Kauai for Families

Photo by Michele Bigley

The ABCs to keep tots and teens happy

At A Glance

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Kauai makes a perfect destination for families. With her stunning beaches, natural treasures just steps from the road, and kid-friendly restaurants, multi-generational travelers will find the Garden Isle easy to get to know. Whether you’re vacationing with tots, tweens, teens, or adult children, Kauai’s caters to all palates.

Where to Stay
Families looking for a sunny tropical vacation should stay on the sunny south shore. Parrish Kauai rents some of the area’s most interesting condos and houses.

Another option for families (especially those with young children) is to stay in Kapa’a to minimize excessive driving to attractions. Rosewood rents a collection of oceanfront condos in the area.

On the North Shore, bed down in the Hanalei Colony Resort, a fun condo complex perched on the sea, with a summer camp feel, no TVs and limited Wi-fi access.

Kids will appreciate the luxuries of the modern world after a tour of the Kamokila Hawaiian Village. From here hop in a kayak to explore the Wailua River’s hidden waterfalls. Or if the ocean’s more your style, explore the Na Pali cliffs and the wealth of sea life with Holo Holo catamaran tours.

Families with children over seven, book Outfitter’s Kauai’s thrilling zipline and waterfall tour. The cap your adventure off with traditional shave ice at JoJo’s.

On the way to play on the North Shore beaches, pop over to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Reserve to observe the nesting albatrosses. Kids get an interactive booklet to try to spot the Hawaiian state bird (the nene), details of the lighthouse, and hopefully whales spouting in the distance. Afterwards stop in Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza for a quick slice of pizza and sweet treat.

Want to keep the kiddos entertained for hours? There’s no better place than the beach. Take advantage of Poipu Beach’s enclosed lava-rock swimming area and surf breaks for all levels. In Kapa’a, families flock to Lydgate Park to swim in the sea and flex their muscles on the playground. On the North Shore, spend an afternoon wading in the pristine blue waters of ‘Anini Beach, or surf Hanalei Bay.

Where to Eat
In general, most restaurants welcome families. Kapa’a’s Kauai Pasta, Olympic Cafe, and Kintaro are good bets for consistently good eats. Though expensive, Hanalei Dolphin and the downstairs cafe at Merriman’s cater to finicky younger taste buds.