Welcome to my experience with the best things to do in Kauai when the rain comes article! My boyfriend and I have been coming to Hawaii for years and learned a few tricks about how to make the most of our time despite unexpected weather changes.
Rain may be the last thing on your mind when planning a perfect getaway in Hawaii, but you definitely should not forget that Kauai is known as the ‘rainy isle.’ It’s prone to frequent rain showers throughout the year, though they usually don’t last long. So don’t fret; there are still plenty of fun activities out there!
The island is chock-full of museum and gallery tours, great places to eat, sheltered cruises, mud hikes – the list goes on. Get ready to lose yourself in an adventure regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you – so dance in the rain with me!
Drive Around the Island for a Dry Spot
While Kauai’s North Shore is often overcast and wet, the West, East, and South sides stay dry due to the island’s micro-climate. There are terrific beaches, waterfalls, and towns to wander in, so whenever it rains, pack a few essentials in your rental car and drive around till you find dry land.
Some great places you can stop include Polihale Beach on the West side, one of the most secluded beaches on Kauai. And Poipu Beach Park in the South is a great family beach for swimming in the calm waters and walking the soft sands.
Drive by the gorgeous Waimea Canyon, through its winding roads and scenic lookout points, and stop to hike the canyon’s depths. If you drive further along the road, there’s Koke’e State Park, with equally stunning views and valleys to explore.
Also, head to Kapaa Town to shop in its markets and grab a bite from local eateries. Another great activity is exploring independent art galleries in Hanapepe, where local artists sell beautiful pieces.
We love driving through the towns and valleys in Kauai; whether the day is rainy or sunny, Kauai’s shores deserve a visit.
- The shops in Kapaa sell souvenirs and locally-made handicrafts at great prices.
- Kekaha Beach is an amazing place to enjoy a day in the sun.
- Koke’e State Park has a museum on its grounds, with detailed displays and information about the island and surrounding areas.
Take a River Cruise
Wailua River is the state’s only navigable river and a hotspot for kayakers, paddle boarders, and cruises. In addition, there are many independent cruise trips going through the river that you can take, and they run during the rain.
Our favorite is the Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto, run by the Smith family for years and a perfect rainy day activity as they have sheltered cruises. The trip provides gorgeous views of the river, made all the more fun by singing and hula dancing by the friendly staff.
The destination, Fern Grotto, is a beautiful place lush with greenery and animals roaming the grounds. You can explore the cave, surrounding tropical gardens and even feed peacocks.
You’ll love exploring this side of Kauai when it rains, as the river looks even more beautiful.
- The tour runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 8.30 am to 4 pm.
- This is a fun and family-friendly activity that kids can enjoy.
- The tour costs $25 per person.
Visit a Museum
Kauai has a rich history preserved through museums on the island, showcasing different aspects of the past. Visit the Kauai Museum in Lihue, which displays stories of the original settler populations of Kauai and Ni′ihau. The museum also has texts from the time of Kamehameha, placed in a newly-built library next to the main museum building.
Head to Grove Farm Sugar Plantation, which shows the sugar plantations and their workers that were once a major source of Hawaii’s economy. The museum is built on an old plant where you can see the original family homestead, the worker’s quarters, and beautiful gardens.
Other great museums include the Old Koloa Town Museum, which showcases island artifacts, photographs, and memoirs.
Exploring the island’s history is a must-visit for anyone coming to Kauai and a great way to spend a rainy day.
- The museums’ gift shops sell merchandise, guidebooks, and souvenirs.
- The Grove Farms require on-call reservations before a visit.
- The Kauai Museum has a $15 admission fee, and Grove Farms requires a $20 donation per person.
Enjoy Indoor Activities at Your Hotel
Since Kauai’s rains are a major part of the island, hotels stay prepared to entertain guests. Most places offer indoor activities like Hawaiian art classes for guests, where you can learn a skill like playing a traditional instrument or making a lei.
A tourist favorite lesson is making scented leis, where you combine different flowers and make adornments for the hands, head, ankles, and neck.
Some great family-friendly activities that anyone can partake in are group hula lessons and learning Hawaiian songs on the Ukulele. The best part is that instructors are locals who are experts at these classes and give great tips.
In addition, you can opt for a spa day at your hotel or head to the Koloa Landing Resort’s well-equipped spa. They offer a terrific mud treatment that’s great for your skin and leaves you feeling refreshed.
The many indoor activities at your accommodations can keep you occupied for hours, and the overcast sky will be clear before you’re done.
- Classes like lei-making will let you keep the fruits of your labor, as the leis stay fresh for days.
- Most classes in hotels have reasonable prices.
- The Koloa Resort offers a Mauka to Makai skin treatment, including organic materials for detoxification.
Enjoy a Coffee Tasting at Kauai Coffee Company
There’s no better way to enjoy a rainy day than with a hot (or cold) cup of coffee. And what better place to enjoy it than the largest coffee farm in the US?
Kauai Coffee Company cultivates more than four million coffee bushes annually and allows you to explore lush coffee farms while enjoying a delicious brew.
You can take a free, self-guided tour of the grounds and get treated with free samples of different coffee varieties. An expert attendant makes the brews which are so rich and delicious!
You can also take an hour-long guided tour of the grounds followed by a lesson with the attendants where they explain how to pick coffee according to your liking and the best ways to make it.
Visiting the Kauai Coffee Company is a fun way to spend a rainy day in Kauai and taste excellent coffee.
- There’s a gift shop that sells cute Kauai Coffee Co. souvenirs and different flavored bags of their roasted grounds.
- There’s a cafe and snack bar inside where you can enjoy a tasty lunch with coffee.
- The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about their coffee.
Shop and Eat in Town
Kauai has lively towns filled with shopping centers and local eateries selling delicious food. Head to Old Koloa Town where there’s plenty of local stores selling island fare, clothes, and street food like shaved ice.
For more extensive retail therapy, try Poipu Shopping Village, which boasts art galleries, gift stores, boutiques, and restaurants. In addition, they have Whalers Village (a local convenience store) with a variety of grocery items, a Starbucks, and local cafes serving pizzas, Thai, and Chinese food.
Some great island flavors you have to try include loco moco, a meaty plate lunch served with beef, eggs, rice, and gravy, Hawaiian hotdogs topped with lilikoi mustard and coconut relish (yum!), and a guava shortbread with macadamia nuts.
The shops in Kauai offer shelter from the rain and a great opportunity to load up on island goodies.
- You can find the best poke on street stalls in Kauai, made from fresh catch.
- Most places in Kauai are reasonably priced, and locals will negotiate fairly.
Winding Up: Things to do in Kauai When it Rains
A rainy day is a golden opportunity in Kauai (and knowing Kauai’s climate, you’ll have plenty). You can take a break from beaches and hiking trails to see the gorgeous towns and their fun activities. Walk through museums such as the Kauai Museum and bookstores for hours, take cruises, go shopping and eat yummy food.
We love Kauai in all seasons and recommend people to come here year long, as there’s plenty to do. This is why visiting Kauai, even during the rainy season, is such an amazing experience. You’ll find lots of unique Kauai rainy day activities to enjoy.
Looking for what to do in Kauai when it rains? The answer is simply everything!
What can you do in Kauai in bad weather?
There’s tons of fun stuff to do indoors when the weather gets overcast in Kauai. You can take classes like lei, making, hula dancing, or playing the Ukulele at your hotel. And if you’re already out, head to the nearest town to explore its local markets and eateries.
What is the rainiest month in Kauai?
Kauai gets rain all year round, but they’re most frequent from November – December, all the way to March, which are prime Winter months in Kauai. This is the heart of Kauai’s rainy season.
What to do in Princeville when it rains?
There are many ways to enjoy a rainy day in Princeville, like heading to Princeville Botanical Gardens for a day amongst nature, browsing its shopping center, and exploring art galleries. Consider exploring the local Hawaiian culture by attending a lūʻau or enjoying some live music. Alternatively, indulge yourself at a nearby resort with a relaxing lomilomi massage or visit the Grove Farm Museum to learn more about Kauai’s sugarcane plantation history.
Are there any fun activities for kids during rainy days in Lihue?
During rainy days in Lihue, opt for indoor family-friendly adventures such as visiting the cultural displays at Kilohana Plantation or joining cooking classes that focus on traditional Hawaiian dishes. Kids will love sea-life related activities at the Hyatt Aquarium and experimenting with delicious chocolate tastings from locally grown ingredients.
Can you enjoy Waimea Canyon even when it’s raining in Kauai?
Waimea Canyon remains an amazing experience even during rain showers since the canyon showcases its lush greenery and beauty regardless of weather conditions. Moreover, Mount Wialeale thrives under wet season circumstances; therefore don’t hesitate adding this adventure to your itinerary bucket list while exploring Hawaii’s garden isle during rainfall periods.
Which tropical indoor activities are worth considering on a rainy afternoon around Poipu shore?
In the Poipu Shore area, try escaping the downpour within Coconut Marketplace where you can shop alongside locals selling handmade crafts and participating in rum-tasting experiences. At Kauai Coffee Estate – believe me – savoring fruity Kauai Blue Mountain coffee amongst their vast plantations is also delightful!
Cruising: Is a boat tour still enjoyable despite less-than perfect weather conditions while discovering Hanalei steam locomotive route?
Yes! Venturing out across breathtaking locales like Hanalei Bay via ocean boat tours remains captivating regardless of dreary weather. So wrap up in a jacket, wear flip-flops, and immerse yourself in the Aloha spirit while you marvel at Kauai’s lush environment!
What unique cultural experiences can complement your vacation time during wet season on North Shore, Kauai?
During the wet season in the picturesque North Shore, plan enriching visits to places like Waiʻoli Mission District or make a trip exploring taro farming traditions in the beautiful Hanalei Valley. Furthermore, embark on an incredible journey to surrounding Aleurites moluccanus orchards and unveiling stories about Hawaiian island roots today!
Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Brigitte