Best of Kauai’s East Side

Know Before You Go — Pre Tests and Arrival Expectations

Kupaa Kauai Hawaii now allows visitor arrivals without having to quarantine, with proof of being COVID free via an FDA-approved NAAT PCR nasal swab test within 72 hours of arrival.  The results must be uploaded  as a PDF (not a photo) on the State’s Safe Travels Program . Check out the approved pre-test providers here. More guidelines are also provided provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Anyone who has not uploaded their test results MUST quarantine until the State’s Safe Travels Program gives them the approval. Due to the volume of pending tests, this may take 2-3 days to be reviewed.

Travelers may take a voluntary second test 72 hours after arrival. The cost, $150, is counter-balanced with a $150 certificate from a participating Kauai business.

In addition to the test results, travelers to Hawaii must undergo a health screening process and temperature checks upon arrival. Before boarding their flights, they must fill out travel and health forms, which will provide a QR code to speed up the arrivals process. In addition Kauai County has four-tiered criteria for tightening restrictions, depending upon the number of active cases. See Mayor’s Rule #19 at

Keep Kauai Open — Wear a Mask. Visitors must conform to strict mask guidelines (on all islands) wearing masks covering nose and mouth in all buildings, lobbies, check-in areas and outdoors when approaching, passing by or being near another person. Activity companies, restaurants, shops, services, hotels, inns, and condominium resorts require masks in all public areas. Not wearing a mask is considered disrespectful of our local residents and other visitors. Kauai’s medical resources and large population of Kupuna (older generation) continue to be guarded against proliferation of COVID-19 — a devastating scenario on an island where medical facilities are limited.

For more travel alert information, go to

For updates from Kauai’s Mayor, Derek Kawakami, go here: Our Mayor has set up rules and guidelines for visitors and local residents on Kauai, which mirror statewide mandates from Hawaii’s Governor Ige.


Top Picks for Dining Out on the Royal Coconut Coast










Here are the top picks for eating out at seven restaurants on the the Royal Coconut Coast. All also offer take-out.

The Bull Shed:  5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week, 4-796 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, (808) 822-3791

Coconuts Fish Cafe: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, 4-831 Kuhio Highway #420, Kapaa, (808) 320-3138

Haole Girl Island Sweets:  Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., 934 B Kipuni Way, Kapaa,  (808) 822-2253,

Hukilau Lanai:  Thursday through Sunday 5:30-8:30, 520 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, (808) 822-0600

Shivalik Indian Cuisine:  11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. 7 days a week, 4-771 Kuhio Highway Suite 109, Kapaa, (808) 821-2333

Papaya’s Natural Foods and Cafe: Dining outside 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, 4-901 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, (808) 823-0190

Taps & Hops Eatery : Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday (closed on Wednesdays), 4-885 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, (808) 378-4199

Also on the Royal Coconut Coast, yet to open are: Sams Oceanview Grill and Bar, Lemongrass Grill, Oasis On the Beach, Lava Lava Beach Club and restaurants at Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay and Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach.


Top Ideas for Kauai Giving

Right now Kauai’s highest priority is for its residents, helping out-of-work families make ends meet, feeding the hungry and providing resources to keep everyone safe (and fed) until Kauai can welcome visitors back. If you’re a Kauai fan and want to help support our kama‘aina (local residents) face their challenges, here are two key organizations working continually to serve Kauai folks. Donations are highly appreciated.

The Kauai Independent Food Bank is contributing food to countless community meal distribution projects during this time of COVID-19 restrictions. Kauai’s Food Bank is committed to providing emergency food to vulnerable members of the community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those already facing hunger every day. Currently many of Kauai’s residents are laid off or their hours are severely cut back. Learn more about the measures being taken and how you can help. or contact Kevin Moniz, Executive Director,, 808-846-3809.


Aloha Later: Kauai’s hotels and condominium resorts have laid off almost all of their staff until Kauai is considered safe enough to welcome visitors.  The Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation is raising funds to go towards relief for furloughed hospitality workers and their families, and also support  initiatives that benefit first responders, as well as other community nonprofits providing critical services during this pandemic.  Purchasing the Aloha Later Ribbon for $20 provides  1 redemption code, which will be sent by mail. The code can be used during a future Hawaii vacation to redeem 1 discount per participating vendor, based on the offer from participating businesses.  Check out Where to Redeem.  Almost 75 resorts, restaurants, activities, car rentals and others are honoring credits, once it’s considered safe to return. Buy your Aloha Later Ribbon by calling 808-234-7245 to speak with a friendly Aloha Later volunteer, receive an immediate coupon code, and confirm your mailing address. They will quickly mail you your ribbon and coupon.

Future Booking Policies at Kauai’s East Side Resorts

Now is not the time to travel to Hawaii,  though a number of top properties  on the Royal Coconut Coast have revised their cancellation policies for future bookings after COVID-19 is gone. Many are offering 24 hours advance notice for cancellation or refund of advance payment. Check out the cancellation policies linked at each property, and make plans for later this year, with flexibility. First check, however, with Kauai’s latest COVID-19 advisories and regulations.


•  Aqua Aston Islander on the Beach,

• Fern Grotto Inn,

• Hilton Garden Inn at Wailua Bay

• Hotel Coral Reef (email,

• Kaha Lani Resort,

Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy, call 808-822-3441

• Kauai Kailani

• Kauai Shores Hotel, call (808) 822-4951

• Plantation Hale Suites

• Pono Kai Resort

* Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort

• The ISO Hotel





Best Family Friendly Ideas

Ride the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Bike trail: Great for all ages, The Ke Ala Hele Makalae bike path starts at Lihi Park in Kapaa and follows shoreline for 3.8 miles ending at Ahihi Point, just past Donkey Beach. There is also a 2.5 mile section at Lydgate Beach Park. This incredible path is available to walkers, joggers, roller bladders, bikers, and is safe for families and strollers. Rentals, including small children trailers are available at Coconut Coasters and Hele On Kauai Bike Rentals.

Take a cruise aboard Smith’s Riverboat Cruises This is a fun and informative excursion for all ages on Kauai’s gorgeous Wailua River. See this amazing river’s scenery, take the short walk up to the famed Fern Grotto, learn legends, lore, dance and song.

Go for a hike: Enjoy mild easy walks at the Keahua Arboretum, the easier ascent at Nounou Mountain, or walking our shoreline trails. These provide wonderful ways for families of all ages to experience Kauai’s extraordinary scenery by foot. Check out the east side trails here.

Snorkel at Lydgate Beach Park: Protected swimming and snorkeling is found and enjoyed by residents and visitors at this extensive park. There is a lifeguard on duty 7 days a week, picnic pavilions and restrooms.  The swimmming/snorkeling lagoon is surrounded by rock barriers. Perfect for families of all ages.

Hang out at a couple of awesome playgrounds: Kauai’s largest children’s playground, Kamalani, spreads out among lawn and shade trees at Lydgate Park. This wooden structure was built by the community and is maintained by community volunteers. Further west is the Kamalani Kai play structure at the end of the multi-use path. This is fun series of wooden walkways and alcoves designed for your kids entertainment.

Try new kid’s foods: Many eateries on the Royal Coconut Coast include something with local style on their kid’s menus, including teriyaki chicken at The Bull Shed, grilled mahimahi at Coconuts Fish Cafe or the “Catch This” at Hukilau Lanai. Bring a set of training chopsticks for your little ones for a fun meal.