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Places to Go, Things to Do

There's lots to explore on Kauai. Here are some ideas that span from low-key to high adventure..

Note: We are not affiliated with nor compensated by any places mentioned on our website.

The recommendations are based on our personal experiences that we offer as a courtesy to our guests..

Dining / Restaurants


The Kountry Style Kitchen is a great little place for breakfast that’s about a 15-minute drive. Warning: The Kountry Pancake is as large as the plate and thick - share it or expect to have leftovers. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait up to 30 minutes or more for a table in the morning. Use Yelp to put your name on the wait list before heading there to reduce waiting time.

Passion Bakery Cafe is a 5-minute walk north that has fresh malasadas (a yeast donut without a hole) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. If you look at their menu, they don't carry all of the items all of the time. Sometimes they have gluten free items but you have to ask. Regardless of what you may order, arrive early - there will be a line!

Pancake at Kountry Style Kitchen

The Lava Lava Beach Club is next door (right on the beach). They serve a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options and are known for their Mai Tais. They also have live music several times a week.

There are a number of places in the Coconut Marketplace (5-minute walk) that serve pizza, Thai, Sushi, and BBQ.


The Island Deli in the Island Country Markets (ABC Store) in the Coconut Marketplace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, They also have unique gelato flavors, iced teas, and lemonades as well as gourmet coffees.

If you spend a portion of your day near Poipu, grab a burger or fish for lunch at one of the restaurants in The Shops at Kukui'ula. For a sweet treat, have some ice cream or non-dairy dessert at Lappert's Hawaii.

Loaded tots at Lava Lava Beach Club


If you have a Costco membership, shop here (in Lihue). The prices are typically cheaper than any grocery store.

Safeway is a mainstream grocery store that's only one mile north (towards Kapaa). Target and Walmart both have a grocery section.


There’s a great local store called Papaya’s Natural Foods tucked in the strip mall near Kauai Village Shopping Center and Safeway. This place is for those who eat “free”, meaning gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free. They have a decent selection of produce and a large selection of dry goods (crackers, chips, cookies, etc.). The fresh local dips, dressings, and desserts are excellent! They also have supplements, beauty products, and other items.


The Island Country Markets store (ABC Store) at the Coconut Marketplace (5-minute walk) has a wide selection of food, toiletries, sunscreen, etc. plus a full-service deli.


Be aware that snorkeling here in Kauai is not like snorkeling in the Caribbean or in the Florida Keys. The ocean is rougher with some strong currents. Some places with undamaged reefs, coral, and plenty of fish can only be seen by boat or are in areas suggested for intermediate and advanced snorkelers. Here are a few sites to help you decide where to go:

Boss Frog's - 7 Best Kauai Snorkeling Spots

Hawaii Guide - Kauai's Best Snorkeling Beaches

A good place to rent gear is Boss Frog's. Their prices are reasonable and have great customer service. They will help you find the gear that fits best.


Within walking distance is Coconut Grove Marketplace with tourist type shops, artwork, pottery, and more. The Island Country Markets store (ABC Store) in the same marketplace has a wide selection of food, toiletries, sunscreen, etc.

Near Lawai Beach is The Shops at Kukui‘ula. These are higher end stores.

Waterfalls, Hiking, and More

If it is your first time to Hawaii, the one "must do" is. a luau, of course! Smith Family Garden Luau is a great time and the grounds are gorgeous. NOTE: Book this well before you arrive at Lae Nani 432.

If you love chocolate or want to try local fruits, book a tour with Lydgate Farms. Don't eat before you go -- you will get a lot of free samples and allowed second and thirds!

A rainy day in the forecast? Head to the Koloa Rum Company for a FREE tasting experience.

Here is a list of hiking trails on the island: Kauai Travel Blog - Kauai Hiking Trails.


Peacock on the Smith Family Garden Luau grounds

Wailua Falls is a 20-minute drive. It is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running television show “Fantasy Island.”

Don't leave Kauai without a trip to Waimea Canyon which is often called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific".  

Head up to the beautiful Na Pali coast to experience breathtaking views from the Kalalau Trail that's part of the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park. You can also visit the Hāʻena State Park. WARNING: The Kalalau Trail is slippery even when it hasn't rained. Be careful! NOTE: Don't wait until you're on island to plan a trip to either of these parks! Park users are required to make online reservations prior to arrival for walk-in, bike-in, drive-in or shuttle drop-off. See here for further details: Ha'ena Napali Access

Those who are up for a unique experience may wish to try Blue Ocean's Na Pali Coast Adventure Tour. Heed their cautions about this being a physically strenuous activity! Another option to see the Na Pail coastline is with Na Pali Experience.


View on the Kalalau Trail

Dolphins next to the zodiac on the Blue Ocean Na Pali Coast Adventure Tour.


Sleeping dolphins on the Na Pali Experience 6-person catamaran tour.

Inside a cave on the Na Pali Experience 6-person catamaran tour.

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