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.
Drinking in Kauai
Things to do in Kauai
Tasting Kauai offers several food tours of the island.
The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” offers hiking, waterfalls, and rainbows.
Waimea Canyon Dr., Uninc Kauai County, HI
Rugged hiking and high cliffs offer spectacular views for experienced trekkers.
Polihale State Park
Lower Saki Mana Rd., Waimea, HI
Beautiful beach that attracts surfers.
Very popular beach on the far north of the island.
Highway 560 Kauai, North Shore, Kauai, HI
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
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
Italian restaurant and wine bar.
5492 Koloa Rd, Koloa, Kauai, HI
Hidden gem with great breakfast menu.
2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
The Right Slice
Mango Lilikoi Pie and Lilikoi Cheesecake.
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
Charming little restaurant with great wraps.
3146 Akahi St, Lihue, Kauai, HI
Touristy, yes, but a good salad beer and Alaho Hour.
3610 Rice St, Lihue, Kauai, HI
The place for Loco Moco and Spam Musibi.
1610 Haleukana St Ste A, Puhi, Lihue, Kauai, HI
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
Busy coffee shop and cafe.
4-1384 Kuhio Hwy # 105, Kapaa, Kauai, HI
Food truck with great pizza
4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Hawaii
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
Fruitstand with local fruit, smoothies, and frosties.
5-2719 Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, Kauai, HI
Seafood and vegetarian cafe.
5 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Kauai, HI
Old time Hawaiian restaurant.
5 Kuhio Hwy # 5134, Hanalei, Kauai, HI
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
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