There’s a lot that’s been going on in Kaua‘i lately. Here’s an update of all that’s new on the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands…
North Shore update
The road and parks on the North Shore are open. A new paid reservation/permit system is required to gain entrance into Hā‘ena State Park, which includes Kē‘ē Beach as well as access to the Kalalau Trail.
Southwest Airlines’ new services
The airline commenced a service into Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i on 10 November, and will fly four times daily between Honolulu and Līhu‘e. Beginning 19 January 2020, Southwest Airlines will also begin trans-Pacific flights, four times weekly from Oakland and San Jose to Līhu‘e.
Avalon Gastropub opens
Located in Wailua, this restaurant is Kaua‘i’s first and only gastropub, offering elevated food, a great selection of craft beers and craft cocktails. Its mission is to be a welcoming place for the community and visitors alike to enjoy classics presented with a twist.
All of its food offerings are made in house (except for their buns, which are sourced by a local bakery). Check out Avalon Gastropub’s website for more details.
Kaua‘i Safaris goes rummy
Kaua‘i Safaris now offers a new tour called the Rum Safari, which will operate three times daily.
This two-hour guided tour takes guests around the 105 acres of Kilohana Plantation, where they can sip on Kōloa Rum, enjoy its signature mai tai, meet and interact with farm animals, and have a fresh cocktail made with fruits and herbs grown right on the plantation.
National Tropical Botanical Garden’s free hula show
The garden now offers a free hula performance at the South Shore Visitor Center every Thursday from 2pm-2:45pm. Performances are by Ka Lei Mokihana o Leinā‘ala. Visit the website for more details.
Tasting Kaua‘i food tour
Tasting Kaua‘i has introduced its ‘West Side Food Tour’ of Hanapēpē town. The tour features an afternoon stroll through the historic Hanapēpē, learning about the town’s past, present and future through its food.
Tasting Kaua‘i has curated tastings with the town’s best chefs who help paint the picture of Hanapēpē Town’s plantation-era roots, including traditional Hawaiian foods, Japanese cuisine, locally-sourced organic baked goods, Portuguese-style street food, and culturally-steeped Hawaiian sea-salt-focused demonstrations.
Holo Holo Charters’ responsible pledge
Holo Holo Charters has created an online Pono (righteous) Pledge to bring awareness about the importance of traveling responsibly by reducing plastics and eliminating toxic sunscreens from ending up in the ocean.
The 20-year-old boat tour company understands the impact destination travel can have on the environment both economically and experientially, so guests are encouraged to complete the pledge before they set sail. For more information, click here.
Kaua‘i Coffee tours the farm
Travellers can board an open-air truck and bump down the red dirt roads of the coffee plantation on the new two-hour farm tour, learning everything about how coffee is planted, grown and manufactured – from seed to cup.
Guests can also plant their own coffee tree in the orchard, before finishing the tour with a cup of the freshest coffee that is grown, harvested and roasted right on the estate. Click here for more info.
The Courtyard Marriott Kaua‘i rebrands
The Courtyard Marriott Kaua‘i at Coconut Beach has converted to a full-service property and has rebranded as the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort.
The property, located on the east side of Kaua‘i (the Royal Coconut Coast), has undergone a complete renovation, including all guest rooms, public space, pool and restaurants.
All guest rooms now feature high-speed WiFi, mini-refrigerators and private lanais. Guests can also experience relaxation in the new infinity-edge pool, with separate sides for children and adults, surrounded by the new oceanfront bar, lounge chairs and fire pits.
Timbers Kaua‘i Ocean Club & Residences celebrates one year
Kaua‘i’s newest luxury resort is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Guests and owners can enjoy oceanfront residences with breathtaking views, an award-winning golf course, a two-tiered infinity-edge oceanfront pool, the club’s Hōkūala spa, cultural and adventure activities, and more.
In addition to the resort experience, the onsite restaurant, Hualani’s, is open to the public for lunch and dinner daily, specialising in offering seasonal, farm-to-table items. For more information, click here.
Hilton Garden Inn Kaua‘i Wailua Bay’s new offering
The beachfront hotel on the scenic Wailua Bay has debuted Mamahune’s, a retro-inspired tiki bar and restaurant. Open daily from 11am, Mamahune’s offers contemporary Hawaiian cuisine, handcrafted cocktails, and picturesque views of Wailua Bay.
Its name was inspired by fictional character Mama Menehune, whose children, the Menehune (ancient craftspeople of Hawaiian legend), built this tiki shack by the sea for her.
Kōloa Landing Resort at Po‘ipū opens restaurant
Kōloa Landing Resort at Po‘ipū has welcomed Kaua‘i’s first restaurant with award-winning Hawai‘i chef Sam Choy.
Holoholo Grill features a selection of island cuisine dishes incorporating fresh, local ingredients and original recipes crafted by Choy. Complimenting the menu’s variety of island favorites are a selection of signature cocktails. For more information, click here.
- The Village Market Place at Po‘ipū Shopping Village (every first and third Tuesday from 2:30pm to 5pm).
- Culinary Market Place at The Shops at Kukui‘ula (every Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6pm).
- Hanapēpē Art Night (every Friday from 5:30pm to 9pm).
- Pau Hāna at Anaina Hou Community Park (every Friday from 5pm to 8pm).
- Kanikapila at Kukui‘ula at The Shops at Kukui‘ula (every Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm).
- Kaua‘i Community Market at Kaua‘i Community College (every Saturday from 9:30am to 1pm).
- Kīlauea Farmers Market at Anaina Hou Community Park (every Saturdays from 9am to 1pm).
- Old Kapa‘a Town Art Walk in the Heart of Kapa‘a (every first Saturday from 5pm to 8:30pm).
- Art Walk at Kukui‘ula at The Shops at Kukui‘ula (every second Saturday from 6pm to 9pm).
- Princeville Night Market at Princeville Shopping Center (every second Sunday from 4pm to 8pm).
Year round, Kaua‘i plays host to many festivals and events highlighting the island’s unique culture and history. Here are a few upcoming events not to be missed:
- Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival ‘Kaua‘i Style’ (24 November 2019)
- Lights on Rice Parade (6 December 2019)
- Festival of Lights (6 December to 31 December 2019)
Current nonstop flights to Līhu‘e
- Alaska Airlines – daily from Seattle; four times weekly from SJC, three times weekly from OAK, and four times weekly from SAN.
- American Airlines – daily from LAX; daily from Phoenix until 1 April, then four times weekly.
- Delta Airlines – daily from LAX, five times weekly from Seattle.
- Hawaiian Airlines – daily from LAX, daily from OAK.
- United Airlines – two daily from LAX and SFO, daily from Denver.