Don't let rainy days get you down on Kauai. The Carpenters sang how "Rainy Days and Mondays” always got them down, but on the island of Kauai, Monday's are always just fine and there's no reason why you can't find fun things to do on a rainy day also. After all, it's the rain that makes Kauai the Garden Island of Hawaii.
Here are some fun things to do even when it's wet outside.
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If you’re staying on Kauai's North Shore or its eastern Coconut Coast and it's raining, there's a pretty good chance that there will be some areas along the island's southern shore or western areas where the sun is shining. In fact, the town of Waimea, which is the gateway to Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, averages only about 20% of the annual rainfall that you'll find up in Princeville on the North Shore.
In this area between Maha'ulepu Beach and Waimea, you'll find great beaches such as Poipu Beach and one of my personal favorites, Salt Pond Beach Park near Hanapepe. If you're not looking for a beach, you can visit Prince Kuhio Park, Spouting Horn or tour one of the gardens in the nearby National Tropical Botanical Garden.
You're sure to have fun wandering through one of more of the area's historic towns such as Koloa, Hanapepe or Waimea. Just be sure to stop for a shave ice at Jo-Jo's Clubhouse if you go to Waimea.
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Visit the Kauai Museum
If you want to be sure to stay dry, head into Lihue and visit the Kauai Museum.
It's a moderate size museum which you can easily enjoy in just a couple of hours. Their permanent collection includes "The Story of Kauai" a wonderful set of exhibits tracing the history of Kauai and its people.
The Juliet Rice Wichman Heritage Gallery features rare koa bowls and rare Ni'ihau shell lei as well as possessions that once belonged to the rulers of Kauai.
The museum's Oriental Art Gallery features rare Asian art, china, paintings and sculpture that belong to some of the oldest families on Kauai. The museum is open daily except Sunday and admission is only $10 for adults.
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Take a River Cruise
I'm serious. One of the most memorable things I did on a rainy day on Kauai was to take a trip down the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto on a Smith's Fern Grotto Wailua River Cruise.
The boats are covered so you'll stay dry and you're likely to find smaller crowds, so you'll be sure to enjoy the personal attention and fun entertainment on the way back down the river.
While the Fern Grotto itself isn't what it once was, due to storm damage in 2006, it's getting better every year and it's still a beautiful place to visit in the rain or sun.
The cost is just $20 per adult and you can book online to save 10%.
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Get Your Shopping Done
There's going to be some point during your vacation when you need to do some shopping either for friends and relatives back home or for yourself.
On the North Shore you're just minutes away from Hanalei town which has several stores featuring unique and fun items. One of my favorite stores is Yellowfish Trading Company which has a great selection of old and new Hawaiiana.
Along the Coconut Coast, Kapaa Town has a number of shops right along the highway. The Coconut MarketPlace features about 20 shops in an open-air shopping environment.
My favorite shopping destination on Kauai is the relatively new Shops at Kukui`ula, located about half was between Poipu Beach and Spouting Horn. If you're looking for art, Hanapepe Town has some of the best galleries on the island.