We visited most of the top attractions of Kaua‘i from Hawaii’s official tourist website, nothing adventurous. See the captions of following pictures for locations.
A few tips on the lodging and food:
We stayed at Aston Islander On The Beach in Kapa‘a at the end of Wailua River with convenient access to the entire island and many restaurants. It was around $160 per night (including amenity fees) for a two double-bed studio, clean, spacious with a quiet and effective A/C.
What I like about Aston Islander is its convenience. The restaurant Trees Lounge and Fish Market (fast food but pretty good) were right inside the hotel. Not having to hunt for food on the day of arrival is important to us (especially after 9 hours of flying due to plane failure and turbulence on the Christmas Eve). There was a shopping mall just outside the hotel with a couple of restaurants too. We tried Eggberts for breakfast, unfortunately the food wasn’t great.
Our favorite breakfast place called Passion Bakery Cafe is within walking distance of the hotel, so you can enjoy a pleasant 10min walk every morning. It was a bakery so they had nice fresh bread (in contrast to the industrial bread at Eggberts). The cafe was very helpful to our two-meals-a-day vacation regimen, because they had hearty breakfast and an interesting variety of freshly baked pastries so you can buy a few for the road.
The only down side was 半夜鸡叫, which took me a while to figure out a coping strategy. But given so many wild chickens everywhere on the island, I don’t know if it’s possible to avoid it. I have two tips to offer though:
- Use A/C instead of attempting to enjoy fresh air and ocean wave sound so that you can shut the windows tight.
- 鸡叫 starts at 5am–they’re quite punctual. Make sure you bury your head under your pillow before 5am, then you can easily sleep through the 鸡叫 period from 5 to 7:30.
There are many restaurants scattered along the main highway, but neither Yelp reviews nor Google ratings were trustworthy. Here are some we tried.
Trees Lounge was our favorite, in Hawaiian-Cajun-Caribbean fusion style. I strongly recommend the appetizer bacon wrapped shrimps and the dessert bread pudding.
Lemongrass was our second favorite, of Hawaiian-Asian-European fusion. I really liked their lemongrass salad. Stephen was a big fan of their macadamia nut salad, which was a bit too sweet for me.
Keoki’s Paradise receives our honorary mention. It was HUGE and the ambience was fantastically pleasant. Ask for fine-dining instead of the bar if you ever try this place. Unfortunately their food was disappointing despite higher prices than the previous two restaurants.