The “Garden Island” of Kauai wouldn’t be as green, its soil as fertile or the people as appreciative of the abundant sunshine if it weren’t for a few tropical rain showers every now and again. Sometimes throwing on your “slippers” (flip flops) and a light jacket is the most refreshing change of pace, reminding us all that you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. If you’re looking for great rainy day activities on Kauai, look no further! We’ve put together a list of our top 10 favorites.
Have you been saving your trip to the museum for a rainy day? Well now’s the perfect time to go. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of exploring one of Kauai’s many historical museums, the charming Old Koloa Town Historical Center is a good place to start. Learn about the island’s rich historical past as Hawaii’s first sugar plantation through real life artifacts, photographs and memoirs.
A few others we recommend: Grove Farm Homestead & Sugar Plantation Museum, Kauai Museum and Koke’e Natural History Museum. Taking a day to better learn and appreciate the history of Kauai is a fun and rewarding way to help keep the island’s rich ancestry alive.
2. Kauai ATV
If you’re a thrill-seeking adventure enthusiast we recommend checking out Kauai ATV. When it comes to Kauai ATV tours, the wetter the better. With guided explorations available daily on the south side of the island, Kauai ATV will get your heart racing as you explore waterfalls, jungle landscapes, movie locations and a 1/2-mile tunnel through the Ha’upu mountain range.
3. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Poipu is chock-full of amazing boutiques, shops and clothing stores and there’s nothing like a little rain to make the crowds disappear! From the shops along Old Koloa Town to the Poipu Shopping Center and The Shops at Kukuiula, shoppers can “brave” the elements and find some of Kauai’s best jewelry, clothing, artwork and local souvenirs.
4. Dine Out
Let the hardest decision you have to make today be that of what kind of food you’re going to eat. Many south side restaurants (such as Keoki’s Paradise, Tortilla Republic, and the Beach House Restaurant) provide an indoor / outdoor seating area which is perfect for watching passing showers at a warm and dry distance. We recommend trying the local flavor – such as fresh fish with homegrown greens and a handcrafted cocktail to seal the deal. We’ll cheers to that!
5. Treat Yourself
While Mother Nature may be trying to give you a mud bath of her own, a deluxe Spa day might be more your style. From the Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Resort to The Spa at the Koa Kea Hotel, enjoying a luxurious massage or treatment will most definitely keep your rain clouds at bay.
The knowledgeable staff at The Spa at the Koa Kea Hotel and Resort offers a variety of relaxing massages, wraps and facials and their services are even available outside the spa (such as in-suite – perfect for unexpected weather). If you’re looking to experience the tranquil Anara Spa, guests can choose from from lomilomi massages, facials, body treatments and a full hair and nail salon.
6. Stay Inside
Brew yourself a cup of Kauai coffee, get cozy and enjoy the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering outside. Or maybe watch a movie, read a book or try your hand at cooking an authentic Hawaiian meal (using fresh ingredients from the local farmer’s market, of course). Perhaps play a board game with friends and family and simply enjoy one another’s company. Sometimes the best R & R is spent in the comfort of your own home (or better yet- home away from home).
7. Go hiking in a swamp
The Alaka’i swamp in Kokee is a fun trail for the family to not only get some exercise, but to have a lot of muddy fun doing it. A total of 8 miles round trip, the trail empties onto amazing views of Hanalei.
8. Chase Rainbows
Take a refreshing walk along the coast (we recommend the Shipwrecks to Poipu loop) and keep your eyes peeled for magically appearing rainbows. Depending on the weather, taking a walk in the rain can reinvigorate your every sense. The smell of rain mixed with fresh ocean air, the warmth of a tropical breeze against your skin, the sound of rain droplets on the sidewalk and the sight of a magnificent rainbow can almost be too much to handle! It’s an experience you learn to cherish, as our signature rainbows tend to disappear just about as fast as they materialize.
9. Learn The Hawaiian Culture
Immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture. Get a feel for that “Aloha Spirit” everybody keeps talking about. Sign up for one of the many daily classes offered from local establishments (and hotels) teaching specialty classes such as learning how to make authentic flower leis, how to play the Ukulele or even taking a shot at Hula dance lessons. The best possible souvenirs that you can take home from Kauai are the wonderful memories of trying something new.
10. When All Else Fails…Go West!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that while the heavens have opened their floodgates on the rest of Kauai, the west side is as bright and sunny as ever. This side of Kauai is known for offering an exceptionally dry climate (in comparison to the lush north shore). Here visitors can find towns like historic Waimea (Where Captain James Cook first landed), Kekaha and the world-famous Polihale Beach. Deemed one of the most secluded beaches in the world, Polihale is made up of several miles of white sand coastline with only a handful of daily visitors. Take the dirt road out, you won’t be sorry.
While any day on Kauai is a good day, rain or shine, we hope you find these activities helpful on your current or future visit to the island. We look forward to seeing you!