The last installment of my Kauai travel series takes us to the Eastern and Southern shores of the Garden Isle. There is definitely plenty to see and to explore on both coasts. Though I did prefer the North and the West parts of the island more with their adventure appeal, but that isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty to do in the East and South sides of the island. We stayed in Kapaa, which is located on the Eastern side of Kauai and it served as a great home base as it was central to travelling to all sides of the island. One hour each way at the constant speed of 50 miles/hr, you just get use to island time and nothing seems like a rush anymore. Read on to see what’s not to be missed in the Eastern and Southern coasts of Kauai!
- Olympic Cafe: First night, right after arriving we were recommended this restaurant from our airbnb host. I had the Kahlua Pork Sandwich, which was absolutely delicious with melt in your mouth morsels and BBQ sauce. We watched the rain fall down over the city as the sun slipped behind the horizon as we munched away on our meals. It was the perfect thing after a long flight!
- Pono Fish Market: This is probably the best poke you’ll find on all of Kauai (in my opinion). Get here early as the best sellers sell out way before lunch time even rolls around! My favourite was the Spicy Ahi Poke, served over your choice of white or brown rice. You can also order cooked ahi if you’re not into raw fish. Their Teriakyi Ahi Poke is also delicious!
- Kelia Beach: this beach was a mere two minutes away from our airbnb so we definitely spent a lot of time here. Life-guarded and a pristine stretch of sand, you’ll find quite a few surfers and boogie boarders at this location. This was a great beach just to stroll around and dip the toes into the water.
- Hamura Saimin: this is Kauai’s version of ramen! While this isn’t your traditional ramen you’d expect, its a local favourite and a cheap eat! While the ramen itself I only found passable, the highlight was their Chiffon Pie. The pie is absolute heaven in every bite, fluffy and light but sinfully balanced for the taste buds… I’d come back just for the pie (it’s that good!)
- Wailua Falls: This famous double waterfall is one of the first waterfalls that come up in a Google search for Kauai. It’s a really beautiful waterfall with a tiny parking lot so be sure to get there early. Everything is fenced off with an outlook area at the top, but there is an unofficial-official trial to get to the bottom. I’m not here encourage you to climb down, but its a possibility. A steep and slippery climb that should only be attempted on a dry day. Once you’re down there you can actually walk behind the waterfall but we didn’t venture back there as it was even more slippery and dangerous so we decided not to tempt fate. The pool of water is clear and a perfect place to cool off before ascending back to the parking lot. The hike takes around 20-30 mins each way. Unsure where to start? Just ask the locals, they’ll be more than happy to point you in the direction to hike down to see the waterfall.
- Opaekaa Falls: Just an outlook from the parking lot, if you want to hike to this one you’ll need a canoe to paddle your way over. It’s definitely pretty to admire and a great place to have a quick picnic before continuing on the island exploration.
- Java Kai: A perfect place for breakfast, this instagram famous location is hard to miss with its bright turquoise walls. Located in Kapaa, they have both outdoor and indoor seating and great healthy choices for breakfast. I recommend ordering their Dragon Acai Bowl, definitely a super yummy treat for the hot weather!
- Poipu: This town has a lot of shopping, we escaped to the shopping areas of Poipu after we realized that the rain wasn’t going to let up on a very wet day. You’ll be able to find any island memorabilia at this location as well as some familiar stores like Macy’s. I loved the amount of surf shops here, tonnes of cute bikinis to choose from!
- Captain Andy’s: a definite highlight of the trip! One of the only ways you can see the Napali Coast is by boat and we signed up with Captain Andy’s. The meet up point being at Port Allen, we boarded a 55ft catamaran and set sail with a buffet breakfast. First stop was a snorkeling spot where there were plenty of fish. This was my first time snorkeling and it was a tonne of fun! I spent a good portion of the time trying to find a turtle but settled on chasing a brightly coloured yellow fish. This snorkeling experience definitely spurred me on to snorkel more during the whole trip. After the 45 minute swim stop, we all boarded the boat again and headed up the coast; this is where it gets pretty chilly with the wind and salt water whipping at you. I recommend packing a sweater and a windbreaker to keep warm during this time. We saw spinner dolphins and turtles and it was all fun and games until the waves got bigger and the majority of the boat got seasick. Now usually the waters are calm, but unfortunately when we went it was just the cusp of transition in the weather that it ended up being a fairly rough ride. The crew members were beyond accommodating and made the not so great experience of seasickness manageable, and for that I would highly recommend that you book your tour with them! They’re super kind and caring and want to make sure everyone has the best possible experience. A buffet lunch was also provided on this ride but due to the seasickness, I didn’t get to eat much but I was able to pack a sandwich to go! PSA: take some motion sickness pill prior to, better safe than sorry, they sell them at the office at Port Allen.
- The Fresh Shave: Instagram famous shaved ice, this location is special and delicious! They serve all natural fruit syrups and toppings with the flavours all named after different mustaches. We ordered the Professor and it was DELICIOUS! Would definitely go back for another one… and another one… and another.
- DaCrack: A tiny Mexican food window, this is a highly rated place to get burritos and bowls. A cheap eat, we popped by here for dinner. Just don’t order the wasabi sour cream unless you’re ready for a hefty punch of nasal clearing. Great value, you get fairly large portions that are bound to fill you up after a long day outside.
- Shipwreck Beach & Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail: this is an easy stroll along the south shore where you can overlook Shipwreck Beach and watch the crashing waves from a higher vantage point. I recommend walking this early in the morning as the sun can get very hot on this path. Very picturesque at every turn.
I hope that these suggestions can help anyone planning on visiting Kauai! If you want more details leave a comment down below with your questions or maybe you have suggestions of places that I missed and should have included! I’d love to hear them!
Kauai definitely stole a part of my heart <3
See the rest of my Kauai adventure: