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Kauai, Hawaii

A Short History

Kauai, like all the Hawaiian islands, was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island at about 5.1 million years, followed by Oahu which is 2.2-3.4 million years old.

The first settlers were the Marquesans, who arrived between 1400 and 1800 years ago. Tahitians arrived 500 years later.

Kaumualii, the ruler of Kauai, fought King Kamehameha’s attempt to unite the Hawaiian islands. Kamehameha’s military invasions failed twice, but in 1810, Kaumualii voluntarily handed over Kauai.

The Russian American Company, a scheme of the Russian crown to gain a trading foothold in Hawaii, built Fort Elizabeth in 1816. The Russians were expelled the following year.

American businesses built sugar plantations on Kauai. As these plantations became more and more valuable, American business interests leveraged their power and overthrew the monarchy on Hawaii in 1893. Sugar production continued to be big business through the first half of the 20th century, but business slowly declined as cheaper labor was found in places like Brazil and India.

Many of the old sugar plantations were razed and the fields were sold off as developers built resorts for the millions of tourists who flock to Hawaii each year.

Foodie Kauai

Loco Moco

Spam Musibi


Lilikoi Pie

Taro Chips

Drinking in Kauai

Things to do in Kauai



Tasting Kauai

Tasting Kauai offers several food tours of the island.

Waimea Canyon

The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” offers hiking, waterfalls, and rainbows.

Waimea Canyon Dr., Uninc Kauai County, HI

Napali Coast

Rugged hiking and high cliffs offer spectacular views for experienced trekkers.

Kapaa, HI

Polihale State Park

Lower Saki Mana Rd., Waimea, HI

Hanalei Bay

Beautiful beach that attracts surfers.

Kauai, HI

Ke’e Beach

Very popular beach on the far north of the island.

Highway 560 Kauai, North Shore, Kauai, HI

Tunnels Beach

Great for snorkeling and scuba diving. As of this writing, the beach is closed due to 2018 flooding.

7640 Kuhio Hwy, Kauai, HI 96714

Ancient Lizard at the Spouting Horn

Rocks and erosion cause natural “geysers” to spout with ocean waves.

South Shore, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Wailua River State Park

Great spot for kayaking and paddleboarding.

Highway 56, Wailua, Kauai, HI

Food and Drink

The Fresh Shave

Organic syrups are used in their shave ice.

3540 Koloa Road, Lawai, Kauai, HI

Plantation Gardens

Good happy hour.

2253 Poipu Rd, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Kauai Culinary Market

Wednesday farmers market

2829 Ala Kalani Kaumaka St, Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center, Poipu, Kauai, HI

La Spezia

Italian restaurant and wine bar.

5492 Koloa Rd, Koloa, Kauai, HI

Kalaheo Cafe

Hidden gem with great breakfast menu.

2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI

The Right Slice

Mango Lilikoi Pie and Lilikoi Cheesecake.

Two locations:

3501 Rice Street, Harbor Mall, Lihue, HI

2-2459 Kaumualii Hwy., Kalaheo, HI

Hamura Saimin Stand

Unpretentious cafeteria-style Japanese restaurant with lilikoi pie.

2956 Kress St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Wailua Shave Ice

Fresh fruit shave ice, no syrups.

4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI

Eat Healthy Kauai

Healthy vegan food.

4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Ste 110, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

VIP Treats and Sweets

Fresh malasadas Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday only.

4-831 Kuhio Hwy., Ste. 439, Kapaa, HI

JO2 Natural Cuisine

Local and heirloom ingredients featured on the menu.

4-971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Greenery Cafe

Charming little restaurant with great wraps.

3146 Akahi St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Duke’s Kauai

Touristy, yes, but a good salad beer and Alaho Hour.

3610 Rice St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Mark’s Place

The place for Loco Moco and Spam Musibi.

1610 Haleukana St Ste A, Puhi, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Kauai Bakery

Great spot for Malasadas.

3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy., Ste. 1526, Lihue, HI

Koloa Rum Company

Hawaiian rum distillery with tasting room.

3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Java Kai

Busy coffee shop and cafe.

4-1384 Kuhio Hwy # 105, Kapaa, Kauai, HI


Food truck with great pizza

4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Hawaii

Hukilau Lanai

Fine dining with lots of local ingredients.

520 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, Kauai, HI


Mexican food. Veg options.

4-1105 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Kalalea Juice Hale

Great acai bowls.

4390 Pu'u hale Loop, Anahola, Kauai, HI 96703

Banana Joe’s

Fruitstand with local fruit, smoothies, and frosties.

5-2719 Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, Kauai, HI

Postcards Cafe

Seafood and vegetarian cafe.

5 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Tahiti Nui

Old time Hawaiian restaurant.

5 Kuhio Hwy # 5134, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Japanese Grandma

Lots of seafood, sushi, and tempura.

3871 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI


Taro Ko Chips Factory

Tiny shack where they make Taro chips. They’re open when the door is open.

3940 Hanapepe Rd, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Monkeypod Jam

Tiny shop and cafe with great jams and scones.

2-3687 Kaumualii Highway, Lawai, Kauai, HI

Talk Story Bookstore

New books, used books, vinyl.

3785 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, HI