Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa

How to Stay Cool on a Hot Kauai Day

There are many great ways to cool down when it's hot outside, some more favored than others. Most days you'll find that the pleasant trade winds do an excellent job at keeping the island cool and at a comfortable 80-something degrees. On the days the trade winds decide to take the day off, you'll definitely want to know how to cool down, besides, of course, sitting in your vacation rental in front of tons of fans, or as close as you can get to the air conditioning unit. Below are Kauai Exclusive's three best ways to cool down on a hot Kauai day.

1. Shave Ice, Anyone?

Definitely a great way to cool down after a fun-filled day in the sun, shave ice hits the spot on a hot summer day.

What is it?

You might be wondering what exactly shave ice is. Simply put, it's a Mainland snow cone. It's essentially precisely what it sounds like. They take a big block of ice and shave it down to get the final product. Kind of like packing some snow in cup and putting syrup on it - except way better - and able to be enjoyed in the summer, when you want it the most.

Photo Credit Uncle's Shave Ice

The technique for making this treat has been refined over the years. A properly made shave ice requires no straw, as the ice is shaved so fine, almost snow-like, that it actually absorbs the flavor instead of sending it to the bottom of the cup.

Offered in a variety of flavors, you can get everything from bubblegum to coconut. You can choose one flavor, or several. We suggest getting at least two flavors, partly because it's so hard to decide on only one and partly because it's just more fun if you do.

Some call it shave ice, some call it shaved ice, and some even call it Hawaiian ice. Whatever you call it, or see it being advertised as, it's worth stopping for a taste.

Best Place to Get it

There are several places to get this Hawaii treat on each side of the island, and yes, some are better than others. What makes one better than the other? This is a highly debatable subject, however, it's really what you prefer.

Some use real fruit and natural syrups, some shave the ice differently than others changing the texture and how it melts in your mouth, some freeze the milk, water, and flavoring together and shave that, and some even add ice cream to the bottom, or drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the top. Sounds good, right?

shave ice stand princeville

Visit Kauai shave ice stands for a delicious way to cool down in Summer

We recommend the following places to try shave ice on Kauai:

North Shore: Kauai's Best Shave Ice, Princeville Shopping Center
East Side: Hee Fat General Store, Kapaa
South Side: Uncle's Shave Ice, Poipu
West Side: JoJo's Clubhouse, Waimea

Make it at Home

You can even try to make homemade shave ice yourself. The process is pretty simple. It basically involves four things to make it - a block of ice, a cheese grater, some sort of flavor, and a strong arm.

If you don't like the idea of using flavored syrups (you can find them at grocery stores), you can always pour your child's (or your) favorite juice over the top. Guava juice is really good. Or try freezing the juice and then shaving it.

This is also a great way to put a fun twist on adult beverages that contain alcohol. See what you can create - you'll be surprised at how good it turns out - and all of your friends and family will be impressed. It's a crowd-pleaser, to say the least.

2. Sip on a Chilled Kauai-Grown Coconut

Another classic island treat, chilled coconuts are a great way to cool down on Kauai. They're good for you, they're naturally hydrating, and they're totally Hawaiian. Kauai is known for some of the best tasting coconuts in the world. Who wouldn't want to taste a coconut grown on Kauai? Make sure the one you decide on has been on ice for a couple of hours - it really does make a difference.

Where to Find Them

So, because coconut trees grow all over the island, it probably comes as no surprise that you can buy them pretty much anywhere. Buy them from a farmers' market, buy them from a fruit stand - you can even buy them from some local that's selling them out of the back of a truck. They're a delightful way to cool down and a simple way to also support the sustainability of the island.

3. Visit Kauai's Best Summer Swimming Spots

It's a given, but swimming is a great way to cool down in the summer. The ocean is recommended because of all that you can do, but Kauai also has some great swimming pools, too. There are also some great rivers and freshwater pools on Kauai that are just as refreshing - you just have to find them.

hanalei, north shore

Hanalei Bay is a great place to keep cool on Kauai

The best place to swim on Kauai is up to you and based on if you're trying to satisfy your adorable baby, your picky teenagers, or your wonderful in-laws, but we recommend the following beaches, as they are great places to bring the whole family:

North Shore: Hanalei Bay
East Side: Lydgate Beach Park
South Side: Poipu Beach
West Side: Salt Pond Beach Park

An Extra Cool Way to Spend the Day

Regardless of which way you choose to stay cool on Kauai, you'll love the experience. The tropical weather is one of the many characteristics that makes the island such a desirable place to vacation at. We enjoy combining all three of the above recommendations for an extra cool way to spend the day.

Read Kauai Exclusive's previous blog: Why Vacation on Kauai? - A Special Place Everyone Should Visit at Least Once