“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton
Are you worried about weather reports showing signs of rain during your trip? Or are you worried about unexpected showers that might spoil your much-awaited Kauai vacation?
Kauai is a rainy island and rain is what makes it the lush paradise that attracts thousands of visitors every month.
When you are in Hawaii, it rains during everyone’s trip. Although it rains more on the island, the showers are usually brief and tend to be more at night than during the day.
When it is raining, some parts of your plan may not go as expected. This is the time when you get to experience the simple indoor pleasures on the island which otherwise take a backseat in comparison to the much-sought-after “adventure” stuff.
When interrupted by rain, here are 10 interesting things you can do and still make the most of your time on Kauai.
10 Interesting Things to do in Kauai When it Rains
1. Change Shores
It is a known fact that the wet windward side (north and east) gets more rain than the dry leeward side (south and west) because of trade winds. Focusing a major portion of your travel time on the south and west shores will play out to your advantage during the wet season.
It seldom rains on all parts of the island at once. Since Kauai is a small island, it only takes a short drive to go from one side to another. If it rains when you are on the north shore, head to the drier south or west shores to get the required “outdoor” time.
2. Visit Kauai Museum
Highly rated by the locals and most tourists, the twin buildings of Kauai museum have a wide collection of artifacts that speak volumes about the history and culture of Kauai. The Museum operates with a mission to inspire and promote a sense of appreciation and respect for the indigenous, immigrant people of Kauai and Niihau. Located just across the street from the airport, Kauai Museum is a great opportunity to travel back in time and get to know how the island of Kauai came to be what it is today.
3. Get Yourself a Lomi Lomi Massage
Why not get yourself a therapeutic massage and make the most of your time indoors? Lomi Lomi massage was introduced in Kauai by early Polynesians, who were well-known healers. This age-old Hawaiian tradition is said to give a renewed sense of connection with your body and will be a special part of your Kauai vacation.
4. Try Typical Island Flavors
When rain interferes with your beach-time, the best way to compensate is to binge on tasty Hawaiian food. Try small-town cafes for a bowl of steaming Saimin noodles or the Farmers’ Market for its delicious sugarloaf white pineapple. Even better, visit some of the elegant restaurants on the island for indoor seating and enjoy the oceanside view as the rain pours while you dine.
5. Visit One of Kauai’s Oldest Plantations
In 1986, Kilohana opened its doors to the public. Since then it has grown from 36 acres of charming gardens to a 104-acre visitor destination, including an agricultural park, Plantation Railway, Gaylord’s Restaurant & Mahikō Lounge, Lu’au Kalamaku, Koloa Rum Company, and several gift shops.
After a session of genuine rum tasting at Koloa Rum and a delicious brunch at the Lounge, please take out your time to attend Luau Kalamaku for its enthralling island performances and mouth-watering Hawaiian buffet dinner.
6. Hike the Alakai Swamp Trail
Although it’s an easier hike when the weather is dry, the Alakai Swamp region is seldom free from rain. This simple, yet scenic trail in Kokee State Park is best suited for amateur hikers who seek solitude and have an eye for nature and birdlife. Passing through a rainforest, the trail is lined by boardwalks and stream crossings, leading all the way to the Kilohana Lookout (make sure you follow the right path as the trail splits midway.) The lookout gives a beautiful view of the Wainiha Valley and also Hanalei Bay, provided the clouds don’t block your view.
On your way to the Waimea Canyon you’ll see some amazing waterfalls when it rains!
7. Taste Genuine Island-Grown Coffee
Take the rainy day as an excuse to learn how coffee is brought to your cup from the seed. Kauai Coffee Company in Kalaheo is the largest coffee grower in the U.S and offers free self-guided walking tours of their orchard. You can talk to the friendly guides, shop for gifts from the gift shop and also order samples of different flavors of island-grown coffee to be shipped. After the tour, you can relax on their porch and take in panoramic views of the coffee estate lined by trees stretching all the way up to the sea.
8. Watch a Movie in Waimea Theatre
When it’s raining, get inside your car and start driving towards Waimea. The scenic drive to Waimea can be clubbed with refreshing pit stops for dining and shopping. When in Waimea, watch a refreshing movie in the vintage Waimea Theatre. Started in 1938, the theatre plays movies not played anywhere else on the island and also hosts live shows.
9. See the Gushing Wailua falls
This stream fed twin tiered waterfall featured in the opening credits “Fantasy Island” gushes with all its glory in the rain. This is the time when Wailua Falls is at its peak and puts up a brilliant display for visitors. The fact that this is one of the easily accessible falls on the island makes it even more appealing during the wet season.
10. Whale Watching Season
Winter is the time when it rains in Kauai and this is the time when the island is full of whale activity. Whale watching boat tours do not mind the rain unless there is a risk of thunderstorms and rough ocean conditions. If your boat tour gets canceled, there are ample whale watching points on different parts of the island to watch the magnificent creatures in all their glory.
Summary and Infographic
Rain is not at all a bad thing when you are in Kauai. Since June to August is peak season on the island, visiting during the wet season will be easy on your pockets and allows breathing space due to less crowd. Keeping a rain jacket and a good pair of rainy shoes should help you deal with unexpected showers when outdoors. We sincerely hope that the simple indoor activities listed above will give you a memorable Kauai vacation.