3770 Ala’oli Wy., Lihue
Perched on a cliff with panoramic ocean views, Timbers Kauai is serene and cozy, perfect for families and long stays. The forty-seven vacation rentals are multibedroom residences with the comfiest beds and sofas, beautiful high-end kitchens, spacious lanais, iPad concierge service, and luxury amenities that make everything just so easy. The property is stretched across 450 oceanfront acres, and the two infinity pools really will trick you into thinking they’re spilling into the Pacific. We highly recommend a tour of the property’s organic farm, from which the restaurant, Hualani’s, sources ingredients like sugarcane, bananas, and papayas. And the spa does a transformative Hawaiian lomi lomi massage—don’t skip the heated coconut oil scalp massage at the end.
2956 Kress St., Lihue
This old-school ramen shop has been a Kauai stand-by for 70-odd years and counting (they're also known for lilikoi pie). There's typically a long line of locals, and it is completely frill-free, but it's a great post-airport choice after a long ride (or in advance of a red eye back to the states). By Hawaii standards, they're also open quite late.
3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue
If you've got littles in tow who are tired from the beach—or are train-obsessed, then Kilohana Plantation is a great way to kill an afternoon. There's a 40-minute train route which meanders through groves of orchards, vegetable gardens, and flower beds, and they host a traditional luau, complete with dancers, something every family needs to experience at least once during a trip to Hawaii.