What’s the best time to visit Kauai Island?
You can visit anytime of year. It’s really that kind of island. If you want the mildest temperatures, aim for April to June or September through November. However, if you are coming for exploration of the Napali Coast via catamaran, kayak, or zodiac, I would suggest the summer months, May through September, when the seas are the calmest.
What are the areas of Kauai Island?
North Shore is the greenest with lush mountains, great hiking trails, and taro fields. The towns that are worth exploring on the North Shore are Hanalei and Kilauea. My favorite activities on the North shore are paddle boarding or kayaking the Hanalei River, watching the surfers on Hanalei Beach, or hiking the Hanakapiai Trail from Ke’e Beach.
The East Side is beautiful with more influx of art with nature. The towns here are Kapa’a and Wailua. On the first Saturday of the month, Kapa’a hosts an Art Walk bringing local artists, musicians, and food trucks together. I would highly suggest taking a walk or renting a bike along the 4.5-mile stretch of Kapa’a bike trail called, Ke Ha Hele Makalae
The largest city on Kauai, Lihue, is on the Southeast Side. It hosts the airport, port, and a wonderful bay called Kalipaki. This is where the island gets its shopping done and where most work. One of the best waterfalls is located near Lihue called Wailua Falls. Kauai’s South Side is best known for its tourist resort Poipu. This is the sunniest side of the island. Don’t miss the sunset in Poipu or Spouting Horn!
The West Side of the island is dry. The attractions and towns on the West Side of importance are Waimea Canyon, Hanapepe, and Port Allen. Everyone must visit Waimea Canyon and its various spectacular lookouts. A visit isn’t complete without going up Canyon Road to view the Kalalau Lookout and the Napali Coast. There are outstanding hiking trails throughout the Canyon. My suggestion for a half-day hike is Awaawapuhi, which is around seven miles with a gorgeous overlook at the turn around point. Most visitors enjoy a stop on Friday night in Hanapepe for Art Night where the town lights up with live music, street vendors, food trucks, and art galleries open late. Also, Port Allen is the port of most of the sailing vessels and catamaran that tour the Napali Coast. If you come during calm season, May through September, they go out every day. It’s a must do while in Kauai.
What should women pack for their time in Kauai?
Bring athletic gear in layers, hiking shoes or boots, sundress, swimsuit, and flip-flops. The dress code of the island is casual. You can go almost anywhere in a sundress and flip-flops. However, when you go hiking or exploring, be prepared as the trails are tricky, slippery, and the red dirt will stain your clothes.
I would stay away from bringing white shoes, shorts, or shirts.
What is the most common misconception about Kauai?
Although Kauai is a tourist destination, it is not nearly as developed as Maui or Oahu.
The total population on Kauai is 65,000. It has a small town feel with tremendous amount of beauty. There is traffic, but nothing like Honolulu or a typical mainland city like Seattle, Boston, or Miami. It is an adventure lover’s paradise. Most of its treasures can’t be see by car. You must hike, kayak, sail, or fly to see its breathtaking Napali Coasts, hundreds of wondrous waterfalls, and Waimea Canyon.
Is there a gender divide in Kauai?
Kauai and its Hawaiian culture is a macho culture on a small island, thus everyone knows one another.
For the most part, the men aren’t too forward with women, especially non-locals. You will witness many demonstrations of masculinity whether from big trucks to hunting.
For those that have traveled to Latin cultures, Kauai’s machismo is nowhere near as in your face with catcalls or other gestures.
Are there any culture shocks women should expect in Kauai?
The pace of life is just different. The highest speed limit on the island is 50mph. Running errands takes time. No one is in a rush on Kauai. Don’t fight it. Go with the flow! Live Aloha!
What are three things every woman must do in Kauai?
Take a helicopter flight, tour the Napali coast via kayak, catamaran, or zodiac, and hike Waimea Canyon.
What’s the most over-rated thing to do in Kauai?
I think the most overrated thing to do in Kauai is go to a luau. The dance performance and music are ok, but the food it not anything to write home about.
What’s the most traditional meal that every woman should try in Kauai?
Plate lunch with Kalua pork, macaroni salad, and rice. This is slow-cooked pork, fall of the bone, and moist. The macaroni salad is rich with a generous supply of mayonnaise and little surprises from pieces of purple taro to pineapple. You can get the best plate lunches at the local food trucks.
My absolutely favorites for plate lunch are The Green Pig in Kealia across from the beach and Hanalei Taro and Juice Company up in Hanalei.