Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Kauai Travel Guide

Kauai Top Experiences

Want to learn more about Kauai? Read our in-depth articles on a variety of topics.

Highlights

Kauai and Hawaii Today

Kauai and Hawaii Today Despite its small size—about 550 square miles—Kauai has four distinct regions, each with its own unique characteristics...

Highlights

Luau

The luau's origin, which was a celebratory feast, can be traced back to the earliest Hawaiian civilizations. In the traditional luau, the taboo...

Highlights

Nose Flutes

The nose flute is an instrument used in ancient times to serenade a lover. For the Hawaiians, the nose is romantic, sacred, and pure. The Hawaiian...

Highlights

Popular Souvenirs

Souvenir shopping can be intimidating. There's a sea of Islands-inspired and often kitschy merchandise, so we'd like to give you a breakdown...

Highlights

Hawaiian Quilt

Although ancient Hawaiians were already known to produce fine kapa (bark) cloth, the actual art of quilting originated from the missionaries...

Highlights

How to Act Like a Local

Adopting local customs is a firsthand introduction to the Islands' unique culture. So live in T-shirts and shorts. Wear cheap rubber flip-flops...

Highlights

Aloha Shirt

To go to Hawaii without taking an aloha shirt home is almost sacrilege. The first aloha shirts from the 1920s and 1930s—called "silkies"—were...

Highlights

Slack-Key Guitar and the Paniolo

Kihoalu, or slack-key music, evolved in the early 1800s when King Kamehameha III brought in Mexican and Spanish vaqueros to manage the overpopulated...

Highlights

Ukulele

The word ukulele literally translates to the "the jumping flea" and came to Hawaii in the 1880s by way of the Portuguese and Spanish. Once...

Highlights

Cruising within Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Lines is the only major operator to begin and end cruises in Hawaii. Pride of Hawaii (vintage America theme, family focus...

Highlights

Seal-Spotting on the South Shore of Kauai

When strolling on one of Kauai's lovely beaches, don't be surprised if you find yourself in the rare company of Hawaiian monk seals. These are...

Highlights

Niihau: The Forbidden Isle

Seventeen miles from Kauai, across the Kaulakahi Channel, sits the privately owned island of Niihau. It's known as the Forbidden Isle, because...

Highlights

Cruising to Hawaii

Carnival Cruises is great for families, with plenty of kid-friendly activities. Departing from Los Angeles or Vancouver, Carnival’s "fun ships...

Highlights

The Honeymoon

Do you want champagne and strawberries delivered to your room each morning? A breathtaking swimming pool in which to float? A five-star restaurant...

Highlights

Hula

Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people." —Kalakaua, the Merrie Monarch. Thousands—from tots to seniors...

Highlights

The Big Day

Choosing the Perfect Place. When choosing a location, remember that you really have two choices to make: the ceremony location and where to...

Highlights

Modern Hawaiian Culture

Perfect weather aside, Hawaii might be the warmest place anyone can visit. The Hawaii experience begins and ends with aloha, a word that envelops...

Highlights

Traditional Canoe

Hawaii's ancestors voyaged across 2,500 miles from Polynesia on board a double-hulled canoe with the help of the stars, the ocean swells, and...

Highlights

Top 5 Kauai Outdoor Adventures

Top 5 Kauai Outdoor Adventures Kauai's spectacular scenery makes getting outdoors a must-do activity for most people. There are endless options...

Highlights

The Polynesians

Long before both Christopher Columbus and the Vikings, Polynesian seafarers set out to explore the vast stretches of the open ocean in double...

Highlights

Kauai for Kids and Families

Kids and Families With dozens of adventures, discoveries, and fun-filled beach days, Hawaii is a blast with kids. Even better, the things to...

Highlights

Top 5 Kauai Beaches

Top 5 Kauai Beaches With more than 50 miles of sandy shores—more than any other Hawaiian island—Kauai is a beach bum's dream. It's easy to...

Highlights

Who Are the Hawaiians Today?

To define the Hawaiians in a page, let alone a paragraph, is nearly impossible. Those considered to be indigenous Hawaiians are descendants...

Highlights

A United Kingdom

When the British explorer Captain James Cook arrived in 1778, he was revered as a god. With guns and ammunition purchased from Cook, the Big...

Highlights

Top Attractions in Kauai

Napali Some things defy words, and the Napali Coast is one of them. Besides, beautiful, verdant, spectacular, and amazing lose their meaning...

Highlights

Choose Green Tour Operators

Conscious decisions when it comes to Island activities go a long way to protecting Hawaii's natural world. The Hawaii Ecotourism Association...

Highlights

The Role of Tradition

The kingdom of Hawaii was ruled by a spiritual class system. Although the alii , or chief, was believed to be the direct descendent of a deity...

Highlights

Modern Hawaii

In 1893, the last Hawaiian monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, was overthrown by a group of Americans and European businessmen and government officials...

Highlights

Support Hawaii's Merchants

Food isn't the only sustainable effort in Hawaii. Buying local goods like art and jewelry, Hawaiian heritage products, crafts, music, and apparel...

Highlights

Shop Local Farms and Markets

From Kauai to the Big Island, farmers' markets are cropping up, providing a place for growers to sell fresh fruits and vegetables. There is...

Restaurants

Malasadas

The Portuguese have contributed much to Hawaii cuisine in the form of sausage, soup, and sweetbread. But their most revered food is malasadas...

Restaurants

Shave Ice

Much more than just a snow cone, shave ice is what locals crave after a blazing day at the beach or a hot-as-Hades game of soccer. If you're...

Restaurants

Bento Box

The bento box gained popularity back in the plantation days, when workers toiled in the sugarcane fields. No one brought sandwiches to work...

Restaurants

The Plate-Lunch Tradition in Kauai

To experience island history firsthand, step up to the counter at one of Hawaii's ubiquitous "plate lunch" eateries, and order a segmented Styrofoam...

Restaurants

Crack Seed

There are dozens of varieties of crack seed in dwindling specialty shops and at the drugstores. Chinese call the preserved fruits and nuts ...

Restaurants

SPAM

Speaking of SPAM, Hawaii's most prevalent grab-and-go snack is SPAM musubi . Often displayed next to cash registers at groceries and convenience...

Restaurants

Plate Lunch

It would be remiss not to mention the plate lunch as one of the most beloved dishes in Hawaii. It generally includes two scoops of sticky white...

Restaurants

Manapua

Another savory snack is manapua , fist-size dough balls fashioned after Chinese bao (a traditional Chinese bun) and stuffed with fillings...

Restaurants

Saimin

The ultimate hangover cure and the perfect comfort food during Hawaii's mild winters, saimin ranks at the top of the list of local favorites...

Restaurants

Fresh Ahi or Tako Poke

There's nothing like fresh ahi or tako (octopus) poke to break the ice at a backyard party, except, of course, the cold beer handed to you...

Restaurants

Tropical Fruits

Tropical fruits such as apple banana and strawberry papaya are plucked from trees in Island neighborhoods and eaten for breakfast—plain or with...

Nightlife

Kauai in the Movies

Though Kauai has played itself in the movies, most recently starring in The Descendants (2011), most of its screen time has been as a stunt...

Sights

Hawaii's Flora and Fauna

More than 90% of native Hawaiian flora and fauna are endemic (they evolved into unique species here), like the koa tree and the yellow hibiscus...

Sights

Hawaiian Stargazing

One advantage of being the most remote island chain in the world is that Hawaii has clarity of air found in few places on the planet. This,...

Sights

Hawaii's Geology

The Hawaiian Islands comprise more than just the islands inhabited and visited by humans. A total of 19 islands and atolls constitute the State...

Sights

Top 5 Kauai Scenic Spots

Top 5 Kauai Scenic Spots Verdant valleys, epic cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and majestic canyons are just a few of the features you'll find...

There are no results

Advertisement

Advertisement

Book Your Trip







Compare Sites:




Compare Sites:




Compare Sites:





News & Features
Trip Finder
Store
Guidebooks

Fodor's Kauai

View Details

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.