Your Guide to Lawa’i, Kauai

Picture this on a Hawaiian vacation: lush tropical gardens, postcard-worthy views, satisfying local dining options, and a bit of quiet serenity away from the bustling tourist attractions.

That’s what you will find in Lawa’i, a scenic rural community on Kauai offering amazing gardens, beautiful wildlife and plant species, and a small selection of unique shopping and dining attractions for a pleasant mini-getaway during your vacation.

Many travelers pass through Lawa’i enjoying the scenery but without realizing what it fully has to offer; it remains one of the few hidden gems on Kauai, and it is well worth your exploration.

lawa'i kauai things to do

What You Can Find in Lawa’i

This haven in southern Kauai is a quiet tropical community with a few shops, restaurants, and a small village area. Some of the island’s most beautiful gardens are also located toward its southern end.

When you are driving through, this area is the perfect charmer. The scenery is ethereal, pure and spirited. You get a glimpse at true Kauai village life without the big tourist traffic.


Lawa’I has some wonderful food pit stops. Enjoy Hawaiian food and hospitality at Kickshaws (3540 Koloa Rd, Lawai, HI 96741). This mobile food truck specializes in gourmet diner food with a twist. Utilizing sous vide techniques, the truck’s chef has an extensive background in organic farming.

Grab a sweet bite at the Fresh Shave (3540 Koloa Rd, Kalaheo, HI 96741) for some local authentic Hawaiian ice cream with outdoor seating. The shave syrups flavor include Creamsicle, chai tea, acai, and much more.

the fresh shave lawai kauai

You can also find more excellent dining options nearby. Kalaheo Steak and Ribs (4444 Papalina Rd, Kalaheo, HI) is a relaxed rustic chophouse with satisfying steak and meat entrees in a family atmosphere.

Sample the excellent food at the Beach House Restaurant (5022 Lawa’i Rd, Koloa, HI) which overlooks Lawa’i Beach.

beach house restaurant lawai kauai

It is famous for its breathtaking sunset views, as it is one of the only waterfront restaurants along the southern beaches of Kauai. They serve upscale seafood cuisine in a cozy, casual-fine dining environment.

Shopping Pit Stops

The Hawaiian Trading Post (3427 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI) is a splendid little souvenir shop where you can find hand-made jewelry, tropical beachwear, traditional Hawaiian quilting, and other authentic local items.

Here you’re sure to find an intriguing handmade trinket or two to take back home, and don’t forget to take pictures of the giant pineapple in the yard and the vintage cars!

lawai botanical gardens kauai

The Gardens of Lawa’i

The top attraction of Lawa’i may be the McBryde Garden (4425 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756). The garden sits in a valley by the Lawa’i stream. It offers 200 luscious and vibrant tropical acres.

Allerton Garden (4425 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756) is the companion to the McBryde Garden to its west. The garden has extraordinary views of the Pacific, miniature waterfalls, and massive fountains. Guided tours are available for the gardens.

Both of these idyllic gardens are part of the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden group. They have longed sought to protect the natural beauty and majestic energy of Kaui’s gardens.

Lawa’i Beach

Lawa’i Beach is only a few miles away from the village. It’s the definitive beach escape for visitors traversing Kauai’s southern coastline.

It offers incredible snorkeling, surfing, and a chance to see coral and marine life when at low tide. Locals and visitors have spotted the very rare Hawaiian monk seal right on this strip of beach. There is also a high population of turtles in the area.

All of the beaches around the island can shift dramatically with the weather, so always check the daily weather patterns and surf reports before jumping in. You can always ask the lifeguard and find the posted signs.

Lawa’i Beach is incredibly small and laid back, a far cry from the massive beach spans Hawaii is known for. In fact, Lawa’i Beach actually almost disappears when the tide is at its highest, so be sure to check out the beach when the tide is low as the coastline slowly morphs from sand to coral shelves.

The beach has restrooms and showers available for your convenience. The area is never lifeguarded, so take precautions and be responsible.

The beach is renowned for its impressive and dazzling reef. The reef is about 500 feet out from the beach. The further you go, the more you will see. Keep your eyes peeled for tropical fish, feeding turtles, and even some larger marine life. Snorkeling equipment is available for rent at many dive shops around the island.

Learn about our Kauai vacation rentals near Lawa’i by contacting us at 888-822-2403. Visit one of the least densely populated Hawaiian Islands that has maintained its majestic nature and embrace the spirit of adventure for your next romantic getaway.

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