|Wailua Falls Kauai Visitors Bureau, Damon Moss|
The Hawaiian island of Kauai offers travelers top natural experiences, but it is also home to top local festivals, cultural sites and fresh food. Take a look at our insider picks, provided by Maile Brown, director of marketing at the Kauai Visitors Bureau.
First up, many visitors may not know about the abundance of festivals on Kauai. This month, on the 7th, the Kauai Fashion Weekend will begin. The event will be held in Lihue at Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club. During this fourth annual event, local designers will showcase fashions for men and women. We suggest soaking in the whole experience with a VIP dinner. Guests can also purchase tickets for just the show.
Looking for other favorite local festivals? Check out Koloa Plantation Days, Waimea Town Celebration, Kauai Mokihana Festival and the Coconut Festival, which occur at different times in the year. Don't forget, Hanapepe Art Night, which occurs each Friday night, is a popular event filled with good food and fun art. And the first Saturday of every month is celebrated in Kappa with a festive atmosphere, food, art and music.
What Sites to Visit – Under the Radar
Many travelers miss the National Tropical Botanical Garden on the South Shore of the island when they visit. Here's a tip, Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden are adjacent gardens with a range of different plants-- perfect for families. Limahuli Garden, also a top garden, is located on the North Shore of the island in a tropical valley.
Lawai International Center: This healing sanctuary was built in 1904 by the first generation of Japanese immigrants. The sanctuary includes 88 shrines, replicating an ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. The center is open on the second and last Sunday of the month with tours at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. Tours can also be made by appointment by calling (808) 639-4300.
Dine Like a Local
Locals are often enjoying “plate lunches,” which can be described as fast, inexpensive and local favorites. We suggest trying out Fish Express (3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue), Mark’s Place (1610 Haleukana St, Lihue), Koloa Fish Market (5482 Koloa Rd, Koloa), and Da Crack (2827 Poipu Rd, Koloa).