There's nothing more fun than spending an afternoon browsing art galleries. Kahn Galleries showcases and highlights some great artists from Kauai, as well as some from the neighboring islands. If browsing isn't enough, you can buy the art and they'll even frame it and package it for you. Of course, this comes with a price. However, it is definitely worth it.
The people are also very friendly and willing to answer any art related questions you may have.
PROS: Beautiful art, friendly people
I personally enjoy taking part in their ceramics program. For a fee, you can use their supplies to make your own clay object (statues, bowls, plates, picture frames....whatever you want!) and bake. It's a great hands-on experience.
Their galleries are also very nice. It features local artists and is a great way to expand your art world. Like most galleries, the paintings they sell are very expensive but worth it if you have that kind of money.
PROS: Central location (right in Lihue), great programs
CONS: Art for sale is expensive
When you need eggs for a recipe or some other small item, the convenience of running into Sueoka's to get it is amazing. They are right in the heart of Old Koloa Town. This central location is the main reason why I like them.
Sueoka's is in a historic building and it definitely shows its age. The store feels old and sometimes is a little dirty, but I hear that they are going to renovate soon.
Pricewise, they are on average for a grocery store. Pay attention to the advertisements in the newspaper and you can score some great deals.
The people are friendly and helpful.
PROS: Central location, friendly staff, average prices
CONS: Not much parking
Nukumoi Surf Company is literally ON the beach, a few feet from Brennecke's (known for its surf) and Poipu Beach Park (known for its calm waters and monk seals).
Staffed with your stereotypical "cool" surfer folk, Nukumoi sells full lines of beach clothes as well as everything you need to start surfing or body boarding, including surf lessons, boards, wax, and wetsuits.
They're a little expensive, but that's usual for a surf shop.
PROS: Everything you need for the beach, very close to the water
I was a student at Kauai Community College with a perfect 4.0 GPA, so this should not be interpreted as a negative review simply because I am displeased with a grade I got. I am being completely honest.
KCC is a terrible school. Most of the staff are not friendly at all, and when you ask them a question they often seem lost, or direct you to someone else rather than trying to find the answer themselves.
I have had a few good teachers who loved their subjects, but the majority of teachers were terrible. They didn't teach their subject well and didn't seem to put much thought into their lesson plans.
If you have any other option, take it. But try to avoid KCC if possible.
PROS: Cheaper than a regular 4-year university
CONS: Terrible educational quality, staff is very unhelpful
Now that it is mandatory to take Drivers Ed to get your license, it is very important to choose the very best driving school you can find. As a former student of Aunty Jo's Driving School, I can honestly say that she is the best driving school on the island.
Aunty Jo (yes, that's her real name) is extremely friendly and helpful, explaining all the things you need to know. She knows the law and rules of the road and makes it easy to understand.
She is also very generous. When you take your final driving test, she'll even let you borrow her car if you don't have your own to use.
All this comes at a price, but after doing research and calling other schools I have found her to be the cheapest.
I highly recommend Aunty Jo's Driving School!
PROS: Very friendly, knows her stuff, and very generous!
CONS: A little pricey, but still cheaper than most
A word of warning - No Ka Oi Plants and Landscape is out of the way and is definitely off the beaten path. However, like most "off the beaten path" things, they are excellent!
I have found that, compared to other nurseries and some bix box retailers like Walmart and Kmart, No Ka Oi's plants are healthier, lusher, and cheaper! They seem to give personal care to each and every shrub, push, and perennial making them one of my favorite nurseries.
PROS: Great plants at great prices, cheaper than bix box retailers
CONS: Very out of the way
Paradise Animal Clinic's vet, Craig, is extremely knowledgeable. He is also the only veterinarian on this side of the island. Their convenient location was the reason I visitted them when my pet was sick.
They specialize in cats, dogs, and pocket pets like gerbils and hamsters. Besides veterinarian services like vaccinations and surgeries (which my kitty had to get done), they also carry full lines of products such as Frontline Flea Defense, as well as goodies like cat and dog food and kitty treats.
When I took my cat, he was really scared and used the bathroom in his carry-on kennel. The staff at Paradise Animal Clinic went so far as to clean the entire thing and put in new bedding!
This attention to detail is what makes me give them a "Very Good" rating. I highly recommend them
PROS: Excellent, excellent staff
The Lihue Big Save has been in its current location for over a decade. The age definitely shows in the store where the floors are stained, the aisles aren't well lit, the shelves are dirty, the ceiling has leak stains, and the frozen section often has broken lightbulbs.
Definitely not an ideal environment to shop in. It wouldn't be so much of a problem if they made it up with quality goods, customer service, and competitive prices. Unfortunately, the Lihue Big Save doesn't deliver on the first two and just barely prices its goods at competitive prices.
Their produce is mediocre quality. Their canned goods are ok, but their cereal boxes are often dusty. There's just an air of "dirtiness" in the store.
The customer service at this Big Save is terrible. The people are not friendly nor do they offer assistance when you need it. The cashiers barely even crack a smile when helping you. I've had similar experiences at other Big Saves on the island,and this one definitely fits the trend.
Their prices are usually expensive, although if you pay attention to the Wednesday ads in The Garden Island you can often find a few loss-leaders that are great deals. This is rare.
I would not recommend shopping at Big Save. Take an extra five minutes and drive up the road to Walmart or the mall.
PROS: Convenient location
CONS: Expensive products, very poor customer service, dirty store
Papaya's slogan is "If it's organic, don't panic! We carry it!"
They sure do! They offer aisles upon aisles of organic, natural, often vegetarian products ranging from shampoo to cookies to pet food. If you're looking for anything healthy, you're bound to find it at Papaya's.
Papaya's strength is in specialty "healthy" items that you can't find at drug stores and chain stores. They're often a little expensive, but you'll be bound to find something you want within this little store in the middle of Kapaa (conveniently located near Wyland Gallery, so after you shop you can browse beautiful art!).
Papaya's also offers a little cafe, where you can buy lasagna and burritos and salads, most of them vegetarian and all of them organic and natural. The food is expensive, but tasty.
All in all, Papaya's is your one-stop source for anything that appeals to the health-conscious.
PROS: Wide selection of products, also offers in-store cafe
CONS: Expensive, a little out of the way