The oldest of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is a mature vacation destination in more ways than one. Young adults, tourists, vacationers and couples can live luxurious and adventurous lives by day. The Kauai resort coast is filled with accommodations, amenities and beach options, and outdoor enthusiasts can hike, bike and drive their way to veritable tropical paradises in the mountains.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down in this popular vacation destination. There’s plenty Kauai night life can offer. Whether you want live music, club dancing, a fancy dining room or late-night bars, the island caters to your needs.
Top 5 Kauai Night Life Spots
The Garden Island is home to establishments where local musicians jam, bars ideal for trivia night and restaurants where you can get local brews. It’s hard to pick just five locations to highlight for night life in Kauai, but we’ve rounded up a few places where you can start. The best nightlife on the island starts here.
Rob’s Good Times Grill
Late-night live music is available at the Good Times Grill on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, and the whole family can enjoy trivia night on Thursdays. Patrons can enjoy a full food menu, microbrews by Kauai Island Brewing Co., other local brews, wine and signature Hawaiian cocktails.
Tiki Iniki serves a full lunch and dinner menu. It’s one of the late-night bars where you can get something to eat, including fish and chips, pot stickers and hot wings. Happy hour is from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the bar is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Happy hour specials include well drinks, cocktails, beer and wine.
The Hanalei Gourmet
For families or couples looking for a late bite to eat without too much of a party, the Hanalei Gourmet seats guests for dinner as late as 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The restaurant is only open for a half day on Friday and is closed on Saturdays. Happy hour is from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes $1 off liquor and wine, 50 cents off beer and $4 select drafts.
Keoki’s Paradise serves dinner from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. This fine-dining establishment is ideal for a couples date night in Kauai, and the menu includes fresh fish and seafood, steaks and numerous island favorites. There’s also a kids’ menu so the whole family can dine together, and adults may enjoy the extensive drink menu. Those who’ve enjoyed the best nightlife the island has to offer may appreciate the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. brunch served on Saturday and Sunday.
While eating and drinking at a popular restaurant is great, there’s no live entertainment like an island luau. Purchase an experience at Luau Kalamaku for great food, Hawaiian music and authentic entertainment. Couples and vacationers who want open-air dining, music and premier seating at the show can opt for the Plantations Owners Evening, which includes a four-course dinner.
Transportation Options for Nightlife on Kauai
If you’re on the island for select nights and want to live to your fullest, you’re probably not worried about driving. Many visitors to the island don’t have a car, and while you can rent one, Kauai offers plenty of public transportation options that let you meander from spot to spot.
You can get an all-day bus pass for $5, though that’s not the fastest way to get around. Ride-share options such as Lyft and Uber are available, and you can also rent bikes or scooters to zip around on. If you’re planning on hitting the bar and enjoying drinks, operate bikes, scooters and mopeds responsibly!
You can also book options like the Aloha Shuttle, which offers hop-on, hop-off service in popular areas.
Embracing the Laid-Back Kauai Style
In most cases, cool and casual is the style to emulate while you lounge around Kauai. Sandals and flip-flops, shorts and tees — these are the normal attire for many locations. Use common sense and do a bit of research before you visit a restaurant, though. If it’s a fancy dining establishment, enjoy the opportunity to dress up a bit.
Wherever you go, mind some basic manners. Don’t wear your shoes into someone’s home, don’t take a lei off in the presence of the person who gave it to you and pick up your trash.
Local Events and Festivals
Break away from the bar scene and live it up like the locals by attending top festivals and local events on the island. Some popular options include:
- Koloa Plantation Days, which takes place in July and includes Hawaiian music, local food and a rodeo
- Waimea Town Celebration, which takes place in February and offers plenty of local cultural demonstrations, good food and beverages, and another rodeo
- Lei Day, which is celebrated on May 1 annually at the Kauai Museum
- Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, which takes place in September and includes music and hula competitions and a lei contest
Make the Most of Your Kauai Night Life Experience
Plan your night out in Kauai by checking the weather to decide what you should wear and whether it will be an indoor or outdoor evening. When you park your rental car in Kauai, roll up the windows. Even if the forecast was clear, it can rain without notice on the island. Always lock your car for safety as well.
If you’re not driving, plan ahead to ensure you can get public transportation along your planned route. That’s especially important if you plan on visiting various locations across the island. You’ll need a reliable way to get from the west side to the east side to enjoy ocean views and spectacular food and beverages all around.