Kauai is coated in colors!

Get accustomed to seeing chickens everywhere. They run—fly—wild throughout Kauai. You can search to see a number of theories on why they’re running amok and where they came from. Their colors can be plain or positively striking. Watch for the endangered Nene Geese, with stripes reminiscent of tiny Zebra.

Explore the little town of Hanapepe with the truck and gas pump they’re trying to buy from the relocating artist. Grab a fresh coffee, check out the book store, or choose from a couple of restaurants for your dining.

Hanapepe Town, Kauai truck landmark

Hanapepe Town, Kauai truck landmark


Kauai Coffee Company is a surprise.

On the Big Island, discover how good Kona Coffee can be. Here, it’s a delight to stop by the Kauai Coffee Company and discover how delicious this coffee is! The signs leading into the place are fun—make sure you read them and have a laugh. They have multiple urns of coffee available for the tasting. If you like coffee, you are bound to find at least one flavor you like—or come home with three.

Kilohana Plantation Estate.

You can dine at Gaylord’s Restaurant, have a cooling drink in the Mahiko Lounge, take a train ride around the plantation, enjoy a Lu’au, freely walk throughout the Mansion—looking at history or shopping the boutiques.

Koloa Rum Company.

Koloa Rum Tasting Bar

Koloa Rum Tasting Bar

Also in the Kilohana Plantation, stop in for a rum tasting. If you aren’t a rum fan, this could be the event that changes your mind. The hostess will explain the rum process, complete with how the rum becomes certified. You taste up to five different rums and sample a rum cake. The original dark rum and the coffee rum may both wake up your taste buds in new ways. Although the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania doesn’t carry the line, pop onto the website and check for the other states and stores on the mainland that do. Re-stock.


Shave Ice – a tropical treat.

You can’t travel on Kauai without sampling the Shave Ice. Look for the spots that make it with fresh fruit. There are others drizzled with flavors (root beer!) and good, but once you taste one made with real fruit, you’ll never look at a Sno-cone the same way.

Monkeypod Trees.

You see them throughout the islands with their height and far outstretched branches. There’s one in Koloa Town (yes, the rum is from the neighborhood) dating from 1925. Not native to the islands, they were brought from Mexico in the 1800s. They have made themselves right at home and provide great shade and the chance to take striking photos.

Speaking of Old Koloa Town.

Tourist trap? Not really. The quaint shops and welcoming proprietors are here for multiple reasons. Don’t forget to chat with them and discover: native or transplant? The Garden Island Grille provides “Cheers” service while tantalizing your taste buds with fare provided by a first rate chef.


Kauai is only 45 square miles smaller than Oahu, but it has 800,000 less residents. It is easy to navigate and full of charming, sincere people. If your goal is hiking, eating well and getting to know an area, this is an island to spend time visiting.


Read: Hawaii blogs