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Best things to do in Kauai

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Bar
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“Their ahi carpaccio is incredible...the ambience is soooo Hawaii! They serve lunch and dinner and have live music nights....and also luaus one night a week. ”
39 locals recommend
Lounge
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“This is our FAVORITE place to watch the sunset over Hanalei Bay. Get there about an hour and a half before sundown to enjoy an incredible view with your drinks and food. ”
20 locals recommend
Pier
“Brand new parking area for quick access to beach, the pier, the river, strolling on the sand, picnics in the park, boating adventures and more! ”
19 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Hanalei Bay is quintessential Hawaiian beach that will surely create lasting vacation memories. Highly recommended for the incredible ocean views, rainbows, and waterfalls. The beach is perfect for long walks and the ocean water is always refreshing. The mornings are best for family photos. If you want to dial your vacation up a notch, I recommend surprising your family with a morning surfing lessons!”
47 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Waimea Canyon is a must see. Try to go when the weather is decent to see the Kalalau valley and waterfalls. I will defer to the guidebooks for you to choose hikes to do. You can have an enjoyable time just driving up to the end of the paved road and working your way down. I suggest doing that because the lookouts at the top can get fogged in. ”
32 locals recommend
Warehouse Store
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“Gas is the cheapest here and so is FOOD. Kauai food prices are really high. But stopping by Costco after you hit the airport really helps! ”
23 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
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“Fancier eats with small tapas-size dishes...but really yummy, eclectic tastes and great cocktails...upscale and classy ambience. ”
43 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
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“Great coffee, bowls, pastries, and hot breakfast sandwiches. Hip local vibe. Check out the attached clothing boutique, too”
28 locals recommend
Beach
“A beautiful lava pool! Please only visit if you are able-bodied and not during the winter months due to rough shore break! Please be careful when using this trail and pool access.”
28 locals recommend
Park
“It's the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Our favorite hike there is to Waipoo Falls, along the Canyon Trail, where you are in the canyon, with amazing views, and can swim in a small waterfall pond, and stand at the top of Waipoo Falls, a cascading 800 foot waterfall.”
32 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Is considered to be one of the safer beaches on Kauai’s North Shore during the summer months. Anini boasts the longest and widest fringing reef in the Hawaiian Islands and because of the unique conditions it usually has well protected waters and some of the most consistent conditions for water activities. Enjoy snorkeling, beach walks, picnicking, paddle boarding and wind surfing. Anini beach is known to have strong currents in the channels and outside the protective reef. Always use caution especially during high surf. Anini Beach is popular for camping and also a great beach for simply relaxing with a book, fishing from shore or paddle boarding. The deeper and clearer water can be enticing, but it is better to be cautious and stay closer to shore. Anini Beach is usually less crowded than Poipu or Hanalei and is really quite breathtaking. Our personal favored spot on this beach is about 250 yards before the end of the bumpy road, you can at most times park right next to the beach…like within 20 feet of the water There is no lifeguard posted at Anini Beach. ”
32 locals recommend
Hawaiian Restaurant
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“Fun and laid back beach restaurant, live music and maitais with your toes in the sand :)”
19 locals recommend
American Restaurant
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“Fine dining at it's greatest. Wonderful food and atmosphere. On the resort property.”
20 locals recommend
Mini Golf
“I am in the green. Wind 5mph to the east. Slight 10-degree angle downhill. Now, maybe if I just ricochet this off the cave wall hard enough… Located in Kilauea on the North Shore is Kauai Miniature Golf and Botanical Garden. It is the only mini golf course on the island. For those that have yet to test their putting game in this 18-hole course, there will undoubtedly be preconceived notions of mini golf being somewhat of a wacky carnival experience. Instead, you find yourself surrounded by greenery. As you make your way through the 18 holes you receive an introductory course on the diverse history of the islands. Visitors will learn about the Polynesian discovery of the islands, indigenous gardens containing endangered species, Zen gardens showcasing the influence of the Japanese and Chinese during the plantation period, and some insight on the plantation town that was alive and thriving in Kilauea in the late 1800’s. Do not let the garden scenery discount the fun of this course. You begin the first hole with a simple, short, straight line putt. Easy enough, right? Well, as you progress so does the difficulty. Add ponds, curves, elevations, and obstructions that will test one’s shot creativity. Take hole 16, for example. The path bends left with a dip, but there is also a small log tunnel that creates a straight shot to the hole. From personal experience, if you’re going to “Shooter McGavin” your way through that shortcut, don’t be bashful with it. You don’t want your ball stuck in the tunnel, especially now that your friend knows exactly what not do and reminds you of the losing bet you made at the start of the game. The entire course is fit for every one of all ages and skill levels. Bring a friend, a date, even your family. It’s first come, first served, so no time to waste. Be prepared to fish your ball out the water. Trust me. ”
18 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“This is by far my favorite Beach on the island, good thing it's a 3 minute drive from our island home. Swim, snorkel, watch the honu (green sea turtles) in the water or sunning themselves on the beach. The honu will be sharing beach space with the highly endangered Hawaiian monk seals that seem to enjoy Poipu Beach frequently. Waves permitting, you can go out and explore the tombolo, a small islet that is occassionally accessible by land bridge. Next door to Poipu is Brenneke's Beach which is used exclusively for boogie boarding.”
27 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Beautiful lookout spot. Fairly easy parking. Vendors are next to the parking should you wish to purchase souvenirs. ”
17 locals recommend