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Planning a trip to Kauai? Learn about Kauai from local Kauai writers. Fun stories, events and things to do on Kauai.

Explore Kauai – The Garden Island

Kauai Hawaii Kalalau Valley

Imagine a place where worries vanish in the trade winds, warm saltwater laps the shores of golden sand, and rain-forests are home to our earth’s rarest plants and birds. Your adventure begins at the edge of a lost world. Thousands of miles from any significant land mass, the tiny tropical island of Kauai has kept herself charmed, mysterious and unconquered. You will experience her secrets as you dive into the beauty Kauai has to offer. From the moment you step off the plane the balmy trade winds will remind you, “You’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Adventure, romance or pure relaxation? Kauai has it all. Your only worries are how to fit it all in. Kick off your shoes, slip into your casual wear and throw your cares to the wind. It’s all good!

Kauai’s raw interior, rugged Napali Coast and the countless miles of remote white sand beaches are a bit on the wild side. But exploring her untamed allure is where the fun begins. While activities like tow-in surfing 40 foot monster waves do exist, there are other activities for the mere mortal traveler that will give you an equal dose of adrenaline.

Hanalei BayOn the North Shore the roads narrow, life slows down and it’s apparent why Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Island”. Waterfalls cascade a thousand feet from emerald green mountains to manicured taro fields on the valley floor. These are your first signs that you are now entering the “laid back life on the other side of the bridge.” The beautiful & quaint little surf town of Hanalei is full of water-sport shops, eclectic boutiques and local flair. You will find plenty to see and explore whether in the village or in the water of the magical Hanalei Bay, a year round hub of water sports.

Book a kayak or a SUP (stand up paddle board) and make your way through the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. You will be skimming the calm water amongst a myriad of wildlife and hanging trees that frame the banks of the Hanalei River. If this is too tame then just paddle back down the river and test your skills surfing the Bay. Either way you will surely work up an appetite. So…head back to the village where your choices range from take-out to sit down dining and enjoy a fruit infused Mai Tai, while planning the next activity.

Leaving Hanalei in your rear-view mirror the next eight miles of winding road will pique your curiosity and divert your attention. Keep your eyes on the road. This last stretch of roadway will take a while as the pace of life slows down even more the further north you go. That is unless you are in the water!

The horseshoe shaped, coral fringed reef of Tunnels Beach, is a popular destination for snorkelers who want to explore the underwater world of sea caves and exotic tropical reef fish. But the outside breaks, beyond the calm of the protected lagoon, should be left to the experienced. This is also a great spot for to see the locals as they race the winds across the ocean’s surface with their gravity defying kite surfing.

Kauai Vacation GuideThe end of the road at Ke’e Beach marks the beginning of the famous Napali Coast, where the true outdoor adventure begins. You can explore the Napali by foot as you traverse a portion or the complete 11 mile (one way) hike. The valleys of Hanakapiai, Hanakoa and Kalalau will take you back in time. As you traverse the trail built hundreds of years ago you will experience what some believe to be the closest thing to the Garden of Eden. It is hard to fathom that at one time 20,000 Hawaiians used this trail as their super highway into the valleys of Hanakoa and Kalalau.

During summer months adventure seekers choose the ultimate kayak trip, referred to as the Mount Everest of Kayak excursions. The trip begins at the North end of Hanalei Bay where you will paddle beyond the verdant valleys of Hanakoa and Kalalau, past the famous arch of Honopu, and into the sapphire blue waters of the open ceiling sea cave. Paddle the coast with the likes of the playful spinner dolphins, giant sea turtles and the rare Hawaiian Monk Seal. The trip will take an entire day with a stop half way for lunch and swim at Milolii, where you can explore the beach and the remains of an ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village. Polihale, on the west side of the island is the final destination, where the cliffs of the Napali meet the the sand dunes of Kauai’s longest stretch of beach.Na Pali Coast Tours

Seventeen miles off the coast of Kauai’s West Side lies the Forbidden Island of Niihau, known for its Hawaiian speaking community and rare shell leis. Explore the waters of Niihua and Lehua aboard the 65 foot power catamaran Holo Holo. Day trips include sightseeing off the Napali Coast, free diving off Niihau where visibility tops 100 feet the relax on deck enjoying a glass of wine and gourmet deli style lunch. For a closer look at the Forbidden Island of Niihau, privately owned by the Robinson family, book a custom adventure trip aboard their private helicopter to hunt wild boar and feral sheep. The tour includes the outfitting of weapons, personal guide, as well as refreshments and lunch.

Kauai Atv and Waterfall TourAs you meander along Kauai’s roadways you will only touch the surface of Kauai’s hidden treasures. Eighty percent of Kauai is inaccessible by car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore further by Helicopter, ATV, horseback or by foot along miles of hiking trails Kauai has to offer. Kauai is an outdoor paradise waiting to be discovered. Need help planning? Kauai.com offers a free concierge service to help plan. Kauai Activities and Things to Do.

E Komo Mai ( Welcome)

For information on booking Kauai Tours visit us on Kauai.com or  call 1-800-652-8248 or Local 808 VACATION

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Kauai Nightlife: Old Kapa’a Town Art Walk

Henna tattoo art makes for a lasting impression of the Old Kapa’a Town Art Walk! Stop by henna artist’s booth on your walk for a fun and temporary henna design.

On the first Saturday of each month, Old Kapa’a Town comes to life from 5 PM to 9 PM. Local artists, musicians, and food trucks line the streets for almost four blocks. The Old Kapa’a Town Art Walk is a must-do for visitors and residents alike!

Parking & Where to Start

First off, finding parking can be a challenge. Prepare to do some walking, so wear comfortable shoes. Dress like you’re going to a casual restaurant, and don’t forget a light jacket if you’re going anytime between December-April. For the ultimate art walk experience, I recommend parking on the north entrance of the town and starting your stroll from there.

Eat Some “Ono” Food

There are a handful of excellent restaurants right in town, so plan on eating out for dinner. The wait times are usually longer on art walk nights, so eat a light snack beforehand if you’re a hungry person (like myself). The little taco truck (tucked between two larger Mexican restaurants) on the north end of town is one of my favorites. Or if you’re in the mood for a classic American meal, you can never go wrong with a Bubba Burger, right at the north entrance of the main street.

Listen to Local Musicians & More

Calling all music lovers! Kapa’a Art Walk hosts a variety of gifted Kauai musicians. From Hawaiian slack-key guitar players, to classical violinists, anyone can enjoy the local talent. Here’s something to note: the art walk bands and artists typically don’t play in the exact same location every art walk, so you’ll have to follow your ears to find them along the main street.

If you’re in the mood for dancing, the little Mexican restaurant at the north entrance of town plays traditional salsa music and even hosts the occasional salsa dancing lesson. Dance your burrito off on their dance floor (~for FREE~) in the warm Hawaiian weather.

Be sure to peruse the wide assortment of local artwork as you make your way down the street. You may end up taking home a beautiful Kauai painting or photograph!

Mark Your Calendar

Enjoy one of Kauai’s top social events year-round. The next art walk will take place on March 3rd, 2018. It will be a tropical Kauai night to remember!






Perks of Traveling to Kauai in the Winter

Kauai is a beautiful island to visit year-round. Wintertime on Kauai brings a little more rain, still all the beauty. Here are the top reasons you should visit Kauai this winter:

Warmer Weather

There are few places warmer than Hawaii during the wintertime. Temperatures rarely fall below sixty degrees. If you’re coming from the snow, it will feel like summer! Even though the temperature stays tropical, expect more rain December through March. Pro-tip: pack a lightweight rain jacket (I’m a fan of the one from Costco) everywhere you go while on Kauai. The rain here is warm, and nourishes our island’s flora and fauna. The lush and wild feel on Kauai wouldn’t be possible without our rainy season.

Big and Beautiful Surf

We don’t have snow on Kauai, but during this time, powerful swells strike the North and West facing shores. These waves come from big storms out at sea. Experienced surfers look forward winter swells on Kauai all year long! Watching the surf from a safe spot can be an amazing experience. If you’re visiting Kauai during this time, I recommend driving to the South Side (typically the sunniest and calmest place during the winter) if you’re looking to go swimming. Be sure to check with a lifeguard before getting in!

Humpback Whales

The humpback whales begin to migrate back to the warm waters of Kauai during winter! These majestic creatures can be admired from ashore, or on a whale watching boat tour. Peak humpback season is January-February, when they return to Kauai from the icy waters of Alaska to birth their young. My favorite place to whale watch is on the East Side of Kauai, from the Kapaa bike path.  Of course, for the most unforgettable experience, book a boat tour. There’s nothing quite like seeing one of the world’s largest mammals up close.

Other Tips & Things to Know

  • If you have enough room, pack a pair of rain boots along with your rain jacket.
  • Book an ATV tour! The muddier, the better, and with more rain brings more mud.
  • It won’t get that cold, but you might want a light jacket for the evenings/mornings.
  • It’s tangerine and avocado season! Check out a local farmer’s market to find the freshest produce.

7 Things To Do on Kauai with Teens

Congrats! You’re traveling to Kauai with a teenager… planning an entertaining agenda can be tough, but not on Kauai. There are so many amazing, teen-friendly adventures to embark on. Here’s what I recommend: 

1. Take your teen to watch a North Shore sunset.

There’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from Hanalei Pier or Ke’e Beach. Your teen can capture the perfect Snapchat (#nofilterneeded) or simply enjoy the array of colors Kauai’s sunsets provide. Depending on what time of year you’re visiting, sunset times vary. Pack a picnic and plan to arrive at your destination of choice at least twenty minutes before sunset. Parking on the North Shore is usually limited, so plan to leave a few minutes early.

2. Buy them some “ono” shave ice.

Shave ice on Kauai is to die for. Teenagers will love these cold, sweet treats, especially in Kauai’s warm weather. The best shave ice places on Kauai use fresh and (mostly) local fruit to make their shave ices colorful masterpieces. Bring your teen to Wailua Shave Ice (in Kapaa) or Uncle’s Shave Ice (in Lihue and Poipu), and they won’t be disappointed.

3. Go on a helicopter tour… doors-off!

Kauai is truly an island to be seen from a bird’s-eye view. Book you and your teen on a doors-off tour  for a thrill they will never forget. For one amazing hour, they will get to experience the entirety of Kauai’s stunning landscape from above.

4. Hike the Mahalepu Trail.

This two-mile ocean-side trail is a gem that all ages can enjoy. Located on Kauai’s South Shore, the Mahalepu Heritage Trail takes you along unique limestone formations and “rocky inlets”. This hike is short but sweet- the perfect length for a teen who wants to experience Kauai’s beauty, but not necessarily go on a lengthy journey to do so.

5. Learn to surf.

Learning to surf is something your teen(s) will be telling their friends about for months. If you visit Kauai during late summertime (August-September), the surf is the perfect learning size. Kauai is equipped with many different “surf schools” that will give your teen a fun and safe surfing experience.

6. Shop around in Hanalei Town.

Hanalei Town, on the North Shore of Kauai, is full of adorable little shops and surf stores. There are also a handful of yummy cafes and restaurants. Whether your teen is more into finding a cool pair of surf shorts, or the perfect pair of handmade shell earrings, Hanalei Town has it all.

7. Go on a zipline tour.

Talk about an adrenaline rush! Kauai boasts some of the state’s longest zip lines, over tropical forests and lush valleys. These tours are totally teen friendly, and will provide tons of Instagram-worthy photo-ops. This is the ultimate adventure for your teen; zip lining on Kauai is seriously a blast.

Adventures on the South Shore of Kauai: Must-Dos

The South Shore of Kauai is a beautiful place to be year-round. This is where sunshine can usually be found, along with a handful of picturesque beaches and plenty of adventures to embark on. I composed a small list of absolute must-dos while on this side of the island… enjoy!



1. Visit the McBryde and Allerton Botanical Gardens

The McBryde and Allerton Gardens are two of Kauai’s hidden gems. Home to over 50 acres of diverse plant collections, it’s the perfect place to explore Kauai’s magnificent flora and fauna. Different tour options are available for purchase at the South Shore Visitors Center, or by calling the number at the bottom of this link.

2. Shop around at Kukui’ula Shopping Village

Contemporary with relaxed Kauai vibes, this shopping village is probably my favorite on Kauai. Kukui’ula Shopping Village boasts dozens of vibrant boutiques and restaurants. There are no shortage of places to visit here; you’ll want to peek in almost every shop. For more info, visit their website or call (808)-742-9545.

3. Learn to “SNUBA” Dive

Okay, I haven’t tried this one for myself yet, but it’s on my South Shore bucket-list because it sounds so cool. “SNUBA” Diving is just like scuba diving, but you’re attached to a nearby oxygen raft that allows you to breathe underwater. Anyone over the age of eight can SNUBA, even if they’ve never snorkeled before or can’t swim. For an hour and a half, you can safely frolic underwater with tropical fish on the South Shore of Kauai. Sign me up!

4. Zip on Kauai’s Longest Zipline

If you’re on the hunt for a thrill, look no further than Kauai’s longest zipline. Built just last May, the “FLYLINE” is over 3/4 of a mile long. The line takes you over the pristine Kipu Ranch, framed by the famous mountain range featured in Jurassic Park. The zipline is not only Kauai’s longest, but with a 50 ft launchpad, it’s tallest take-off in the state! Book a tour on the Adrenaline Zipline Course today to experience an adrenaline rush like no other.

5. Attend an Oceanfront Luau

This traditional Hawaiian event is located on the idyllic shores of Poipu Beach. It’s Kauai’s only oceanfront luau. Featuring live Polynesian entertainment and ono (delicious) Hawaiian food, this luau is directed by a local family that delivers one of the most authentic Hawaiian luau experiences on the island. Click this link to bask in the sunshine of the South Shore at this oceanfront Auli’i Luau.

Kauai Farmer’s Markets

Not too long ago, I was sitting in an airport, on my way home to Kauai. The woman next to me was talking to her kids very excitedly about the yummy fresh fruit they were going to try when they arrived on the Garden Isle. She turned to me, and asked if I knew where to buy the best fruit on the island. I happily recommended she visit one of Kauai’s farmer’s markets. They’re a must-stop for both visitors and locals. Kauai farmer’s markets are full of fresh and organic produce, tropical baked treats, fresh-squeezed juices, and dozens of other local flavors.

Some fruits you must try (if they’re in-season) while on Kauai are papayas, lychee (see picture above), apple bananas, longan (cousin to the lychee), and, of course, mangoes. Kauai-grown lychee and mangoes are strictly summertime treats. It’s rare to find either during their off-season. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a fresh Kauai mango, I highly suggest chilling it in a little cooler, and taking it straight to the beach. Apple bananas, on the other hand, can be enjoyed year-round here. They’re smaller, and much sweeter than the standard bananas found in supermarket chains. My mouth is watering as I type!

One of my favorite Kauai farmer’s markets is located on the North Shore, at the Anaina Hou Park (right by Kilauea Mini Golf). It takes place on Saturday’s, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. It’s not the largest of markets on the island, but has a wide variety of locally grown/made goods that my family and I always enjoy. Even better, it’s right next to the Wai Koa Loop trail-head. If you start early, you can walk the trail and return in time to peruse the market. Or, if you’re with keiki (children) take them to Kauai’s one and only mini golf right across the street.



Buying from Kauai’s farmer’s markets helps to support our hardworking local farmers, and makes Kauai a more self-sustainable little island. Best of all, it promises more healthy and delicious produce for everyone to enjoy. You don’t have to look far to find of of these bustling Kauai gems. Here’s a list of when & where they happen:



Kauai for Dog Lovers: Fur-ever Friends

The Garden Isle is truly a dog’s fantasy land. Boundless outdoor adventures, streams to romp in, and pet-friendly beaches will have your furry friend wagging for joy. Here’s everything you need to know.


My dog, Bandi, chasing a stick. Look at that happy face!

My dog, Bandi, tirelessly chasing sticks all day, every day. Look at that happy face! We rescued Bandi from the Kauai Humane Society in 2013, and she has been a loyal member of our family ever since.

Kauai Humane Society’s “Doggy Field Trips”

If you’re missing your canine companion during your stay on Kauai, or simply a Kauai resident looking to make a pup’s day, this is the program for you. The Kauai Humane Society lets dog lovers 18 & up “check out” one of their shelter dogs and take them on a daytime adventure! This includes dog-friendly hikes, beaches, or a stroll on the Kapa’a Bike Path. Pick-up hours are 11:00 AM – 1 PM (Tuesday through Friday) or 10 AM – 12 PM Saturday’s and Monday’s. Tuesday through Friday, your new friends must be taken back to the shelter by 5:30 PM, or by 3:30 on Saturday’s and Monday’s. The lucky field trip dogs will sport an “Adopt Me” vest and must wear a leash at all times. Who knows, you may end up adopting the pup yourself!

Kauai Dog Parks

The majestic Goliath, enjoying his coconut. (Photo contributed by his owner, Garret Smith).

The majestic Goliath, enjoying his coconut on the beach (photo contributed by his owner, Garret Smith).

Two dog parks (one on the North Shore and one on the South Side) give Kauai dogs a wide range to play and make friends. The North Shore Dog Park is community-built, and located in the beautiful Wai Koa Plantation in Kilauea.  It’s open from dawn to dusk year-round, per the dog park rules. Framed by gorgeous mountain views, this free doggy playground offers shade for both you and your dog. Freddie’s Dog Park, on the South Side of Kauai, is on Kauai Humane Society’s property. This park is “member’s-only”, meaning a donation to Kauai Humane Society must be made annually. Visit the Kauai Humane Society’s website for more info.




Where to Walk

Calvin, feeling the tropical Kauai breeze (photo contributed by his owner, Lori Fleming).

Calvin, feeling the tropical Kauai breeze beneath his ears (photo contributed by his owner, Lori Fleming).

Wag more, bark less. That’s the motto to follow on Kauai’s pet-friendly beaches (typically beaches that are not county-maintained or parks). Kalapaki Beach, the Sleeping Giant hike (Wailua), or the Wai Koa Loop  (Kilauea) are all great options. The Kauai Coastal Path is also doggy-friendly, so get those paws moving. Keep your furry friends on leashes and always clean up after them. If your dog poops, you scoop!






Bella, a Kauai pup and amateur model, enjoying a Kauai sunset (photo contributed by her owner, Kalina Jones).

Kauai Pet Stores

Kauai recently got a Petco (hooray!) which is located in Lihue. Natural Pet Hawaii, also in Lihue, is a smaller pet store with all sorts healthy kibbles and toys for dogs. My own dog thinks a good, old fashioned stick will do just fine on most days. They float in the water (she’s a swimmer) and, most importantly, are free and plentiful in supply!



Life truly is better with a dog. Kauai caters to all dogs’ needs, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the biggest German Shepard. If you give a dog a Kauai coconut… they’ll be happy for hours!

Best Kauai Beaches for Little Ones

Traveling with little ones can be a challenge, but Kauai’s bounty of family friendly beaches will entertain your keiki (children) for hours. Pack the floaties and sunscreen… it’s about to get sandy!

Hanalei Pavilion

There’s nothing like frolicking in the gentle waters of Hanalei Bay. Sand bars often form at the Hanalei Pavilion, allowing for shallower waters and even more fun. In the summertime, this spot rarely has waves, so it’s perfect for younger kids. In my opinion, Hanalei sand is the best for sandcastles, so don’t forget the buckets and shovels! A long stretch of grass connects the shaded Pavilion to the beach. Keiki can take a break from the sand, and play in the grassy area. The Hanalei Pavilion also has bathroom facilities and showers to rinse off the salt. Best of all, it’s a life-guarded beach!

Anini Beach

Born and raised here on Kauai, some of my favorite childhood memories are at Anini Beach. It’s peaceful, has lots of “fishies”, and is absolutely beautiful. The large surrounding reef forms a protective barrier closer to shore, and little ones will be delighted by the clear, shallow waters. Anini is a morning spot, as the wind can pick up in the afternoon. A stroll down this beach provides tidepools to explore and shells and pebbles to collect. It’s not a life-guarded beach, but is typically very safe in the summertime.

Lydgate Beach

Ah, Lydgate, a toddler’s heaven. Two large, rock enclosed “ponds” that keep the ocean water in and the waves out, make this beach one of the safest places for little kids. To top it off, a giant playground (Kamalani Park) is only a short walk away. There are bathrooms, showers, and a lifeguard on watch. It’s no wonder Lydgate Beach is one of the most popular spots for families on Kauai.

Baby Beach in Poipu

On Kauai, you might hear locals refer to different “Baby Beach” locations around the island. Baby Beach in Poipu is one of the best if you’re staying on the South Side of the island. This little beach has calm and clear waters, protected by a sliver of reef that blocks the surf from entering. Close to Poipu Beach Park’s bathroom & shower facilities, Baby Beach is ideal for little ones. The only downside is the lack of a posted lifeguard. Remember- if in doubt, don’t go out (or bring your keiki out).

More Tips for a Happy Beach Baby

  • Don’t forget to bring shovels, buckets, and other sand toys for your little ones. For a last minute DIY sand toy, grab a pasta strainer. The soft, fine sand will sift through the holes and fall in neat piles, perfect for squishing.
  • Fill a gallon jug of tap water to rinse off sandy toes post beach day, if there are no shower facilities. Keep it tucked in the car during the day, and it will be nice and warm by the time you get back.
  • Besides lots of sunscreen, sun hats and SPF sun shirts are also beach day necessities. Check out a Kauai shop to find the right gear.
  • Pack a big beach blanket to picnic on or take naps. If there’s limited shade (like at the Hanalei Pavilion), I highly recommend bringing a beach umbrella as well.
  • And as a friendly reminder, never allow small children to play in the water unattended, even in baby-safe beaches like the ones above.

For more information on Kauai beaches, visit our Kauai Beaches guide. Many Kauai.com tours are also baby-friendly. Call Kauai.com today for more details (808-822-2846)! Ask us about which tours can accommodate your little ones. 


Running on Kauai: Where to Put in the Miles

Running on Kauai can test even the fittest of runners, but also caters to those just looking for a beautiful place to jog. From mauka to makai, there are plenty of trails to blaze. Let’s be honest, sometimes pounding the pavement can make us long for feeling the Earth under our feet. As an avid runner myself, I’ve put together a few of my favorite Kauai routes for those ready to put in the miles. 

The Wai Koa Loop Trail

Get ready to cake on the mud on the Wai Koa Loop trail. This cross-country run takes you through the scenic Wai Koa Plantation, providing mountain views and the breathtaking Stone Dam. Located on the North Shore in Kilauea, I love this path for its wide and moderately flat grounds. The entire loop is right about 5 miles, and takes you through the largest mahogany plantation in North America. At about 2.5 miles in, you’ll reach Stone Dam. Cooling off in the fresh water here is a must before your run back. Your trek will begin at the Anaina Hou Community Park, so they ask you to sign a waiver before you go. To make it easy, I’ve attached their online waiver here. Fill it out and you’re ready to hit the trail.

Hanalei Bay

For the full Kauai running experience, nothing beats taking a beach run on the soft sands of Hanalei Bay. Some may say it’s firm enough to run with shoes, but I personally think barefoot is the way to go. Start at the Hanalei Pier and run until the sand stops. To the opposite side of the bay and back is a little more than 3 miles, depending on how far you choose to run. You will encounter a couple of streams to cross, but they are only knee-deep at most. The relative flatness of the Hanalei Bay, paired with incomparable mountain and waterfall views, make it one of the best beaches to run on Kauai.

Running on the East and South Shores

If you’re looking for an East Side run, check back to my previous article on the Kapaa Bike Path. It’s a paved path along the ocean that stretches for almost eight miles, but can be modified to whatever length your heart desires. Start this run early for a captivating sunrise over the sparkling waters of Kealia Beach.

The South Side of Kauai offers less of the lush North Shore jungle vibe, and more opportunities to run the road. This is where the legendary Kauai Marathon takes place. It highlights the best parts of Kauai’s southern end, with gorgeous ocean views and a romp through the Tunnel of Trees. The race is coming up fast on September 3rd, 2017. It’s not too late to register online!

Ditch the “dreadmill” and hop to it, runners. Running on Kauai is a wonderful way to explore the island’s natural treasures. See you on the trails!






Kauai King Tides

Kauai King Tides

The rise and fall of the tides is a predictable phenomenon caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon relative to the earth. King tides are also a regular occurrence signifying the highest tides of the year. They typically occur during summer months when the moon is either new or full and is closest to the earth.

This year, sea levels were anomalously high in the pacific basin, resulting in coastal flooding during these king tide events. April’s king tide broke the record set over 100 years ago, with a tide that rose 9 inches above the predicted level.

So what is causing this sea level anomaly? According to scientists at the University of Hawaii, a combination of ocean eddies with high centers, sea level variability from a recent El Nino, and long-term sea level rise caused by global warming all contribute to the excessive tides. Additionally, summer swells can bring even more water in towards the shore exacerbating the effect.

The result is often seen as coastal flooding. According to NOAA, the sea level around Kauai is running as much as a foot greater than the levels predicted by the tide charts. NOAA and the National Weather Service often issue special weather statements predicting tidal flooding, like the one issued on Tuesday, August 22nd when peak water levels are expected in the late afternoon and early evening. This can be seen near boat harbors and in beach areas through Wednesday evening.

What does it mean for visitors to the island? Hawaii’s tidal range is actually much smaller than those seen in mainland coastal areas. Still, if you are not expecting it, water can come up fast and take your belongings with it when it retreats into the sea. It can also damage electronic devices that may contain your vacation photos. It would be wise to check the tide charts and pay attention to where you put your belongings on the beach, especially if you plan leave them unattended.

Sea Grant created the Hawaii and Pacific Islands King Tides Project, to collect more data about these tidal events. The project involves citizen science where folks like you and me can submit pictures through an app called Liquid Mobile Data Collection that helps document coastal flooding. Scientist can then compile and evaluate the king tides and high water data that is submitted. Documenting the king tides is important to scientists to verify their models of wave run-up and harbor flooding. These events also give us a glimpse into the future as to what to what kind of flooding and subsequent erosion we can expect to see as sea levels continue to rise.

If you are interested in participating in the study, you can download the app and check out the Pacific Islands Kind Tides Project web-page for more information.

Explore Kauai’s East Side on the Kapaa Bike Path

On the Kapaa bike path, anyone can enjoy the magnificent scenery, gentle offshore breezes, and array of photo ops. Get ready to coast your way along almost eight miles of the east side of Kauai.

Formally known as Ke Ala Hele Makalae (The Path that Goes by the Coast), this multi-use path is the perfect place to exercise while taking in Kauai’s mesmeric scenery. Currently, the path stretches from Lydgate Beach to Kuna Bay (AKA Donkey Beach). Eventually, it will be lengthened to about seventeen miles, from Nawiliwili to Anahola.

The Kapaa Bike Path from above. Photo courtesy of Kauai Path, Inc.

The Kapaa Bike Path from above. Photo courtesy of Kauai Path, Inc.

Biking the path is the most popular mode of transportation; however, walking, running, or skating is just as entertaining. If you’re in the mood for some pedaling, many bike rental locations in the area make it easy to do so. The average full day rental costs $15-$20 per bicycle.

For a long bike ride or walk, start near the Kapaa Beach Park and head north towards Kealia Beach. Sidenote: Kealia Beach is lifeguard protected, but is known for its wind swells and strong currents. Use caution, and ask a lifeguard if it’s safe to swim when you visit. Kealia is also a great beach to stroll upon mid-bike ride, or to enjoy a beach picnic. Cruise through the gentle palm trees of the east side and breathe in the salty ocean air for almost four miles. To the end of the path and back makes for a great workout and excellent views.

About a mile up the path from Kealia Beach, lies the historic Pineapple Dump Bridge. The concrete pier was built by a local pineapple company as a place to dump their pineapple waste (like crowns and skins) in the 1900s. A Lihue Plantation train was hired to transport the scraps to the pier, where they were thrown into the ocean. When the wind and currents weren’t right, the floating pineapple pieces sometimes drifted back to east shore beaches, causing a mess and a terrible odor. Railings don’t allow you to walk the small pier, but there are multiple viewpoints to check out this neat place of Kauai history.

While enjoying your time on the path, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. There is minimal shade, so a hat is always a good idea. Little pavilions line the path every couple of miles or so, and each shelter a picnic table; perfect for a pit stop. Please help keep Ke Ala Hele Makalae clean by always packing your trash. Practice path etiquette by following this list, provided by the Kauai Path, Inc.

The Kapaa bike path is an idyllic way to spend the day exploring the east side of Kauai. Set off on Ke Ala Hele Makalae for an active outdoor adventure.


Meet Kauai’s Super-Treat: The Acai Bowl

Tori Hennesy

Article and Photo By Tori Hennessy

Ah yes, the acai bowl… that perfect, mouthwatering fusion of a sweet acai berry base and crunchy granola, topped with an assortment of fresh fruit on top. Drizzle on a little honey and your acai bowl dreams will definitely come true.

If you haven’t, yet, become acquainted with the acai berry, let me casually introduce you. To understand why it’s so popular, the term “superfood” comes to mind. Superfoods are a list of exceptionally nutrient-rich foods promising ample health and wellness benefits. The acai berry (pronounced “ah-sigh-EE”) has made its way onto this list. They are full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. Research also shows that the acai berry may even contain more antioxidants than cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries alike. Thus, no need to feel too guilty when chowing down on a bowl of blended acai berry. And while the acai berry is not indigenous to Kauai, homemade granola and locally sourced fruit on top help elevate its status as a delicious, tropical treat.

Now, where to find the best acai bowls on Kauai. As an acai bowl lover myself, here are my top three recommendations, by geographic location:

If you’re starting off on the North Shore, head over to Aloha Juice Bar, located in “The Heart of Hanalei” (Ching Young Village Shopping Center). Locally owned and adorably photogenic, this little red truck makes a mean acai bowl. Choose from a long list of toppings or stick to the classic, which comes with freshly blended acai berry, granola, sliced bananas, and of course, that scrumptious drizzle of honey. Pay a little extra to add more yummy items on top (chocolate chips, anyone?) or, keep it deliciously simple. Either way, you’re sure to be a happy customer. Ask for your bowl to go, and you can cruise over to the Hanalei Pavilion just a minute down the road. Eat with your toes in the sand and the breeze in your hair. Warning: you might find yourself going back for another one of these acai bowls the very next day.

More centrally located, on the East Side of Kauai, the Kalalea Juice Hale boasts its own version of the acai bowl. Sitting right under the beautiful mountains of Anahola, this juice hut’s acai bowls are creamy and oh-so-tasty. They’re slightly more pricey, but large enough to share. Or not! (*Wink*). Try the “King Kong” acai bowl and your taste buds might just explode with happiness. It’s loaded with toppings like goji berries, mac nuts, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes. And, don’t forget to Instagram your whole experience. The actual King Kong mountain looming above you is a sight to behold and to share.

For the acai bowl lovers or seekers on the South Side; this is the place for you. Talk about a hidden gem. ‘AnakÄ“’s Juice Bar is nestled in the very back corner of the Kukuiula Market in Koloa. If it weren’t for the rave reviews their acai bowls receive from visitors and locals alike, you might just miss it. Order from a list of the juice bar’s best acai bowls, all with fun names and a whole lot of toppings. The Funky Monkey, with chocolate chips and peanut butter on top of delicious acai (and other fresh fruits) is my personal favorite. This is a winning treat after enjoying the sun and surf at Poipu Beach, a mere five minute drive away.

Each acai bowl location you read about today offers many other delectable selections, such as smoothies, fresh juices, and other frozen treats. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong with one (or two, no regrets!) of their acai bowls. Your taste buds will thank you, and so will these friendly locally owned businesses. Mahalo!

Aloha Juice Bar

5-5190 Kuhio Hwy

Hanalei, HI 96714

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Daily)

Kalalea Juice Hale

4390 Pu U Hale Loop

Anahola, HI 96703

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Tues-Fri)

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Sat-Sun)

Closed Mondays

‘AnakÄ“’s Juice Bar

2827 Poipu Rd

Koloa, HI 96756

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Daily)