and adventurous travelers could track this stain-able substance into their rental cars.

Many tour companies offer alternatives to rental cars with hotel pick-up in more adequate vehicles such as min-vans, four-wheel drive vehicles or even tour buses to access more remote parts of the island.


The Kauaʻi bus is perhaps the only other way to get around, but will not go to some rural attractions, such as Kokeʻe. Still, if you are on a budget, this bus will get you around and between the major population centers, such as Lihuʻe and Kapaʻa, and the major resort/beach areas.


Pono Taxi and Taxi Hanalei are one of the few authorized airport taxi companies that are allowed to do pre-arranged pickups at Lihue Airport and take you to any destination on the island. They also offer personalized Kauai tours in one of the most comfortable taxi rides on the garden isle.


One other option for transport on the island is a bicycle. 

Highways and Traffic

There are two main highways on Kauaʻi, both starting in Lihue. Kaumualii Highway (state route 50) heads to the west, through the towns of Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Waimea, and Kekaha before ending at the Na Pali Coast. Kuhio Highway (state route 56) heads north from Lihue, through Kapaʻa, Kilauea, Princeville, and Hanalei, ending at the other side of Na Pali.

Traffic in Kauai can be slow, particularly between Lihue and Kapaʻa. Give yourself extra time and be patient when traveling through this area.

What to see in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

  • Lydgate State Park. On route 56, north of the airport. There's a park with play area for kids with the usual swings, slides etc. There's an excellent swimming area for kids. The swimming area is separated by big rocks from the ocean, which helps break up the strong current.
  • Old Koloa town. On route 520 on the way to Poipu. The small, rustic town has a grocery store, ice cream parlor, and some souvenir shops. There's also a small museum about the lives of the Japanese immigrants who worked on Kauai's sugar plantations. In the field across from the grocery store, there's a monument to them as well.
  • Wailua Falls. This elegant and pristine waterfall looks like a double waterfall from the viewing area but is actually a triple waterfall, once the site of thrilling cliff diving. It's a short drive from Lihue on a dead end road.
  • Opaeka'a Falls. 1.3 miles from the start of Route 580. There is a vista point on Route 580 to see the falls with plenty of parking for cars. Right across from the road is another viewpoint for the Wailua River.
  • Hanalei Valley and Bay. Has two separate scenic overlooks. The valley overlook showcases taro fields in various stages of production. The bay overlook features the scenic bay framed by the northern edge of the Napali Coast mountains known in movies as Bali Hai. Both overlooks are between Princeville and the one-lane Hanalei Bridge.
  • Kilauea Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge are located on Kilauea Road off Kuhio Highway (route 56) near mile 23, (808) 828-1413. then follow the road to the end. The lighthouse was built in 1913 and had the largest lens of its kind; it guided ships between North America and Asia until its light was replaced by a beacon in the 1970s. Located in a national wildlife refuge which is a nesting ground for a diverse collection of seabirds, the only one of its kind in the islands. $3 for adults, free for children. National Park Service Golden Eagle Passports accepted and sold.
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawa'i Road for the Allerton and McBride gardens and Kuhio Hi. approx. 1 mile from the end of the road on the North Shore for Limahuli (Lawa'i Road is across from Spouting Horn on Po'ipu Road). 8:30AM-5PM. The National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai consist of three separate gardens: McBride, Allerton, and Limahuli. The spectacular gardens contain plants native to Hawaii, endangered species, and imported species. Allerton Garden and McBride Garden, on the south shore, are accessible by tour bus from the visitor's center. Allerton is a secluded valley formerly owned by Hawaiian royalty. McBride contains the largest collection of ex-situ native Hawaiian plants in existence. Limahuli, on the north shore, is located in a spectacular spired valley and contains native plants as well as plants significant to early Hawaiian inhabitants. There is a reproduction of ancient taro terraces as well as a later plantation-era garden. Entry and tour fees vary per garden.
  • Poipu Beach. The Poipu Beach is a good place to go to relax and soak up the sun. It has a rock bottom, which makes it a beautiful place to snorkel. You will see a lot of Parrotfish and Sergeant Majors. Also, an accessible causeway can put you on an island, which occasionally you can see a Hawaiian Monk Seal, or some crabs relaxing on the rocks. It is a family-friendly beach, with lots of picnic tables to sit down at and soak up the views. Poipu is surrounded by eateries, surf shops and more.
  • Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. A UNESCO World Heritage listed collection of islands spread over a large area west of Hawaii. The area has a cultural significance for the native Hawaiian people and contains more than a thousand endemic species of animals and plants.

Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park

Above Waimea on state route 550. From Lihue, take state route 50 west to Waimea. From there, you can take Waimea Canyon Drive (550) or continue to Kekaha turning onto state route 552, which meets route 550 near its 6-mile mark. Both roads are winding. Most popular viewing point of the canyon is just past mile 11 on route 550. Koke'e is located about 4 miles further. (808)245-6001 for weather information in the canyon.

At over 10 miles (16 km) long, 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, and 3,567 feet (1,087 m) deep, Waimea Canyon has been called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Indeed, its colors rival that of its Arizona counterpart, except that Waimea Canyon also adds touches of green that would be absent in the desert. Carved and formed over hundreds of thousands of years by runoff from Mount Waialeale at the center of the island, the canyon shows millions of years of geological history.

Camping and hiking are available above the canyon at Koke'e State Park.

Best time to go is on a relatively clear day, and then after mid-morning (from about 9:30AM-on). Otherwise, clouds and fog may obscure the view.

Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali coast, featured in the film Jurassic Park and many other movies, is one of the most distinctive geological features of Kauai and consists of sheer cliffs thousands of feet high that drop directly onto pristine secluded beaches. The beaches are reachable only by boat, helicopter, or very experienced hikers, but the cliffs may be viewed from the top by driving to the end of Route 550. There is a Na Pali Coast State Park, which provides adventurous travelers to hike along the coast with several options: they can either hike a round-trip 5 miles (in and out from Ke'e beach to Hanakapia'i beach) or the longest, most strenuous option, with the proper overnight equipment, permit and hiking gear, and do the 12 miles one-way hike into Kalalau Beach. You can also travel the Na Pali coast by boat or kayak with many different outfitters. By kayak, it's a 17.5 mile all day trip (unless one makes a special point to camp halfway on the coast) done by two outfitters out of Hanalei. It's been called the Everest of Sea Kayaking and much like the hiking, is not for the faint of heart. Both are strenuous and difficult. Travelers will get to see beaches only accessible by foot or kayak and only visible by the highly expensive boat and helicopter tours. The caves along this hike/paddle are absolutely marvelous as well. Tourists will get the rare chance to marvel at Kauai's natural splendor and ocean life. By foot, a permit is only required if you continue any further than Hanakapia'i beach on the Na Pali Coast. You may travel there and an additional 4-mile round trip hike to Hanakapia'i Falls with no permit. By kayak, if you use one of the guide companies in Hanalei you will not need a permit. If you do camp over on your own or with a company, you will need to gather a landing permit. Note while kayaking there are a few beaches, like Honopu beach, directly next to Kalalau, that do not allow any landing vessel whatsoever. You can not land a kayak, surfboard, or anything else. The only way to access it is by swimming from an anchored boat offshore or from Kalalau Beach; both should only be done when the ocean permits as it can be very dangerous.

What to do in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

People come to Kauai primarily for one thing: the beaches with their great snorkeling, surfing, swimming, and sunning. But Kauai also boasts more navigable rivers than the other Hawaiian Islands making kayaking very popular as well as the cool, higher elevation of Koke'e. If the surf is calm you can even combine a river run with time paddling the bays and ocean shoreline. You'll find kayak rentals near the mouth of the most popular rivers. Many will also rent roof-top strap-on kayaks for travelers interested in trying one of the several smaller river runs.

Kauai has great hiking and mountain biking trails as well. Outdoor adventurers will find the guidebook Kauai Trailblazer to be helpful in comparing various locations for hiking and biking (as well as snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing). The Waimea Canyon area has extensive hiking trails both into the canyon itself as well as great overlooks of the Na Pali cliffs. Check with the park office on trail conditions and weather before starting your hike. The Koke'e Museum has a listing of trails.

  • Warning: Kauai's famous red dirt is very slippery when wet, as it often is, making some trails too slippery to use, particularly those along steep drop-offs.

There are many commercial tour guides that offer various land and sea adventures such as guided hikes, downhill bike tours, back-country ATV trips, river tubing adventures, and more, but hiking areas and water access are free. There are no private beaches anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands.

Other recommended activities are listed below by region.

  • North: Hanalei is a charming Hawaiian village in the beautiful country on the north of the island. Hanalei has a nostalgic, romantic quality of simpler times on the Islands. An easy drive to the northwest of Hanalei is access to the Na Pali coast. See more about the Na Pali coast above, but to get a taste and requiring no permit, you can hike 2 miles to the first beach (Hanakapi'ai). Day hikes are unrestricted, but camping requires a permit from the parks department. There is a long waiting list, so signing up a year in advance is a good idea. Tour boats can also access the coast; they may be chartered out of Hanalei or other outfits on the south of the island. Snorkeling is very good. Be advised, however, that the area is effectively closed to boats in the winter due to the intense Pacific weather hitting that part of Kaua'i.
  • East: Kapa'a is a small, cute, tourist-friendly town on the east side. It's the town with the largest population on Kaua'i. It features a movie theater, an internet cafe, many restaurants, and a Birkenstock outlet. Look up from Anahola and see the mountain that faded in from the Paramount logo at the beginning of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  • South: The South Shore has a number of great beaches such as Maha'ulepu Beach with its ancient petroglyphs and the rocky Shipwreck Beach, both perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. Poipu Beach is often ranked as one of the world's top beaches by travel surveys. Venture to Kipu Falls, where the opening sequences for Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed. Kauai is a leading destination for scuba divers, with many beautiful, relatively unspoiled coral reefs and a variety of fish not found anywhere outside the Hawaiian archipelago. Dive boats leave daily from Po'ipu. Shorter trips typically involve two dives at locations off the south shore. For a once-in-a-lifetime dive choose a dive off the coast of Ni'ihau, the privately-owned island to the west of Kauai. Expect to pay from $120 and up depending on the dive-boat operator and the length of the dive. Kauai is also a destination for whale watchers; humpbacks winter in the coast off Hawaii. Dolphin pods are also a very common sight. Whale watching boats leave multiple times a day from Po'ipu and the dock at Nawiliwili in Kalapaki Bay.

An amazing service the south shore provides is Kayak rentals on their Koloa river. It is a very hidden location but this family-owned kayak rental are native Hawaiians and very friendly. The kayak rental is on a historically re-created Hawaiian village ground where adventurous travelers can walk around, go inside huts and their small buildings and see live peacocks wandering the grounds. There are recreated traditional family huts like the Ancient Hawaiians used to live in and also medicine huts where you can see how medicine was made. Kayak rentals are moderately expensive but very worth it. You also get great exercise because to go to an actual stop or island there are around 20 straight minutes of rowing! A popular place for tourists and locals alike to stop at on their kayak tour is a little cove where a rope swing was built! There is also a cliff perfect for jumping off of into the deep water, but caution must be advised. The rope swing is very safe. Kayaking through the Koloa river is an amazing experience where one can truly be at peace with nature. There is lush greenery completely surrounding the river and fresh, clear water in the river. Another popular spot for kayaking is about a mile down the river. Kayak tours are available, but tourists can also discover this spot themselves and at their own pace. This spot provides around a two-mile hike to one of Kauai's most beautiful waterfalls. The rocks are treacherous but once the traveler gets past them, they can even swim under the waterfall! It is truly an experience unlike any other. Kauai is clearly a place for the hiking enthusiast. Another spot is a garden tour through the fern grotto. This river makes a loop so once you've been to the waterfall and fern grotto it is only a short paddle back to the base. The fern grotto is a large bolder-looking formation covered in fern. Deeper in is a cave. The garden area is mysteriously covered with stray cats but is nonetheless beautiful and stunning. This historical education and adventurous experience is definitely a must when traveling to Kauai.

  • West: A drive up to the Waimea Canyon is highly recommended or explore the Canyon and surrounding areas on a breathtaking tour.

If you rent a jeep make sure you take a trek out to Polihale Beach. It is located at the southern end of the Na Pali coast. This wide sprawling beach is the longest on the major islands, at just over 17 miles long. The sunsets here are truly awesome and with a permit, you can camp there, as it is a State Park. During the winter and early spring, you can also see the whales from the beach. However, the last couple of miles of the road to get to Polihale, run through an old sugar cane field. 

What to eat and drink in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI


Like the rest of Hawaii, the plate lunch is ubiquitous in Kauai (see the Eat section in the main Hawaii article for more information). However, many of Kauai's beaches and natural attractions (like Waimea Canyon) have no amenities nearby. Pack a lunch and bring enough water for the day - then stop at the restaurants for dinner. For a tasty snack, pick up some red lychees from a roadside stand or a farmer's market. Waimea Canyon visitors can drive a few miles further up the road to the Koke'e Lodge, located in the Koke'e State Park next to the museum. It serves breakfast and lunch.


  • Bubba Burger. Three burger joints (one in Kapaa, another in Hanalei, and the newest location in Poipu), whose motto is, "We cheat lawyers, drunks and tourists," has great burgers. You just can't have them your way. They come standard and any changes they make you do while the cook isn't looking. The burgers are great and the onion rings are better. It's an experience to be had. It is definitely an experience, but don't expect much from the burgers. There is also a restaurant on Maui.
  • Duane's Ono Burger (Next to the Anahola Post Office and General Store in Anahola on the road to Princeville). As the name suggests, the burgers are "Ono" which in Hawaiian, means "good." Portions are huge and seating is outside and limited. Take it to go and bring your food to nearby Anahola Beach. Parking is also limited, especially during the busy lunch hour.
  • Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee, 2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy, ☎ +1 808 332-5858. 6:30 AM-2:30 PM daily, dinner W-Sa from 5:30 PM. A quaint little place that has excellent coffee, breakfast, sandwiches, and dinner. Try the tofu wrap or pineapple macadamia nut French toast for breakfast. Any of the salads, pastas, or fish will make an excellent dinner choice. Very reasonably priced.
  • Kilauea Bakery (Off the main highway in Kilauea). M-Sa 11AM-9PM. Fresh bread, great pizza. Sit outside to eat. A 40-minute drive from Lihue airport.
  • Pacific Pizza & Deli, 9852 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, ☎ +1 808 338-1020. Great pizza, calzones, and sandwiches. Reasonably priced. Nice place to eat on the way to Waimea Canyon.
  • Puka Dog. Again, in the Po'ipu Shopping Village. World Famous hot dogs, made by inserting Polish sausages into "tubes" of bread filled with any of several house-specialty sauces.


  • Aloha Kauai Pizza (in the Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa). This family-owned pizza hut has surrounding outdoor bench seating. Aloha Kauai Pizza provides a unique dining experience in that the chef and cashier are husband and wife--and are genuinely interested in the traveling customer's life. Customers are asked to sign a visitors book where you'll find entries from all around the world. There are short sign-ins from people all around the world, even obscure countries, which adds to the worldly, yet the homey charm of this pizza joint. Great for lunch or dinner and reasonably priced! It's rare for people to order plain slices with all of the innovative pizza combinations.
  • Koloa Fish Market. Located near the eastern end of the main strip in Koloa the fish market has great plate lunches, especially the tuna.
  • Mema Thai Chinese Cuisine, 4-369 Kuhio Hwy # 4, Kapaa, ☎ +1 808 823-0899. Reasonable prices, good decor.
  • Monicos Taqueria, 4-356 Kuhio Hwy # D, Kapaa, ☎ +1 808 822-4300. Off the main highway in Kapaa. Indoor and outdoor dining. Friendly staff and good food.
  • Scotty's Beachside BBQ, 4-1546 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, ☎ +1 808 823-8480. Great Ribs & Ginger Chicken with Li Hing Mango Cole Slaw. Roast your own S'mores right at your table, great for the kids! Reasonable prices, especially at lunch.
  • Pizzetta. An absolutely delicious pizzeria in the Po'ipu Shopping Village. Complete with a bar and patio, this is one of the more popular restaurants, and with good reason!


  • BarAcuda. Kauai's only world-renowned chef, Jim Moffat, prepares tapas style cuisine using fresh island ingredients.
  • Beach House Restaurant, 5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, ☎ +1 808 742-1424. 5:30PM-10PM. If you want to eat dinner while viewing the sunset, this is the place to be. Rather expensive Pacific Rim Cuisine, but the food is good and the view fantastic. Better make a reservation in advance, it's a popular place.
  • Brennecke's Beach Broiler, 2100 Hoone Rd, Poipu Beach, ☎ +1 808 742-7588. 11AM–10PM daily. Literally steps from Poipu Beach - steak, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, and a very good salad bar. Reasonable prices for Kaua'i. The bar has pupus as well. Second floor, open-air dining room with great views overlooking Poipu Beach Park and the ocean. Great food, friendly service, and a casual beach-front environment. Established in 1983.

Sweet tooth

  • Jojo's Clubhouse, 19-835 Kaumualii Hwy, ☎ +1 808 635-7615. Shave ice, with over 60 flavors of syrup available. Many people stop there to or from Waimea Canyon.
  • Lappert's Ice Cream and Coffee. Several locations on Kauai (and on the mainland as well), the main location at 1-3555 Kaumualii Highway (route 50) in Hanapepe. The island of Kauai was where the late Walter Lappert retired and created what used to be the best premium ice cream in Hawaii - the quality has diminished significantly in the last ten years. The ice cream is still made in small batches from the small factory in Hanapepe. $3 single scoop in a cup or cone.
  • Wishing Well (in Hanalei). Be prepared, they don't open until Noon or after. If you arrive at 11:30 AM be prepared to wait until they are ready to open and start serving. They close daily when they run out of ice, usually around 4 PM.
  • Jo-Jo's Anuenue. Features over 60 flavors of shave ice. A good place to go if heading out to go visit the Waimea Canyon.


  • A great place to watch the sun set behind Bali Hai at cocktail hour is the "Library" at the St. Regis Hotel, in the Princeville Resort on the North Shore. At the end of Ka Haku Road.
  • Sunset from The Point bar at the Sheraton Poipu-sit on the patio and nosh some bar food, sip a Lilikoi Lemonade, and watch the sunset behind Niihau and Spounting Horn.
  • Waimea Brewing Company, 9400 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, ☎ +1 808 338-9733. 11 AM–9 PM. Excellent beer selection! Food is a little pricey, but they have a fabulous Lilikoi (passionfruit) ale, an IPA that's amazing, and they make very good mixed drinks as well. Nice atmosphere, especially in the summer.

Shopping in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

There are many shopping malls and centers, as well as lovely small stores, art galleries, souvenir shops, farmer markets where you can buy everything you wish including fruits and vegetables, books, art, clothes, accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs, etc. 

Safety in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

  • Leptospirosis - a serious bacterial infection. The bacteria is spread by the waste of animals and is found in all freshwater outlets as well as the muddy trails. It is more common on Kauai than other islands and should be treated promptly with antibiotics. Symptoms are flu-like, and mainland doctors may not recognize the disease as readily. It is very important to treat any water you gather while camping or backpacking with pills or a filter to ensure you kill all the bacteria found in it, not just leptospirosis.
Riptides, currents, and high surf - Rip tides and ocean currents on Kauai can be treacherous. Unlike the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai can be especially dangerous because of the lack of a protective reef around many beaches. Many popular swimming areas can be extremely dangerous. Visitors are especially cautioned to not enter any beach on the Na Pali Coast, which has been the site of multiple drownings.

Sunburn - The UV index in Hawaii often exceeds 12 in the summer. People with lighter complexions can receive serious sunburns in as little as 15 minutes. Always wear a good sunblock and/or UV-blocking clothes. Sunburn can easily ruin a vacation. If you get a bad sunburn, however, the Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihue can prescribe medication to alleviate the symptoms.

Prepare for the area you are visiting. Kaua'i has a few different climates in its boundary, so you will visit many different areas. For instance, you may wear flip-flops and bikinis at Poipu; however, you would want a jacket, boots, and long pants while up in Koke'e.

Kaua'i is an ever-changing, adapting part of an island chain. It is constantly eroding and changing. Beware of drop-offs, sharp edges, water safety and the land and ocean around you in general.

Language spoken in Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

Hawaiian and English are the official languages of Hawaii. However English is by far the main spoken language. There are some subtle differences in usage, but standard English is universally understood in Hawaii. Hawaiian "pidgin" English, spoken by many locals, incorporates bits of Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese and many other languages, in addition to its own unique idioms. As Japan is the most important international tourist market in Hawaii, many tourist destinations offer information in Japanese and have personnel who can speak Japanese. There are also many ethnic communities that speak languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Ilocano, Vietnamese, Korean, Samoan, and the native Hawaiian language.


4:54 pm
July 4, 2022


25.12 °C / 77.216 °F
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24.71 °C/76 °F
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25.88 °C/79 °F
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25.63 °C/78 °F
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25.72 °C/78 °F
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Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests

Grove Farm, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 10 (1 vote)

Grove Farm is a historic agricultural site on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.   History German immigrant Hermann A. Widemann (1822–1899) started one of the first sugar plantations in Hawaii known as Grove Farm in 1854. During the American Civil War, the demand for Hawaii sugar grew, but Widemann supported the Confederate States. After...
Hanalei Bay, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauaʻi island in Hawaii. The town of Hanalei is at the midpoint of the bay. Hanalei Bay consists of nearly two miles of beach, surrounded by mountains. In the summer, the bay offers excellent mooring for sailboats, stand up paddle boarding and swimming. The Princeville community overlooks...
Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 10 (10 votes)

Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon, approximately ten miles (16 km) long and up to 3,000 feet (900 m) deep, located on the western side of Kauaʻi in the Hawaiian Islands of the United States. Waimea is Hawaiian for "reddish water", a reference to the erosion of the canyon's red soil. The canyon was...
Limahuli Garden and Preserve, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve (17 acres or 6.9 ha of garden, 985 acres or 399 ha of preserve) is a botanical garden and nature preserve on the north shore of Kauaʻi island, Hawaiʻi. It is one of the five gardens of the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden.   Description Limahuli lies within a tropical valley...
Kalalau Trail, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

The Kalalau Trail is a trail along Nā Pali Coast of the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. The strenuous trail runs approximately 11 miles (18 km) along the island's north shore from Keʻe Beach to the Kalalau Valley. Expert hikers can complete the roundtrip 22 mile trek as a day hike, but the average hiker requires a two-day minimum and...
Mahaulepu Beach, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

Māhāʻulepū Beach is a beach on the southeast coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The beach is separated into three different parts: Gillin's Beach, Kawailoa Bay, and Hāʻula Beach. The beach offers protection from the surf in parts and can be great for swimming. Fossils of extinct birds have been found in sand dunes along the shoreline,...
Nā Pali Coast State Park, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

The Nā Pali Coast State Park is a 6,175 acres (2,499 ha) Hawaiian state park located in the center of the rugged 16 miles (26 km) along the northwest side of Kauaʻi, the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island. The Nā Pali coast itself extends southwest starting at Keʻe Beach extending all the way to Polihale State Park. The na pali (high...
Hanakapiai Falls, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Hanakapiai Falls or Hanakapi'ai Falls is an approximately 300 feet (91 m) high waterfall located in Hawaii on the Na Pali side of the island of Kauai. It requires a hike of approximately 2 miles from Hanakapi'ai Beach. The waterfall is described as "gorgeous but challenging". The trail is unmaintained and is a popular day-hike for able-bodied...
Poipu Beach Park, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

Poʻipū Beach Park is located in the community of Poʻipū on the southern coast of Kauaʻi island in Hawaii. The beach is a park has lifeguards provided by county of Kauaʻi. There are swimming and snorkeling areas, and a surf break over a reef for experienced surfers only. It can get crowded on weekends. It was ranked as the best beach in America...
Polihale State Park, Kauai (Nawiliwili)
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

  Polihale State Park is a remote wild beach on the western side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is the most western publicly accessible area in Hawaii, although the privately owned island of Niihau is further west. The park is miles away from the town of Kekaha, and it can only be reached via a poorly marked, dirt sugarcane road,...

Latest travel blogs about Kauai (Nawiliwili), HI

Around The Island Of Kauai, Hawaii

I devoted each afternoon to trips around the island. Fortunately,  Kauai is a small island, and there were only 31-40 miles (50-65 kilometers) from one end (where my hotel was located) to the other. I could get to my desired location within an hour. There's only one road around the island....

I had rented a car for the duration of my stay in Hawaii since it made easier to get around Kauai. However, I soon realized that everything was very tourist friendly.  Kauai is a small island with a diameter of about 37 miles (60 kilometers). This is the oldest of the main...
Kauai  is the northernmost, the wildest and the wettest island of the eight Hawaiian Islands. However, it rains, as I understand, only at night, so there are mainly bright green colors on the island. Here's local flora. Bananas are abundant. ...and a banal orchid as well. There is a...
Today, we went yachting around the Hawaiian island  Kauai . We saw whales, dolphins, a sea bear, and even a giant turtle. Everything was far, far, far away, but curious dolphins swam close to our yacht. Author: Nikolkaya Source: nikolkaya.livejournal.com Translated by: ...
This is the Big Island or The Hawaii Island. Here’s a map of the island and our route: The Hawaii Island is located to the south of all the other islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago and it’s also the biggest, so it is called the Big Island or the Hawaii Island. The island continues to grow due to...
Here's the last part of my review of the Hawaiian Kauai island. Now we're going by helicopter over the island. Here’s the Kalapaki Beach next to the harbor. This is our liner. Cows are grazing. They look like flies. :) Here’s the Waimea Canyon. Here’s the waterfall Wailua. The Wailua...
I will continue my review of the Hawaiian  Kauai island . We went to the east coast, to the  Opaeka'a Falls . The name translates as "rolling crabs" and refers to the days when the river was covered with crabs, and one could see them in the rough water. There is an observation...