Getting lost with your kids in Kauai


That’s Kauai. But that’s not all there is to it. Behind that postcard facade there’s a funky island that your kids can connect with. Ours did.

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You can probably imagine what happened next. The sedate retail floor became a playground for three caffeinated children. At some point, if I’m not mistaken, they decided to chase a chicken, because there are chickens everywhere in Kauai. The only thing that would have made it worse was a puppy or two. We were spared.

For what it’s worth, Kauai’s coffee is really good. Even the kids liked it.

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Kauai is known for its historic sugar plantations, and the one we visited came with its own railroad. The Kauai Plantation Railway offers two tours: a short tour that takes you around the old plantation by rail, and a longer one that includes a guided hike on the property and lunch. If you’ve ever wondered what sugar cane looks like, how its grown and processed, you don’t want to miss the longer tour. The most fun part – at least for the kids – came at the end, when our guide brought us to the mango and starfruit groves, and allowed us to pick and sample some of the fruit.

Kauai is the kind of place you could get lost in. Once the kids are older, I’ll bring my hiking boots and backpack and set off into the rainforests to discover the real island. But you don’t have to rough it if you want to get authentic. Just take your kids to some of the attractions, and you’ll see things they won’t show you in any tourism brochures.

And you’ll thank them for it – once the caffeine buzz has worn off.