When you plan your vacation to Kaua‘i, it’s unlikely that you’re envisioning yourself relaxing…on a rainy day. Kaua‘i, however, gets a lot of rain, especially on the windward Hanalei side. Here are a couple of ways to turn a rainy day into one of the best of your vacation.
“We don’t even have to look outside to know whether it’s raining,” says Kauai Museum Director Chucky Boy Chock. “We can tell by the number of visitors. When people leave, they comment that they’re glad it rained, because they otherwise might have missed us.”
Visitors to one of the “best little museums in the world,” as it’s been called, have an opportunity to learn the rich, fascinating and controversial history of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i’s royal families. “King Kaumuali‘i is the star here,” says Chock. “He is the biggest difference between us and other island museums.
“Long before the small group of non-native Hawaiians plotted the overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1893, which set in motion the annexation of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1898, there was Kaua‘i’s fight for independence in the early 1800s,” explains Chock. “Our amazing team of volunteers walk our guests through the preserved artifacts from the infamous ship Ha‘ahei o Hawai‘i, the luxury vessel King Kamehameha II used to capture King Kaumuali‘i. Smithsonian archaeologists excavated the Hanalei Bay shipwreck nearly two centuries later and have donated most of the rare discoveries to the museum.”
Less than half a mile from the museum is iconic Hilo Hattie. The 13,000-square-foot store carries the largest selection of Hawai‘i-made goods and apparel on the islands. In addition to their famous aloha fashions, you’ll find jewelry, bath and body products, footwear and island edibles. Visiting Hilo Hattie is one of those “must-do” stops for visitors. They’re also well respected by residents, having been voted as the “Best Place for Hawaiian Fashion” every year since 2001.
If you’re planning a family vacation photo, you’ll want to check out their family matching fashion. And if you spend $80 you’ll get a free pearl pendant with necklace and microfiber towel—but you gotta bring the coupon in the back of the book!
Not a bad rainy day after all, huh?
For rainy day activities on our other islands, click one of the below links:
[A version of this story appears in the December 2019-February 2020 print editions of This Week Kaua‘i]
Keywords: rainy day activities kauai kauai things to do rain rainy day fun kauai stay dry Hawaiian history