family fun on vacation at koloa in kauai

“It’s like my birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving all smooshed into one!” your little one says, leaping off the couch into your arms.

“Smooshed?” you ask.

She nods. “Smooshed.”

She’s right. Your time together at Koloa Landing has been the best family vacation ever.

You think, How could it possibly be over already? Your friend said Koloa Landing was one of the best resorts in Kauai for families and he was spot on.

Even your teenager has been smiling.

When you first arrived your kids dropped their bags and ran across the resort’s expansive Garden Lawn.

family vacation at koloa landing resort on kauai

They jumped up and down at the sight of the massive pools and thundering waterfalls and pointed to the crystal blue ocean beyond.

“Race you to the waterslides!” they yelled.

Your villa is a huge suite of rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the living room leading out to a spacious lanai. You had your gourmet kitchen stocked with healthy local foods before arriving and have used the ensuite washer-dryer six times (and counting). It’s been like having your own family beach house but with the service of a fine resort.

Another shocker: The dearth of electronics in your kids’ hands. Endless fun activities have replaced them.

Yup. You’re pretty sure this is the best family resort on Kauai.

Now your wife and kids are sprawled on the couches, still in pajamas. Everyone is trying hard to stay positive even though it’s the last day here. “Okay,” you say, lowering your daughter into your wife’s lap. “We can’t just sit here on our last day! Let’s throw out suggestions of what we most want to do.” Everyone starts calling out ideas. You slowly realize that these are all things you’ve done already.  They suggest you all could:

  1. Take over a big poolside cabana for the day and order piles of tropical fruit and french fries.
  2. Videotape each other taking crazy rides down the water slides.
  3. best vacation for families in hawaiiGet gear at the poolside Activity Hut for awesome snorkeling at the edge of the resort — then swim with a sea turtle and name her “Shelly.”
  4. Ask Ryan the concierge to book a ziplining adventure — and hope mom will be brave enough to open her eyes this time.
  5. Grill fresh mahi mahi at the poolside barbecues with those other fun families — then make s’mores at the resort bonfire.
  6. Pile on the couches for Family Movie Marathon Night on your HD widescreen while Mom and Dad sneak off for a champagne couple’s massage at the spa.
  7. Share one of celebrity chef Sam Choy’s life-altering triple-fish poke platters at the Holoholo Grill. Or two!
  8. Ride in the Jeep with the top off up the coast.
  9. Play hide-and-seek in the main pool’s waterfall grotto with new friends.
  10. Enjoy the rooster-serenaded stroll down to Lappert’s Ice Cream for salted caramel coconut waffle cones and see who can count the most baby chicks along the way.
  11. Watch dad’s hilarious hula dance moves on stage at the resort’s super cool Royal Luau extravaganza.

“But we’ve done all these!” you laugh. The kids chime in that they want to do them all again!

best family vacation kauai“Wait!” you say. “Hold on . . .  Maybe . . .  Maybe we should just extend our stay for a few more days.” There’s a moment of silence as they assess your level of seriousness . . . They look at mom. She’s smiling. Then everyone starts cheering and dancing around the room, pillows flying. The kids are hugging you — and each other. Your wife hugs you, too.

Suddenly it feels like your birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving . . . all smooshed into one. And you like it.

You like it a lot.


For the best Kauai family vacation ever, go to


by Erica Karlin, Koloa Landing