Kauai Travel Guide

Explore the beauty of the Garden Isle with the experts.
kauai travel guide
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Last Updated
August 8, 2023
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This Kauai Travel Guide provides the essential information you need to plan your trip to this Hawaiian island. Learn why you should visit Kauai, when to visit, and how to get around. We've also included helpful tips to help you make the most of your stay on the island. We hope you enjoy your trip to Kauai!


About Kauai

There is much to love about Kauai, one of Hawaii's many beautiful islands. It is home to lush, tropical vegetation, making it an ideal place for a relaxing vacation. The landscape is diverse, featuring emerald-green seacliffs, white sand beaches, and crystal-clear coral reefs. Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or an active family vacation, Kauai has something to offer everyone.

The East Side of Kauai is home to a variety of heiaus, or ancient Hawaiian temples. These sites are significant markers of Hawaiian culture before the arrival of Westerners. While they are mostly archeological in appearance, they hold a special meaning to Hawaiians and visitors are urged to follow the rules.

Kauai is the fourth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and is home to some of the world's most breathtaking scenery. With its lush greenery and abundant footpaths, the island offers some of the most beautiful hiking and camping experiences in the world. A trek along the renowned Kalalau Trail is among the most impressive explorative experiences.


Why Go to Kauai

Kauai is one of the oldest Hawaiian islands, and it is a great choice for those who want to experience the real Hawaii without the high-end resorts and tourist traps that make so many islands so popular. The island has two major highways and is mostly accessible by foot, though some regions may be more difficult to reach by car. Many of the resorts are not taller than coconut trees and there are no mass-produced tourist attractions on the island.

If you love hiking and the outdoors, Kauai offers a beautiful landscape with plenty of scenic spots. The island is also home to many beaches, many of which are accessible only by helicopter or trail, but most are accessible by foot or car. Some beaches are steep, cliffy, and rocky, while others are calm and ideal for swimming. No matter what kind of vacation you're planning, you'll find the perfect beach on Kauai.

The island's unique energy comes from the natural environment. The flora and fauna, including the endemic species, radiate a free and easygoing spirit. The lush greenery of Kauai's forests and waterfalls is a welcome sign of the island's spirit.


Best Time to Go

There are several different reasons to visit Kauai, Hawaii. The island is popular year-round, but there are also certain times of the year that are less popular. For example, August and September are less touristy. And October brings more rain. However, the risk of hurricanes is still low.

The best time to go to Kauai depends on your interests. If you enjoy snorkeling, you may want to visit Kauai in May or June. During this time, most popular dive spots aren't too busy and the weather conditions are ideal for long dives. In contrast, June marks the beginning of high season in Kauai, which means that schools are out and there will be a lot of vacationing families.

If you'd rather avoid the crowds, December through March are the most popular months to visit Kauai. Temperatures are mild, and rainstorms are relatively low, so these months are a great time to hit the beach.


How to Get Around

If you are planning a vacation to Kauai, you'll want to learn how to get around the island. Public transportation is available, including shuttles, taxis, and tour buses. You can also use an app like Uber or Lyft to make your travel arrangements. Taxis are available on most of the islands in Hawaii, so they're a great option if you don't have a car.

The local government regulates taxi fares by mile, so you won't have to worry about paying outrageous fares. If you are unsure of the exact cost, call ahead. In most cases, Kauai taxis are readily available at the airport. Depending on the type of car you need, you'll be able to find an affordable, reliable cab. You can also book a ride in advance, although you won't be able to get a cab from outside the airport.

The bus system on Kauai is relatively cheap and is a great way to get around the island. It stops at several convenient locations, including the airport, but it may not be convenient for you to visit the island's top attractions. Buses are also limited to one bag per passenger, and you may not be able to reach some of the more remote beaches.


Best Restaurants

While Kauai is known for its fresh seafood, the best restaurants have a diverse menu and offer international cuisine. Red Salt has been welcoming guests for over 30 years and was recently voted best restaurant on Kauai by Honolulu Magazine. The menu offers unique flavors like poached scallop ravioli, crisp quail, and ono ceviche with coconut water foam. The menu is a mix of traditional and modern cuisine, and you can expect to find everything from classic to fusion cuisine.

Kuhio Hawaiian cuisine is known for its heavy use of meat, but it is also suitable for vegetarians. The menu features appetizers, dinner, dessert, and kids' menus. You can also splurge on sushi or a Hawaiian-inspired coconut crab cake. Another great option for dinner is Oasis On The Beach. The small beachfront restaurant offers farm-to-table menu items and a romantic atmosphere.

For breakfast on Kauai, Java Kai offers locally grown coffee and breakfast favorites. They roast their beans in-house and offer a variety of sweet and savory items, such as breakfast burritos. You can even pick up picnic fare at the Kilauea Fish Market.


Things to Do

If you're traveling to Kauai, you might have thought of the famous outdoor activities, but there are plenty of relaxing ways to unwind on this beautiful island. If you're a coffee lover, you'll want to check out the Kauai Coffee Company, which offers tours and free tastings. The estate is also the largest coffee farm in the United States.

You'll want to plan a trip that will allow you to spend a couple of days on the island, but remember that 7 to 10 days is more than enough time to see the best sights and experience as much as you can. While you're there, be sure to save money by enjoying happy hour, split plate lunches, and other special deals. You can also stock up on groceries at local grocery stores and farmers markets, which are a good place to get fresh produce.

A trip to the Kauai Culinary Market is an excellent way to sample local seafood and other local specialties. The market is open every Wednesday from 3:30 pm to 6 pm. You'll also have the opportunity to enjoy some shave ice, a unique Hawaiian treat.


Neighborhoods to Know

Kauai is divided into four distinct regions, each with its own appeal, vibe, and climate. The North Shore and Princeville are picture-perfect, postcard-worthy locations, while the East Side is the island's commercial hub. It's here that you'll find the essential big stores and restaurants.

On the South Shore, there's the city of Kalaheo, home to Kauai's largest population center. It's also home to some of Kauai's biggest attractions, including the antique lighthouse and a lovely seabird preserve. Kalaheo also offers a distinctly residential feel, as it's closer to the West Side.

In addition to its famous North Shore surfing, Princeville offers stunning mountain views and farm-to-table cuisine. You can also enjoy scenic golfing or horseback riding on this lush peninsula. No matter where you live in Kauai, you'll never be far from an outdoor adventure.

The West Side of Kauai is also home to several beautiful parks and recreation areas. Waimea State Park is one of the island's most scenic and dramatic landscapes, and Kokee State Park offers a number of hiking trails. The nearby Polihale State Park offers a 12-mile beach and plenty of activities.



If you're planning a vacation to Kauai, you may be wondering what the weather is like during certain times of the year. The island is fairly small and has a steady, moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year. The days are relatively long and the average temperature rarely fluctuates more than a few degrees. The sun is extremely powerful on Kauai, making it important to wear sunscreen and a hat during the daytime.

While Kauai has a warm climate year-round, it's much more humid than nearby Oahu and Maui. During the summer months, humidity can reach as high as 81 percent, but the trade-winds provide relief from the muggy conditions. Temperatures on Kauai generally hover in the mid-80s throughout the day, making them ideal for spending a day at the beach.

The climate on Kauai varies depending on the elevation. The island has interior valleys and mountain peaks. Higher up, the climate is cooler. So, if you want to avoid the high temperatures of summer, head to the other side of the island or into the hills. Be aware that tourism will increase around holiday times, which will make hotels and beaches full.




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