Kauai is the most beautiful place on earth. We did not want to come home! This is the reason that we chose the island as the place we got married. There is just something different and amazing in the air there. The smell of plumerias, the moisture in the air (AMAZING for dry skin), and the chill vibe just makes the island the perfect vacay spot.
I had traveled to Kauai annually growing up, but hadn’t been as an adult, so I was all about asking for recommendations on food, activities, beauty, and shopping. On top of this, we did months and months of research on the best places to go, eat, and stay.
Here is your master list for all things Kauai!
Eating House 1849
Eating House 1849 is a great place to go for date night. We went on our last night on the island. Must tries are the Kampachi Sashimi and the Poke. Their list of appetizers are all amazing (we ordered 5 appetizers to share). The vibe is a little more upscale but still a casual, open-air vibe.
Koloa Fish Market \ The Dolphin
If you want the freshest fish, Koloa Fish Market is your place. They can also make the most amazing poke bowls with the freshest ingredients. We went here several times during our time in Kauai and got fish to grill at our Airbnb as well as poke bowls to take to the beach.
The Dolphin Restaurant is an extension of the fish market, which is open for sushi at dinnertime…and is probably the best sushi on the island. It’s always really fresh & their nigiri and sashimi are SO GOOD. We ordered one roll that came with truffle oil sauce and it was out of this world. A must if you love sushi!
Al Pastor Tacos
Located in the Kapaa Food Truck Court next to Ostuka’s, husband and wife team, Paulino and Faun Hernandez serve amazing Mexican food. I had the best fish tacos of my whole life here on the second visit to their truck. The first time, they were sold out for the day at only 2 pm!
Little Fish Coffee
From organic, fair-trade coffees to smoothies and acai bowls made with locally grown fruit and veggies, Little Fish Coffee was a spot we visited nearly every day during our trip. My order: an iced americano, black.
This breakfast spot/cocktail terrace (it’s both) is the most amazing Lanai experience you will have on the island with breathtaking views of Mount Makana. Whether you come for breakfast or for cocktails, the view is insane. Tip: you must come for a cocktail and watch the sunset. It looks like a painting – so gorgeous!
♡ Shopping & Beauty
Mahina has the chicest clothing and accessories for amazing prices. It’s one of those places where you step in and want everything! From dainty jewelry to cute handbags to gorgeous summery clothes, this shop has every fashionista covered. I bought a bunch of jewelry there both for myself and as gifts.
OMG…this place is pure heaven. Malie means “calm”, and that’s exactly how I’d describe their products. The foundation of all of their beauty products are natural & non-toxic with amazing benefits for the skin. My favorite product: The Pikake Body Gloss.
SoHa Living carries the best gifts and home decor in the best, non-cheesy way. You know those stores that sell tchotchkes that no one will ever use? Yeah, this is not one of those stores. The girls that work there are so nice, too.
If you want an organic spray tan, you have to contact Megan at Sunkissed. I highly recommend her. A spray tan was one beauty appointment that I made in preparation for my wedding, and since I didn’t have a chance to test it out before my wedding day being that this was a destination wedding, I was a little nervous because no bride wants to look like a patchy Oompa Loompa on their wedding day! But Megan DELIVERED. She brought her tent over to the house we rented and tanned sister, sister-in-law, and I, and we were all very happy with the results: even, sun kissed tans! I can’t recommend her enough.
Since 1980, Captain Andy’s has taken guests on Kauai boat tours down famous Na Pali Coast. My first cruise ever was actually with Capt. Andy’s when I was a 10 year old on a family vacation. It was a snorkeling cruise, and it’s one of my favorite Kauai memories with my family. I was so happy to go back and experience their sunset cruise on this past trip!
This guided adventure takes you through 23 miles of diverse offroad trails, including stops along the way to see famous movie sites such as scenes from Jurassic Park and King Kong. I was absolutely TERRIFIED at first because I thought the ATV was going to flip over. The guide yelled at me at least twice to DRIVE FASTER, and finally, after about 30 minutes, I was comfortable keeping up with everyone else. You will get very dirty on this ride so I recommend wearing clothes you really don’t care about, or using what they offer (I took them up on this and wore clothes they provided).
Princeville Botanical Gardens
Hidden away in the jungle valleys of Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, dramatic topography, natural landscaping, and tender cultivation have culminated into a sacred garden paradise. The gardens are home to potent medicinals, rare and endangered flowers, and useful economic plants from around the world. This place was breathtaking, and we learned so much about how plants can heal. Plus at the end there is a very informative chocolate tasting and tour! A must if you’re planning a trip to Kauai.
Koloa Rum Co.
The Koloa Rum Tasting Room is located at the historic Kilohana Plantation in Lihue. This was such a fun activity where we got to try several different rums, including coffee rum which was my favorite!