The island of Kauai is the quiet alternative to the busier main island in Hawaii. The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is a stunning example of the rich history and deep-seeded culture that still thrives in many areas of the state.
Kauai is the place to go if you want to have an authentic island experience while enjoying some of the luxurious of Kauai beach rentals. Cascading waterfalls, horseback rides through the lush, green hillside, and epic views of the vast Pacific Ocean at sunset are just a just a few of the attractions that will have you soaking up Hawaii’s natural beauty like a sponge.
To do this, try visiting Kaumakani, a town of about 800 people on the bottom of the island, just west of Hanapepe. So, what is so special about this small Kauai town? At first glance, not much.
The Sights and Sounds of Kaumakani
Kaumakani is actually pretty ordinary. And that’s part of its charm.
Small in both area and population, this coastal town on Kauai is the authentic adventure traveler’s dream. The community has an intimate feel to it, and many small small-scale attractions and experiences within its square-mile radius.
The Kauai Wildlife Reserve, located between the sports field and West Side Variety, houses a variety of native animals and plants. It is a great way to see the wildlife in Hawaii up close and personal. The animals that call the sanctuary home include chameleon, bats, mongoose, and more. Contact the sanctuary to see what kinds of animals they are currently caring for.
If you’re keen to get even further off the beaten track, take a hike to Kaumakani Point or Hoaka Point, both of which are inaccessible by road. These coastal points require a good pair of hiking boots and a little bit of determination, so come prepared. Contact a local travel agency or hiking group for more information before heading into the wilderness.
Authentic Hawaiian Food
There are only a small handful of restaurants in Kaumakani, and they are almost all local.
The best may be Rebecca’s Kitchen (1-0902 Kaumualii Hwy., Kaumakani, HI). It is the real deal when it comes to Filipino food. This small eatery is casual, prompt, and often busy. You get sizable portions of pork, lumpia, mungo beans, squash, and various other specialty meats and sides. The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
There aren’t many places to eat in town, but restaurants and bakeries that do exist are worth every bite. If you still have room after lunch, visit Aloha Sweet Delights (1-2500 Kaumualii Hwy., Kaumakani, HI), an exceptional bakery just down the road. Definitely try the famous Hawaiian buttermilk donuts – this bakery does them really well. If you make your way to this coastal town, you definitely want to indulge in the local specialties.
An Authentic Place to See
What makes Kaumakani authentic is also what ensures it doesn’t become stagnant with tourism.
It is not widely advertised and definitely isn’t the site of any major attractions or a scene from Jurassic Park. It is, however, a real Hawaiian town that’s home to real people, breathtaking sights, little foot traffic, and hundreds of stories worth telling time and time again.