The Ulimate Travel Guide To Kauai, Hawai'i – ElanaLoo

The Ultimate Kauai Travel Guide

POSTED
January 30, 2017
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I'm ElanA
My purpose? To create a ripple effect: where my small drop in the ocean expands outward, helping others lean into life, make waves with their work and shift from a place of confusion to a place of clarity.

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Kaua’i is one of the most spectacular places on earth & its beauty lies far beneath just beaches and majestic sea cliffs. It’s in the local community, the lesser known gems & the untouched beauty of nature.

My intention in sharing a guide to this special place is to help you dive deeper into what makes this island truly unique – to explore the less explored.

Kaua’i has so many more experiences to offer than the usual ‘tourist trip’ when you step off the beaten path & get to know the place with reverence, curiosity & respect!

I thought I would share a few of our favorites so that you can explore & enjoy Kaua’i with an insider’s perspective. Granted, this is only a sliver of all of the incredible things to do on this island (find more in our Full Kaua’i Travel Guide!).

Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com

If you want all of my Kaua’i recommendations all in one convenient, organized place, you can check out our Kaua’i Travel Guide! Our complete guide is focused on supporting local businesses, helping you consciously care for the environment and immerse yourself in this beautiful place.


BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KAUA’I 

HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES AROUND THE ISLAND:

The Surf Shack Kaua’i

The Palmwood Bed & Breakfast

The Lime House 

Waimea Plantation Cottages

Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas | Hotel in Princeville Kauai | Best Hotels to stay at on the North Shore of Kauai | North Short Kauai Hotels | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas | Hotel in Princeville Kauai | Best Hotels to stay at on the North Shore of Kauai | North Short Kauai Hotels | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Helicopter Tour | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN KAUA’I

Kauai Juice Co.

Kaua’i Juice Co. offers locally-sourced, cold pressed, glass bottled juices in a wide variety of flavors! They tap into the abundance of fresh produce, leafy greens, root veggies, herbs, and seasonal fruits grown in Hawai’i and create the most nutrient dense juices available and also delicious foods!

This is hands down one of my favorite businesses to support on island. Not only because their juices are incredible but because of their mission & what they have done for the community of Kaua’i. Read their story here

They have multiple locations around the island so you can try them out no matter where you are!

Sushi Girl 

A local’s favorite hole-in-the-wall, Sushi Girl is perfect to grab lunch to-go in Kilauea. They have delicious poké, and some of my favorite fresh daily specials.

North Shore Food Trucks

One of our favorite places to grab lunch is at the food trucks in Hanalei! Local staples include Trucking Delicious, Turmeric, and Fresh Bite Kauai. We also love the tacos at Pat’s Taqueria and poke bowls at Hanalei Poké (both are located in the Big Save parking lot).

Tiki Tacos

One word: YUM! We love this taco spot for a mid-day meal before an adventure. We actually stopped here before we went on our helicopter tour of the Nā Pali coastline last time we were on island! 

Wishing Well Shave Ice

They might be known for their shave ice but they also have awesome açaí bowls!

Java Kai Coffee

They have tasty breakfast items and I love their extensive coffee menu. Note: they give plastic cups for their coffee so as always, ask for your coffee to STAY or BYOC (bring your own cup!)

Bar Acuda

This tapas bar has little bites that pack a big punch! Love the atmosphere, delightful menu and that they have a variety of dishes for every taste. We continue to return again and again!

Beach House Restaurant

We love this spot for their delicious cocktail, locally sourced ingredients & island inspired menu. Ideal location right on the beach!

Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Hawaii Flights | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Queen's Bath Kauai | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas | Hotel in Princeville Kauai | Best Hotels to stay at on the North Shore of Kauai | North Short Kauai Hotels | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas | Hotel in Princeville Kauai | Best Hotels to stay at on the North Shore of Kauai | North Short Kauai Hotels | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
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Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei, Kauai | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Tunnels Beach at Sunset | Epic Sunset at Tunnels Beach in Kauai | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com

 

Go Blue Adventure | Blue Ocean Adventure Tours | Kauai Water Excursions | Best Kauai Excursions | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Na Pali Coast Boat Tour | Cathedrals of the Napali Coast | Incredible Kauai Experience | Must See Places in Kauai | Go Blue Adventure | Blue Ocean Adventure Tours | Kauai Water Excursions | Best Kauai Excursions | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
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Na Pali Coast Boat Tour | Olukai | Cathedrals of the Napali Coast | Incredible Kauai Experience | Must See Places in Kauai | Go Blue Adventure | Blue Ocean Adventure Tours | Kauai Water Excursions | Best Kauai Excursions | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Na Pali Coast Boat Tour | Whale Sighting | Incredible Kauai Experience | Must See Places in Kauai | Go Blue Adventure | Blue Ocean Adventure Tours | Kauai Water Excursions | Best Kauai Excursions | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Must See Places in Kauai | Waimea Canyon | Grand Canyon of the Pacific | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Bamboo Forest in Kauai | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com
Sheraton Kauai | Best Places to Stay in Poipu, Kauai | Best Places to Stay on the South Shore of Kauai | Travel Guide to Kauai, Hawaii | Travel Tips for Kauai | Packing List for Kauai | Helpful Tips for Traveling to Kauai | Kauai Travel Guide | Hawaii Travel Guide | Why You Should Visit Hawaii | Napali Coast Boat Excursion | Activities To Do in Kauai | Best Vacation Places in the World via @elanaloo + elanaloo.com

Get Our Complete Kaua’i Travel Guide

If you want all of our Kaua’i island recommendations all in one convenient, organized place, you can check out our Full Kaua’i Travel Guide!

Our complete guide is focused on supporting local businesses, helping you consciously care for the environment and get off the beaten path.

You can easily access it on your smartphone, computer or iPad which is perfect for while you’re out exploring.

THE GUIDE INCLUDES:

  • Over 90 personally curated recommendations from our many trips to Kaua’i
  • Tips for where to stay on the island, ways to be a mindful traveler & things not to miss
  • The best places to enjoy açaí bowls, delicious coffee and tasty meals all around the island

Meet the writer

I'M ELANA JADALLAH

Thanks for reading! I'm a photographer, writer & environmental advocate excited to be sharing regenerative solutions, ideas & concepts for our lives & businesses with you. 

MORE ABOUT ME

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  1. Corina Nika says:

    Oh my goodness, i loved this post! Hawaii is literally heaven on earth! What i wouldn’t do to just drop everything and live there (my husband is afraid of tsunamis tho haha)

  2. Elizabeth Landrum says:

    these photos are just gorgeous. LOVE the tropics!!! Cannot wait to make it to Hawaii one day

  3. This was such an awesome guide! I just shared this with the group that I am going with. Thank you so so so much! Im counting down the days until I’m here, I’ll for sure be tagging you in the fun activities we do thank to you! xoxo

  4. Maile Taylor says:

    Aloha! I love love alll your photos of Kaua’i and supporting some of the best local business’. I wanted to share a hidden gem you missed on this trip, in the hopes that you’ll check us out the next time your in town. My name is Maile Taylor and I own a small boutique located in Warehouse 3540. Warehouse 3540 is a old glass warehouse that was renovated in to a collective of shops and eateries . The shops are home to local artist, jewelry makers, carpenters, painters, seamstresses, green thumbs, printers and a bunch of really cool people. The building itself is a beautiful marriage of rustic and modern (very Portland, OR). We host private events as well as hold events through out the month including weekly markets, monthly night markets with live music, monthly workshops hosted by shop owners, weekly children book reading and play time for the youngins.

    We’d love to have you come and check out the great vibe here at Warehouse 3540!

    Here’s a list of shop owners and food trucks.

    Salt + Sea @saltandseakauai
    Machine Machine @machinemachine &. @workshopkauai
    Naisish @ naisishhandmade
    Ivy & Co @ ivyandcompany
    Navy Dylan @navydylan
    Cru @crukauai
    The Fresh Shave @thefreshshave
    Dark Roost Coffee @darkroost
    Kick Shaws @kickshaws

    Warehouse 3540 @warehouse3540

    We all look forward to meeting you on your next trip to Kaua’i!!

  5. Charlotte says:

    I’m going to Kauai with my boyfriend in April, will definitely look into the recommendations you posted! Can’t wait!!!!

    Charlotte
    http://www.deconstrut.blogspot.ca

  6. Brian Teeter says:

    Kudos on a great story of your trip. Your photos are lovely; many are professional quality. A great blog.

    What made me wince however was your photos and breathless prose about Queens Bath. As you note, Queens Bath, along with Lumahai Beach and especially Hanakapai Beach, is absolutely treacherous. Seductive though it may be, I cannot stress enough how dangerous Queens Bath is, even in the summer months.

    To your credit, you open the section on Queens Bath with a warning. Instead, I would urge anyone NOT to go there. I have a number of close friends who live on Kauai, many of whom are professional surfers and extremely strong swimmers. They refuse to go there because they know its dangers. That should tell you something.

    Queens Bath is not protected by lifeguards. Even on seemingly calm days, sets of powerful rogue waves can hit unexpectedly. Just do a YouTube search for “Queens Bath” and you will encounter a number of frightening videos showing how dangerous it can be. Or Google “Queens Bath deaths” to read articles of people swept out to their deaths just standing on the rocks near the ocean. (Pro tip: If you’re standing on wet rock, it means that big waves will hit there again in 15-20 minutes.)

    While Queens Bath can look blissfully peaceful, the ocean beyond is absolutely deadly. Hawaii has the highest incidence of drownings anywhere in the U.S., and of all the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is #1 for ocean fatalities. The reason: The Garden Isle has extremely strong ocean currents and powerful rip currents along the shoreline. Sailors will tell you that the seas off of Kauai are some of the most violent anywhere in the world. And locals will tell you that everyone they know has had a near-death experience in Kauai’s waters. Heed their warnings.

    If you get swept out of Queens Bath by rogue waves, lifeguards would have to come over from Hanalei Bay on a Seadoo to rescue you. That could take 20 minutes at best, and you could easily drown in that time. You’re on your own if things go sideways. Think about that.

    We mainlanders are clueless when it comes to the violence and power of the ocean. We’re young. We think we’re indestructible and ignore the risks. But why risk your life to do something stupid?

    Your photos are idyllic. We all want to experience what you did. But I will take my happiness in looking at your photos of Queens Bath, and nothing more. I urge everyone to respect the nature’s power and not do as you did. Please.

  7. Brianne says:

    This guide is incredible! And your pictures are beautiful! My husband and I are going to Kauai next week so this post came just in time :) We can’t wait to check out your suggestions. Thank you for sharing!

  8. We just got home from Kauai and this is making me want to go back!

  9. Kim says:

    Great post! Kauai is my favorite of the islands with the Big Island being a close second! The Kilauea Fish Market is awesome . I get their fish tacos and there’s a Kauai Juice Co in the same complex, so there are bonus beverages to go with your amazing seafood! Also, Postcards Cafe in Hanalei is charming and delicious.

  10. Allison says:

    What time of the year was this?!

  11. Hallie says:

    We are headed to Kauai for our honeymoon this December and I have desperately been looking for a guide to the island like this one! Thank you!!

    • elanaloo says:

      Hallie,

      You’re so welcome! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the guide. Have a fabulous honeymoon + safe travels! Let me know what you enjoy most!

  12. Melanie says:

    Im headed to Kauai in July and this excited me even more! Is Queens Bath really that dangerous as the post above states?? Your pics are amazing and I hope to take all this in while I am There!! thanks for sharing your adventure!

    • elanaloo says:

      Melanie, YES! Absolutely it is dangerous and there are numerous deaths each year. Please be so careful if you go! It’s gorgeous even if you just visit the place and don’t get in. This is a really sacred Hawaiian site so be respectful and take care of yourself! Enjoy xx

  13. Emily Wilson says:

    Your pictures are amazing! Would you mind sharing what type of camera you used? My husband and I are heading to Kauai in January and are looking at buying a professional quality camera for the trip.

  14. KIm says:

    Love your post! So much wonderful info. My husband and I are planning now for our ten year anniversary trip. How long did you stay for? Want to experience all of these beautiful sites and have lots of time for rest :)

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