While much of the Continental United States is gearing up for cooler temperatures, the Hawaiian island of Kauai is staying comfortably warm. As kids head back to school and summer vacations end, the island becomes less crowded - making fall a great time to visit.
Here’s what’s happening in Kauai.
Hawaiian Airlines to Expand Kauai Service
The airline announced it will expand its U.S. West Coast service following the arrival of its fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft, adding three new nonstop daily routes in early 2018. The flights will include Oakland to Kauai; Portland to Maui; and Los Angeles to Kona. Seasonal service between Oakland and Lihue, Kauai, through September 4 will resume on April 11, 2018.
Polynesian Adventure Tours and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Introduce an All-Inclusive Tour
Polynesian Adventure Tours and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters will be partnering for a tour offering guests who are staying in Oahu the chance for a full day on Kauai. The all-inclusive tour includes stops at some of the island's most popular sites on land, followed by a Blue Hawaiian’s Kauai Eco-Adventure aerial tour on the company’s new Eco-Star helicopter. Guests will fly over the Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, cascading waterfalls, and more. They will then have lunch at the restaurant where George Clooney’s character Matt King dined in the Kauai-filmed The Descendants.
The 55-minute K3 Blue Tour runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Transportation from Waikiki-area hotels, a scheduled air flight from Oahu, and the land and air tour are included.
Tasting Kauai and Aqua Kauai Beach Resort Present a New Three-Day Culinary Tour
From December 13-16, Tasting Kauai and the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort will be offering a culinary food tour. The tour begins with a welcome dinner at the resort’s Naupaka Terrace, where guests will meet Executive Chef Rodman Machado and enjoy a five-course dinner with wine pairings. Over the next three days, guests will meet island chefs and farmers at private tastings, cooking demonstrations, workshops and farm tours.
Highlights will include a four-course Hawaiian lunch and demo presented by Guy Higa, executive chef of the Kauai Marriott Resort, and a talk with Jean Marie Josselin, owner and executive chef of Jo2 Restaurant and pioneer chef of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, on his work with farmers with a three-course dinner including handcrafted cocktail. The tour also includes a visit to a chocolate farm, a chocolate-making class, a Popsicle tasting and demo, a farmer’s market tour, a tropical fruit demo and cooking class, and a taro farm tour. For more information about the tour and special rates call Marta Lane at (888) 431-6660, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Chocolate Farm and Vanilla Plantation Is Still Expanding
Travelers can now take a tour of Steelgrass Farm, the island’s largest chocolate farm and vanilla plantation. The estate offers certified Kauai-made products such as chocolate bars, cacao nibs, honey and hand-pollinated vanilla beans. Four times a week, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., guests can try samples of over 10 different chocolates from around the world, tastings of fresh tropical fruit grown on-property, ripe chocolate fruit directly from the chocolate farm and more.
Koloa Landing Resort Announces the Royal Luau
Luau under the stars with an ocean view on Koloa Landing Resort’s Garden Lawn. The event includes music and hula from Rohotu Polynesian Dance Company and a menu from Hawaiian Chef Sam Choy.
The luau feast includes barbecued short ribs, cedar-plank mahimahi, Okinawan mashed sweet potatoes and more. The dinner menu has lobster tail and petit filet with champagne aperitifs.
Kauai native, historian, and entertainer Wallis Punua hosts the event and will take guests on a journey through Hawaiian culture and music. His Rohotu Polynesian Dance Company continues the traditions of his family hula school, founded on Kauai in 1954.
Luaus happen on Tuesdays year-round and on Saturday evenings through August
Visit the website for reservation.
Westin Princeville Jazz and Wine Festival
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas is hosting a night of wine, food, and jazz on September 16 from 5:30 p.m. Located on the resort’s main lawn overlooking the ocean, the event will offer island-inspired cuisine from Kauai chefs and live jazz music, featuring headliners Hawaii neo-soul/jazz group Adagio.
Tickets are $100 per person, and include entertainment, an etched Westin Princeville Jazz and Wine Festival wine glass, food, wine and non-alcoholic beverages, tax, and gratuity. Proceeds from the event’s annual silent auction will benefit the Kauai Lifeguard Association.
To purchase tickets, or to book the resort’s villa accommodations, call The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas at (808) 827-8700, or visit westinprinceville.com.
Kauai Mokihana Festival
For those looking to explore authentic Hawaiian culture, this is the place to be. Held annually at the Kapaa First Hawaiian Church, founded by Kauai’s last queen Deborah Kapule in 1879, the festival is designed to educate, promote, preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through a variety of activities for all people.
This year, the event will be held September 24-30 and will showcase composer’s concert and contest, craft fair, educational and cultural lectures, and more. The event concludes with a hula competition for solo dancers and hula schools.
Kauai Coconut Festival
The Kauai Coconut Festival celebrates Hawaii’s most beloved and popular fruit. Attendees will learn about the Polynesian dietary staple’s many uses, byproducts and history. There will also be games, crafting, and contests, as well as live entertainment, cooking demonstrations by Kauai chefs, and artisans featuring certified Kauai Made vendors, crafters and products. Events for kids include a petting zoo and inflatable bounce house.
The event is set to take place at Kapaa Beach Park, October 7 and 8. Admission is $5 and is open to the public.
Matsuri Kauai Festival
Organized by the Kauai Japanese Cultural Society, this festival showcases Hawaii’s prominent Japanese culture. Attendees can create oshibana (pressed flowers), origami (paper folding) and oshie (raised cloth pictures), as well as watch taiko drumming, mochi (sticky rice cake) pounding, a tea ceremony, shodo (calligraphy) demonstrations, and more.
The festival will take place October 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
Eo e Emalani i Alakai
Kokeoe Museum: Hui o Laka has hosted the annual event since 1988 in honor of Queen Emma’s historic 1871 visit to Kokee and the Alakai Swamp. The festival is held in the museum’s Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow and features educational exhibits, arts and crafts, and food vendors, along with a recreation of the queen’s ride into the meadow, hula halau (hula group) performances and chats honoring Queen Emma.
The event is free and open to the public. It is set for October 14 at 9 a.m.
Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival
Two of Kauai’s most popular products will be celebrated October 20-21. There will be everything from tastings to workshops that attendees can take part in. There will also be entertainment and booths highlighting a variety of chocolate and coffee products from around the state as well as farm tours, classes, demonstrations, a chocolate and coffee pampering station, a silent auction, keiki activities, and more.
The Villas at Poipu Kai Announces the Return of its Free Rental Car Program
Guests who book a three - or four-bedroom villa at full price for stays from August through October at The Villas at Poipu Kai will receive a free seven-day car rental.
Located in the Poipu Kai Resort, the Villas at Poipu Kai is a boutique resort featuring vacation rentals including three- to four-bedroom poolside villas and two- to five-bedroom garden villas. Villas are complete with furnished kitchens central air conditioning.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa Breakfast at Tidepools Package
Holidays can be extra special this year with the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa’s Breakfast at Tidepools package. Guests who book the package will receive an exclusive upgraded continental breakfast for two in the resort’s newly renovated Tidepools lounge and dining area. They can also book all of their holiday activities with a private concierge available 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
The package is available for stays December 23, 2017, through January 3, 2018 and must be booked by December 31.