Best of Kauai’s East Side

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.

Best Ahi (Tuna) Recipe from Hukilau Lanai

Try this popular and ono-licious (delicious) dish called Candied Ahi for seared ahi (tuna) prepared at the Hukilau Lanai. It’s made by combining high quality ahi (tuna) with ground coffee, chili, sugar, salt, paprika, garlic, pepper, lime, coconut milk, and chiplote. Yum!

  • 1 TBS kauai coffee beans
  • 2 TBS chili power
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • !.5 TBS granulated garlic
  • I.5 TBS black pepper
  • 1.5 TBS thyme
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 TSP canned chipotle in adobo
  • 8 oz. sashimi quality ahi (tuna)

Puree the coffee beans, salt and sugar in a coffee grinder. Combine with the rest of the spice ingredients. Cube the ahi and coat with the spice ingredients. Sear in a hot pan with a little bit of oil. For the sauce, reduce the coconut milk with canned chipoltes in adobo until thickened.

Top Pick – New Year’s Eve Party

A Roaring Good Time At Oasis On the Beach — Celebrate New Year’s Eve at a beautiful oceanfront setting.  Starting at 10 p.m., show up for dancing and good music, featuring entertainment by DJ Kana and Evan Daniels plus a champagne toast — all in the Roaring 20’s theme. Costumes reflecting the 1920s are encouraged. Want to experience a very special dinner before-hand? Oasis On the Beach is offering a pris-fixe dinner largely made from locally grown and raised foods, including  choice of two appetizers, salad, three different entrées (fresh catch fish, locally raised rib-eye or pork), four sides, and two desserts. A wine flight is available for an additional charge. Oasis On the Beach is located at Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort and situated right on the ocean. For reservations, go to or call 808-822-9332.

Holiday Craft Fairs & Festivals

Looking for that perfect gift with tropical flair? Here are some great holiday craft fairs on the Royal Coconut Coast.

craft fairs kauai,December 28 — First Annual Makaiwa Craft Fair: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Enjoy live music, see local artists and craft makers, find jewelry and accessories, check out local carvings all on the grounds of the Sheraton Kauai at Coconut Beach at its first annual Makaiwa Craft Fair. Head to the left of the hotel to find the Makaiwa tent at the hotel’s luau grounds. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.808-822-3455






December 21 — Craft Fair In Paradise: See Kauai’s vast array of hand crafted products from more than 30 different vendors. Offerings include: clothing, jewelry, heritage Crafts, paintings, photos, and more.  Enjoy local foods and a mini farmer’s market. And with live entertainment this event has something for everyone! Located at Kapaa Beach Park, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.



December 21 —Kapaa Gift Fair: Crafters, makers, and artists from around the island present their wares for the Kapaa Gift Fair on every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at The Kapaa First Hawaiian Church, across from Paniolo Santa Maria Style BBQ Restaurant in downtown Kapaa.  Family friendly.  Kapaa First Hawaiian Church is located at 4-1325 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, 96746.



December 14 — Kauai Made Holly Jolly Holiday Fair in front of the former K-Mart store next to Kukui Grove Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kauai Made is the official organization for Kauai made products and sponsored by Kauai County. This event includes apparel, accessories, art, food, gifts, floral products, jewelry, health and beauty and floral;  food booths and trucks;  Santa from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m.; and entertainment by several groups, and free Kauai Made tags and bags to early birds.


December 7th — National Tropical Botanical Gardens Holiday Craft Fair, at the garden’s south shore visitor center from  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a day of holiday shopping and entertainment featuring Kauai-made products, jewelry, clothing and more. This craft fair will have a variety of food trucks and live entertainment. Plus, take time to enjoy the gardens with tours happening throughout the day.



November 30th — Holiday craft fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  at All Saint’s Episcopal Church and Preschool in Kapaa. This is the first of the season’s holiday craft fairs with craft booths, food booths and a silent auction.

Kauai Travel Tips — Kuleana Videos Unveiled

Four outstanding one-minute videos are now available through YouTube  or via download through the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  Billed as Kauai Travel Tips the videos are designed to educate visitors of their kuleana (responsibilities) when visiting Kauai and to communicate the significant role visitors play in the health of Hawaii’s communities.  Based on community input and the Kauai Visitors Bureau, these videos are intended to provide ways our visitors can respect the ‘Aina (land), the ocean and the culture. Bringing in well-known Kauai residents who live and work around each of their own specialties, titles are Hula with Leinaala Jardin, Land Safety with Kawika Smith, Ocean Safety with Kalani Vierra, and Travel Pono with Sabra Kauka.