Top Events

Waimea Town Celebration, February

Prince Kuhio Celebration, March

Coconut Festival, October

‘Kauaʻi Style’ Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, November

Homegrown Music Festival, November

January

As the mercury dips a bit and the holidays float into the rearview, Kauaʻi experiences a mild tourist exodus and hotel prices drop, even as humpback whales continue to dazzle.

Princeville Night Market

The first monthly Princeville Night Market offers original art and handicrafts, tasty snacks, locally roasted coffee and live music. It’s held on the second Sunday of every month.

Art Night in Hanapepe

Hanapepe's deservedly popular weekly Art Night is held every Friday of the year. Galleries and shops keep their doors open late, food vendors descend and there is music in the air. It's the best time and place to experience this historic little town.

Kapaʻa Art Walk

On the first Saturday of every month from 5pm to 8pm, Old Town Kapaʻa celebrates and showcases island artists and artisans during the Kapaʻa Art Walk. Expect live music, food trucks and a block party atmosphere.

February

Winter means nights cool enough to cuddle up, big surf, and whales still blowing offshore. Hotels and restaurants book up well in advance of Valentines Day. Presidents Weekend brings a tourist influx too.

Waimea Town Celebration

The Westside comes alive during the annual Waimea Town Celebration in mid-February. There's lei-making and hula-dancing competitions, food, craft and game booths, a beer garden, a canoe race and a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) rodeo. It's the perfect time for a family visit.

E Pili Kakou i Hoʻokahi Lahui

Featuring instruction from some of Hawaii's top kumu hula (teachers of hula), the E Pili Kakou i Hoʻokahi Lahui is a two-day retreat held in late February.

March

High surf season winds down on the North Shore, though wind and rain can still taunt and bring heavy swells. Mainland's spring break baits families to Kauaʻi's beaches en masse.

Prince Kuhio Celebration

The two-week long Prince Kuhio Celebration honors Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, known for his efforts to revitalize Native Hawaiian culture during his lifetime. Events include hula, an outrigger canoe race, an international spearfishing tournament and a rodeo, as well as Hawaiian spiritual ceremonies.

Garden Isle Artsian Fair

The first instalment of the thrice-annual Garden Isle Artisan Fair brings out artisans and their handicrafts, live Hawaiian music and local food.

April

The weather and water warms up, more spring breakers descend and Easter is in the air. There are no major events on, but Easter Sunday services are held in churches across the island.

May

May is a wonderful time to experience Kauaʻi as tourist season hits a short lull in advance of the busy summer season. North Shore waters are more serene and the weather is often perfect.

May Day Lei Contest & Fair

Simple strings of plumeria (frangipani) are mere child’s play next to the floral masterpieces entered in Lihuʻe's annual May Day Lei Contest.

Banana Poka Round-Up

Part invasive eradication effort, part handicraft fair, folks gather in gorgeous Kokeʻe State Park to remove the South American banana poka vine, which they weave into baskets. Come for live music, a rooster-crowing contest and the 'Pedal to the Meadow' bicycle race.

June

Summer is here, the beaches are packed and the north and west shore are placid as can be. It's a great time to swim, snorkel and dive on Kauaʻi.

Taste of Hawaii

Known as the ‘Ultimate Brunch Sunday,’ Wailua's Taste of Hawaii is a casual affair showcasing 40 chefs from around Hawaii holding down gourmet food booths and serving endless samples. Ample live music too.

July

High surf rolls onto the South Shore, while the whole island generally sees consistent sunshine. Summertime is sweet on the Garden Island.

Koloa Plantation Days

Koloa Plantation Days is a family-friendly, nine-day fair celebrating the history of the South Shore with a parade, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) rodeo, traditional Hawaiian games, Polynesian dancing and plenty of 'talk story' about old times.

Fourth of July Concert in the Sky

Enjoy island food, live entertainment and the grand finale fireworks at the Fourth of July Concert in the Sky at Vidinha Stadium.

August

Summer crowds are at their most populous, but there's plenty of ocean and beach space and lots of parties, too.

Kauaʻi Sand Festival

Sand castles, sand castles, who doesn't love sand castles? You'll be clicking and posting like a school kid when you behold these magnificent sculptures on Hanalei Bay.

Music & Mango Festival

A late-summer celebration of locally harvested food (yes, the mango looms large) and live music on the nonprofit Waipa Foundation's farmlands on the outskirts of Hanalei.

Garden Isle Artisan Fair

The second edition of the thrice-annual artisan fair blooms in Old Town Kapaʻa.

Heiva I Kauaʻi Ia Orana Tahiti

Imagine dance troupes from as far away as Tahiti and Japan joining mainland US and local Hawaiian dancers for a Tahitian dancing and drumming competition at Kapaʻa Beach Park. Yeah, best to plan your schedule accordingly.

Kauaʻi County Farm Bureau Fair

An old-fashioned county fair blooms at Vidinha Stadium in late August. Think: carnival rides and games, livestock shows, a petting zoo, hula performances and lots of local food.

September

Summer crowds dissipate and ideal weather conditions usually prevail. When they don't, double rainbows will cheer you up.

Kauaʻi Composer’s Contest & Concert

Encouraging the island’s up-and-coming talent to show their skills, the Kauaʻi Composers Contest & Concert is held at Kauaʻi Community College Performing Arts Center.

Kauai Marathon

A popular road race on the South Shore, the Kauai Marathon also features a short-course half marathon. Locals pack the streets to cheer on (or heckle) their (suffering) friends.

Kauaʻi Mokihana Festival Hula Competition

Three days of serious hula competitions are staged at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. If you've been wanting to watch dancers perform without the luau kitsch, this is your best option.

October

The best month in the year to travel almost anywhere, and especially here. The weather is lovely, crowds are thin on the ground and hotel prices drop significantly.

Coconut Festival

The two-day Coconut Festival held at Kapaʻa Beach Park in early October offers entertainment, exhibits, games, contests and cooking demonstrations all revolving around the coco. Live music and hula dancing too.

Fall Festival

For 16 years the Kauai Christian Academy has hosted a Fall Festival fundraiser featuring local food and art vendors, a huge silent auction, live music, carnival games, a corn maze, as well as pony and hay rides.

Kauaʻi Chocolate and Coffee Festival

A spin-off from a popular Honolulu event, the Hanapepe-based Kauaʻi Chocolate and Coffee Festival offers tastings, demonstrations, live entertainment and farm tours.

Eo e Emalani I Alakaʻi

A one-day outdoor dance festival at Kokeʻe Museum commemorating Queen Emma’s 1871 journey to Alakaʻi Swamp. The festival includes a royal procession, hula dancing, live music and more.

November

High surf arrives in the north and west, and heavy (or shall we say heavier) rain marks the ‘unofficial’ start of winter.

‘Kauaʻi Style’ Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival

Watch masters of the Hawaiian slack key guitar (ki-ho’alu) blend styles (and strings) for this free event at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort.

Homegrown Music Festival

Fun, funky and always rocking, the Homegrown Music Festival has taken over Princeville's Church of the Pacific for a weekend each of the past 16 years, and is among the island's best parties.

Garden Isle Artisan Fair

The third instalment of Kapa‘a's notable artisan fair.

Garden Island Range & Food Festival

The Garden Island Range & Food Festival spotlights local chefs, as well as the farmers and ranchers who provide them with Kauaʻi-grown ingredients.

December

Humpback whales have arrived and are ready to reveal themselves to the holiday crowds. Hold your breath, dive down and listen to their song.

Kalo Festival

Enjoy demonstrations on growing taro and pounding poi, traditional Hawaiian games for kids, local food vendors and live music at the Kalo Festival in Waipa.

Lights on Rice Parade

Illluminated floats deliver the Christmas spirit to Rice St in downtown Lihuʻe on the first Friday evening of December. Ideal for families.