Kauai Travel Tips

Kauai Photo info
Jeanne Hatch/Shutterstock

Keep in Mind...

  • You'll be outside Kauai's appeal isn't housed inside a museum. The island's top things to do are all outdoors. Wear sunscreen and pack an umbrella, just in case. And speaking of an umbrella…
  • You'll get wet Kauai is one of the rainiest Hawaiian islands. Between the beaches and the showers, you'll probably spend a good deal of time soggy.
  • You'll get a workout The Kalalau Trail's 11 miles aren't for the faint of heart. Exploring Waimea Canyon is less strenuous, but not by much.

Honey-dipped sunsets, chocolate-sand beaches, aquamarine skiesKauai has mastered seduction. But the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain doesn't have to resort to over-the-top luxury or tourist traps to entice; instead, it appeals to a no-muss, no-fuss type of traveler. You prefer rural to resplendent? Kauai's your islandthere are only two major highways, and some regions can only be explored on foot. Resorts are no taller than a coconut tree (literally).

Some would say that you need little more than a good pair of hiking boots, an umbrella, and an adventurous spirit to visit. But we should warn you: You might also need a little cash. Kauai has put a premium on its natural beauty and prized hiking trails, and room rates during the winter can reach $500 a night. To get the most and save the most, consider visiting in fall.

How To Save Money in Kauai

  • Consider a package deal Many travel agencies offer cost-effective packages to all parts of Hawaii. You should even check with the airlinesDelta and United are just two of the companies that have provided incentives in the past.
  • Ditch the convertible We hate to deflate your dream of having the wind in your hair, but with the top down, your hair is more likely to drenched by Kauai's downpours. Save your 'do (and some dough) by renting a compact car with a solid roof instead.
  • Re-read your car-insurance policy Some car rental agencies will try to sell you collision insurance. (Hawaii is a no-fault state, and you'd have to pay for any accident damages before you leave). But many personal insurance policies already cover this. Double-check before you book.

Kauai Culture & Customs

Travelers used to a fast-paced life should take it easy in Kauai, and elsewhere in Hawaii, where life is considerably slower than on the mainland. While Kauai's laid-back attitude might aggravate some less-patient travelers, it tends to suit most vacationers seeking relaxation and solace in one of the United States' most beautiful travel destinations.

Although the slower pace and natural beauty of Kauai may seem very foreign, it is important to remember that Hawaii is part of the United States, and its residents are proud of their American heritage. It is impolite to refer to Hawaiian citizens as "islanders" or "natives."

Kauai Dining

Kauai restaurants range from your average American fast-food joints to top-notch luxury establishments. You're also guaranteed to find an assortment of restaurants catering to every craving, from Asian and Polynesian cuisine to Mexican and European dishes. Rice, meat, and seafood are staples on Kauai, and you should also make sure to sample some of the island's fresh produce.

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