There's a reason Kauai is called "The Garden Isle." Tropical foliage, waterfalls, winding canyons, seaside cliffs and 60 beaches make this island a superb spot for an active yet relaxing holiday. And if that’s not enough for you, Kauai Island holidays also have plenty of unique shopping and dining opportunities, without the commercialisation found on other Hawaiian isles.
South Kauai is filled with hotels, shops and restaurants. It also offers snorkelling, scuba diving, horseback riding and ATV tours, which you can find included in some Kauai Island holiday packages. The appropriately named Coconut Coast, on the east side, was once a massive coconut plantation, and is now one of the top areas for tourists and locals to get their beach on. Want to put your thinking cap on instead? Discover the island's history at Kauai Museum, Grove Farm Homestead and Kamokila Hawaiian Village, where you can take a kayak to Secret Falls or Fern Grotto.
You can’t see all this on foot, though. Book one of Wotif’s Kauai car hire options if you want to see the island at your own pace. Cruise along the scenic roadway that twists through Hanalei Valley take in beautiful coastal vistas and hairpin turns before ending in the village of Kee, just outside the soaring cliffs of the Na Pali Coast Wilderness State Park. Explore the 16 km Waimea Canyon, “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” or head higher to Kokee State Park and look down at the Na Pali Coast, famous for its role in the “King Kong” movie.
Kauai offers numerous open-air markets, locally owned boutiques and eclectic jewellery stores that sell one-of-a-kind handicrafts. Seek out the "Kauai-Made" stamp for a true Hawaiian treasure. If you're looking for national retailers, head to Kukui Grove Centre on the island's east side near Lihue Airport. Many retailers accept cash only, but an abundance of ATMs on the island make it easy to withdraw the bills you need.
Kauai may be small, but its flavours are diverse. Enjoy budget-friendly meals, or park yourself at high-end bistros that feature freshly-prepared seafood. You'll find the majority of upscale restaurants are located in the east and south, but you can get a delicious grass-fed beef burger or steak pretty much anywhere.
For many people on low-key Kauai, the nightlife consists of watching sunsets on a sandy beach. If this doesn’t get your engine revving, there’s still good news—a few island spots do get hopping after dark. Look for nightlife in Papaa, Princeville, Koloa or Poipu. Many restaurants stay open late and offer drinks, food and live music after the sun goes down, so you can certainly knock a few back and make friends with the kamaʻaina (locals).
If you’re ready to hike, swim and explore by day and relax with a cold one at night, Wotif’s Kauai Island packages were made for you. Easily find your flight and hotel with just a few clicks, plus save cash. Then be a real island-hopper and add on Maui holiday packages, so you’ll really be feeling the “aloha” spirit.