The Best of Kauai, Hawai’i

Advisor - Jen Huyck
Curated By

Jen Huyck

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  • USA

  • Hawai'i

  • Kaua'i

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • Boutique Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Digital Nomad Travel

  • Island-Life

  • Local Food

  • Outdoors

blue waters on the coastline during daytime
Curator’s statement

Having lived on Oahu and visited Kauai countless times, this island has a special place in my heart and has grown to be my favorite destination of all time. The natural beauty of the island, the local community, and the quaint towns throughout the island make this a truly unforgettable place.

The Fora Difference

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

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Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

A quintessential island resort on 50 lush acres of white-sand beachfront on Kauai’s beautiful southern shore.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

Luxury resort on Kauai's Napali Coast with world-class wellness amenities and sustainable initiatives.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Koʻa Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

Charming Kauai resort with oceanfront suites perfect for a romantic holiday.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

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Advisor - Jen Huyck

Unlock perks by contacting Jen to book your trip.

Things to do

beach next to large mountain during daytime

Waimea Canyon: Head to the spectacular Waimea Canyon for jaw-dropping views of the dramatic and colorful gorge. Hike along one of the famous cliff trails in the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Ask me for specific trail names.

Sunset Sail: Sail around the island to get incredible views of the NaPali Coastline. You might even spot some dolphins or whales if you’re lucky! I would highly recommend the sunset dinner sail through Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures.

NaPali Coast Trail: Up for a hike? Hike along Kauai’s magical coastline on the world-renowned NaPali Coast Trail! Enjoy the first two miles of the trail and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Hanakapiai Beach. Take a dip in the ocean and have a snack before returning. A permit is required after mile two. Please inquire for details if you are interested in backpacking the whole trail. A truly unforgettable experience!

Wailua River: Kayak or paddle board the Wailua River! Ask me for more information on guided tours, including mountain tubing adventures and kayaking to Secret Falls.

Hanalei Bay: No trip to Kauai is complete without a visit to Hanalei Bay! Spend a day shopping, dining, surfing and marveling at the beauty of the island as you wander through this special town.

Beach Day: Relax, snorkel, surf or paddle at Aninni Beach or Hideaways Beach. Pick up gear at Anini Paddleboard Rentals or Pedal ’n’ Paddle.

Poipu Beach: Named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel and ranked top among the 10 “best” beaches nationwide, Poipu Beach is the perfect destination for swimming, snorkeling, surfing or lounging.

Places to eat & drink

White sign with red writing next to trees during daytime

Hanalei Bread Co.: This organic and locally owned bakery serves delicious baked goods and great coffee. Located in the heart of Hanalei, this spot is sure to have a line at the counter, but I can assure you it is well worth the wait!

Bar Acuda: Known for its tapas, Bar Acuda’s menu includes fresh seasonal ingredients and locally sourced fish, making it a great dining option while in Hanalei.

Kalypso Island Bar & Grill: Featuring a daily happy hour from 3:00-5:30PM, a bamboo bar with porch seating, and tropical drinks, Kalypso Bar & Grill is the perfect place to stop for local grinds.

Da Crack Mexican Grinds: Recommended by locals time and time again, Da Crack Mexican Grinds is a Mexican food takeout eatery in Koloa that serves all-natural products and locally caught fish.

Java Kai: My favorite cafe and breakfast spot on the island! Stop by this cute and colorful north shore cafe for an açaí bowl and a roasted in-house Mac Nut Latte!

Kilauea Fish Market: Kilauea Fish Market dishes up local plate lunches and fresh fish.

Kauai Juice Co: Make sure to pick up a freshly squeezed juice at one of the three Kauai Juice Co. locations (Kapaa, Poipu, or Kilauea)! These cold-pressed juices use produce from local organic farms.

Ama: If you’re in the mood for Ramen, look no further! Ama offers tasty Asian-inspired dishes and has a nice atmosphere in a covered outdoor setting.

Hanalei Dolphin: Known for its fresh cuts of seafood and riverside ambiance, The Dolphin is a must-visit while on Kauai! Their fish market selection and quality are unparalleled.

Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company: Check out Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company for a delicious and hearty breakfast. For lunch, be sure to order one of their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Don’t forget to try their POG juice!

Tahiti Nui: Come to Tahiti Nui for a fun atmosphere and the best mai tai on the island!

Wishing Well Shave Ice: Your trip to Kauai wouldn’t be complete without enjoying refreshing shave ice at this iconic location!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out The Best of Oahu, Hawai'i.

Advisor - Jen Huyck

Travel Advisor

Jen Huyck

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Hawai'i.