Do I need to Rent a Car?

Having a car on Kauai is highly recommended for most visitors. While the island does have some public transportation options, they are limited, and exploring Kauai’s stunning landscapes and attractions is much more convenient with a rental car. Here are several reasons why having a car is beneficial on Kauai:

  1. Scenic Drives: Kauai boasts some of the most scenic drives in Hawaii, such as the breathtaking Waimea Canyon Drive and the stunning coastal journey along the North Shore. Having a car allows you the flexibility to explore these routes at your own pace.
  2. Remote Locations: Many of Kauai’s most beautiful and secluded spots are in remote areas not easily accessible by public transportation. Having a car allows you to reach hidden beaches, hiking trails, and viewpoints.
  3. Flexibility: With a car, you have the flexibility to create your own itinerary and explore the island on your schedule. You can stop at viewpoints, visit local markets, and venture off the beaten path.
  4. Convenience: Kauai’s public transportation options are limited, and taxis can be expensive. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way to get around and makes it easier to reach popular attractions, restaurants, and activities.
  5. Hiking and Adventure: If you plan on hiking or participating in outdoor activities, having a car is essential. Many trailheads and adventure outfitters are not easily accessible without private transportation.
  6. Grocery Shopping: If you’re staying in vacation rentals or condos, having a car is handy for grocery shopping. It allows you to easily transport groceries and supplies back to your accommodation.

While having a car is generally recommended, if you’re staying in a resort area and don’t plan on exploring much beyond the immediate vicinity, you might be able to rely on other transportation options for short distances. However, to make the most of your time on Kauai and fully appreciate its natural beauty and diverse attractions, having a car is advisable.

Is Kauai Safe to travel?

Kauai is generally considered a safe travel destination. However, safety conditions can change, and it’s essential to check for the most recent information before planning any trip. Here are some factors to consider:

Check the latest travel advisories, entry requirements, and health and safety guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These may include testing, quarantine, or vaccination requirements.

  1. General Safety:
    • Kauai is known for its relatively low crime rates compared to many mainland U.S. destinations. However, it’s essential to practice common-sense safety measures, especially in tourist areas.
  2. Natural Hazards:
    • Kauai is prone to natural hazards such as flash floods, high surf, and occasional hurricanes. Pay attention to weather advisories and warnings. Follow safety guidelines provided by local authorities, especially if engaging in outdoor activities.
  3. Transportation Safety:
    • Be aware of local traffic rules and conditions. Roads in Kauai can be narrow and winding, particularly in rural areas. Exercise caution, and consider weather conditions when driving.
  4. Water Safety:
    • Hawaii, including Kauai, has strong ocean currents. Be cautious when swimming or participating in water activities. Follow lifeguard instructions, and choose beaches with lifeguard stations when possible.
  5. Wildlife:
    • Respect local guidelines regarding wildlife interactions. Kauai has unique wildlife, including marine life and birds. Avoid disturbing native species.
  6. Health and Medical Services:
    • Familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities and emergency services. Travel insurance with medical coverage is advisable.
  7. Local Guidelines:
    • Follow any local guidelines or regulations in place, and stay informed about any specific conditions or requirements for visitors.

For the most up-to-date information on safety in Kauai, including any travel restrictions or advisories, check with official sources such as the Hawaii Tourism Authority, local government websites, or consult with your travel advisor.

While Kauai is generally considered safe, it’s crucial to exercise common sense, stay informed, and adhere to any local guidelines or regulations. Travel conditions can change, so it’s advisable to stay flexible and adjust your plans as needed.

Should you book Kauai tours and activities before arriving?

Booking Kauai activities and tours pre-arrival can offer several benefits, but whether you should do so depends on your preferences, the type of activities you’re interested in, and the time of year. Here are some considerations to help you decide: Book early with 808 822-2846

Advantages of Booking Pre-Arrival:

  1. Availability: Popular activities and tours can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. Booking in advance ensures you secure a spot for the experiences you’re most interested in.
  2. Convenience: Pre-booking adds convenience to your travel plans. You won’t have to spend valuable vacation time organizing activities on the spot, and you can have a well-planned itinerary
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your activities are already scheduled can provide peace of mind and reduce stress during your vacation. It allows you to focus on enjoying your time rather than worrying about availability.

Is it safe to swim in the ocean?

Swimming in the oceans in Kauai, like in any coastal destination, requires attention to safety guidelines due to natural conditions and potential hazards. Here are some considerations for safe ocean swimming in Kauai:

  1. Strong Currents: Kauai is known for its powerful ocean currents. Always check for warning signs and pay attention to any advisories or alerts from lifeguards. If you are unfamiliar with local conditions, consult lifeguards for guidance.
  2. Reef and Rocks: Some beaches in Kauai have reefs and rocks close to the shore. Be cautious when entering the water, and choose swimming areas with sandy bottoms to avoid injury.
  3. Waves and Surf: Kauai’s north and west shores are known for their larger waves and surf during the winter months. If you’re not experienced in these conditions, it’s advisable to swim on the south or east shores, where the waters are generally calmer. During the summer months check out the north shore beaches.
  4. Jellyfish and Marine Life: Keep an eye out for jellyfish, especially during certain seasons. Additionally, be cautious of marine life like sea urchins and coral. Shuffle your feet when walking in shallow waters to avoid stepping on anything.
  5. Beach Safety: Swim at beaches with lifeguards whenever possible. Lifeguards can provide information about current conditions, warn of potential hazards, and respond quickly in case of emergencies.
  6. Weather Conditions: Pay attention to weather conditions, especially during the winter months when the surf can be more substantial. High surf advisories may affect swimming safety.
  7. Snorkeling Safety: If you plan to snorkel, do so in designated areas and be aware of your surroundings. Snorkel with a buddy, use proper equipment, and avoid touching or disturbing marine life.
  8. Know Your Limits: Be honest about your swimming abilities. If you’re not a strong swimmer or are not familiar with ocean conditions, it’s essential to exercise caution and stay within your comfort zone.

Always prioritize safety and follow local guidelines and recommendations. If you have any concerns or questions about ocean conditions, don’t hesitate to ask lifeguards or locals for advice. Additionally, consider taking part in guided activities, such as snorkeling tours, where experienced guides can enhance your safety and overall experience.

What is the best time to visit Kauai?

The best time to visit Kauai depends on your preferences, as the island offers pleasant weather and different experiences throughout the year. Here are some considerations for different seasons:

1. Spring (April to June):

  • Spring is an excellent time to visit Kauai. The weather is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit.
  • The island is less crowded compared to the peak summer months, allowing for a more relaxed experience.
  • Spring is a good time for outdoor activities, including hiking and exploring the natural beauty of Kauai.

2. Summer (July to September):

  • Summer is the peak tourist season, attracting visitors with warm temperatures and generally dry weather.
  • Expect crowded beaches and popular attractions. It’s advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.
  • Summer is ideal for water activities such as snorkeling, swimming, and surfing.

3. Fall (October to December):

  • Fall is another good time to visit, with pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds than in the summer.
  • The ocean conditions are generally favorable, making it a great time for water sports.
  • Fall is also the season for certain festivals and events, providing a cultural experience.

4. Winter (January to March):

  • Winter is considered the rainy season on Kauai, but the weather can still be enjoyable. Temperatures range from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit.
  • The North Shore experiences larger waves, attracting surfers. However, some areas may be prone to rain and higher humidity during this time.
  • Winter is a good time for whale watching as humpback whales migrate to Hawaiian waters.

General Tips:

  • Crowds: If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the spring or fall when tourist numbers are lower.
  • Weather: Kauai’s weather can vary by region. The North Shore tends to be wetter, while the South Shore is drier. The East Shore (Coconut Coast) often has more consistent weather.
  • Activities: Different seasons offer varied outdoor activities. For example, winter is excellent for whale watching, while summer is perfect for beach activities.

Remember that Kauai’s weather is influenced by trade winds, and micro-climates can vary across the island. It’s advisable to check the specific weather forecast for your intended travel dates and plan accordingly.

When can we see Whales?

The Humpback whales start arriving off Kauai’s shores in December and stay through April. Whales can be seen from shore, or book a boat tour to get an up-close look at these magnificent creatures.

Are there dangerous critters on Kauai?

There are no snakes in Hawaii. However, mosquitoes can be annoying, so use repellent when needed. We do have centipedes, but they are rarely seen. In rural areas, you might have a rare chance of spotting a wild boar, but they are skittish and usually will keep a distance. Geckos are the most common creature you will see. They are harmless, said to be lucky, and are a bit chatty.

What is the spoken language in Hawaii?

English is the official language spoken in Hawaii. Hawaii is a melting pot for many cultures, so you will hear Pidgin English, the local language, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Portuguese. It is always helpful to pronounce the name places and Hawaiian words correctly. An essential guide to language in Hawaii will help you practice.

What do we wear out to dinner?

Kauai is casual in lifestyle and dress. Dress in a relaxed fashion. For men, a collared shirt or Aloha shirt is acceptable for almost any occasion. Slippers (flip flops) are the accepted footwear for almost any establishment. Some clubs will require closed-toe shoes. Swimsuit cover-ups and shirts are required in any restaurant.

Can I bring home flowers and fruit from Kauai?

Bringing fruit and flowers from Kauai to the mainland or other destinations is subject to agricultural regulations and restrictions. Hawaii, including Kauai, has strict rules in place to protect against the introduction of invasive species and pests that could harm local agriculture.

Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  1. Fruits and Plants:
    • Most fresh fruits are restricted from being taken off the islands. This includes popular Hawaiian fruits like pineapples, bananas, and papayas.
    • Some processed or commercially packaged fruits may be allowed, but it’s essential to check specific regulations.
  2. Flowers and Plants:
    • While you can enjoy the beautiful tropical flowers of Kauai during your visit, there are restrictions on taking live plants, flowers, and seeds off the island.
    • Certain flowers may be allowed for export under specific conditions, but it’s crucial to check with agricultural authorities.
  3. Lei:
    • Traditional flower leis are generally allowed to be taken off the island. However, they may be subject to inspection, and it’s recommended to check with authorities to ensure compliance.
  4. Agricultural Inspection:
    • Before leaving Kauai, you will likely go through agricultural inspection at the airport. Inspectors will check your luggage for restricted items.
    • Declare any agricultural items you have, even if you think they might be allowed.
  5. Agricultural Declaration Form:
    • You may be required to fill out an agricultural declaration form on your flight to Kauai, indicating whether you are carrying any agricultural items.

It’s crucial to check with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture or the USDA for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding what items are allowed to be taken off the island. Rules can vary, and certain items may be allowed under specific conditions or restrictions.

Failure to comply with agricultural regulations can result in fines, and the introduction of prohibited items can have serious consequences for Hawaii’s unique ecosystems. Always prioritize adherence to local regulations to protect the environment and agriculture of the destination.

What is the tax in Hawaii?

Hawaii has a 4.7120%tax on all purchases and services. There is a transient tax on accommodations which is 10.25 percent

Is it customary to tip?

Hawaii is a service-based economy, and many workers rely on their tips and gratuity. Tip a bellhop, porter, or cab driver a minimum of 1$ per bag. Housekeepers can be tipped a couple of dollars a day per your stay.  Servers usually receive 15-20 % according to the level of service. Tour drivers, boat crew, tour guides  and instructors also appreciate a tip according to their service.


  • Population: 73,298 (2020)
  • Area Code for all of Hawaii is 808
  • Flower: Mokihana
  • Highest Point: Kawaikini Peak (5,243 feet)
  • Island Color: Purple
  • State Bird: Nene
  • Land Mass: 552 Square Miles
  • Area Code for all of Hawaii is 808
  • Time Zone: Hawaii Standard Time (GMT-10 hours)
  • Languages: English, Hawaiian
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Average Air Temperature: 75-85 degrees F.
  • Ocean Temperatures: 72- 80 degrees year-round
  • Kauai has more miles of beach and more Hiking Trails than any other island in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Kauai has been the backdrop to many Hollywood movies including Soul Surfer, Pirates of the Caribbean,  Jurassic Park, South Pacific, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many more.