Kauai is one of my “happy places”! Unique topography juxtaposed with a “tropical attitude” makes this Hawaiian island a true treasure. I have traveled to Hawaii several times and prefer Kauai to the other islands because of the “old world” feel it exudes. However, traveling during the Covid pandemic made this trip much more challenging than any of the previous. Because many are finding Hawaii, including Kauai, a preferred destination for their own vacations, I have decided to share a few travel tips here. Need some enticement to visit Kauai? I added photos, just in case!
TIP 1: If you are traveling from the United States be sure to consult this page at least one week prior to leaving on your trip: TRAVEL HAWAII . Also, check with your airline carrier.
International travelers should consult this website: https://travel.hawaii.gov/ – for pertinent information well before they plan on arriving in Hawaii.
TIP 2 – Make Reservations Well in Advance of Traveling
From cars to restaurants – be sure to make reservations well in advance to ensure that you have transportation (if needed) and also a place to dine. Popular restaurants, such as the Beach House in Poipu, are booking far in advance! Rental cars are a premium on the island and many are resorting to TURO to get around the island. For your personal safety please be sure to rent from only reputable companies. Note: a car is needed to visit many of the island’s favorite spots- such as Waimea Canyons.
TIP 3- Stay at a place that adheres to Covid 19 safety/ cleaning regulations.
TripAdvisor is very good at giving salient information regarding the reputation of hotels and vacation rentals in regards to their following Covid 19 sanitization protocols. Keep in mind, however, that this information is provided from the hotel or rental company and not vetted by TripAdvisor. A sample of what you can look for in the hotel description is below.
TIP 4 – Look for activities outdoors – without crowds!
While we traveled on a semi-crowded plane to get arrive in Hawaii – we didn’t feel the need to continue to be with “others” during our stay. Therefore, we opted for outdoor activities that were sans crowds or in some cases, even anyone else! When going to the pool we picked times that were not popular and if a group of people decided to join us in the hot tub we smiled and exited.
Most of our dining was outdoors at tables spaced fairly far away from other patrons. We stuck together on tours and didn’t do anything that entailed being with another group (such as any boat tours). While big group activities can be fun and a great way to meet people from all over the globe – we decided that now was not the time to be making friends! And, masks were mandated everywhere we went!
Below I listed some activities that you may want to consider if visiting Kauai:
- Go when not busy to the Kauai Coffee Estate. Lovely to walk the farm area and free samples! Plus a super yummy gift shop!
- Visit and if inclined, hike, Waimea Canyon State Park. Also, there is a delightful gift shop and restaurant within the park. Check it out for great coffees and perhaps you will have the pleasure of meeting David Parsons III as he sings a few groovy tunes!
- Visit Wailua Falls (hiking availabe there, too)
- Visit the Wailua State Reservoir -off the beaten path.
- Find quiet at the Sacred Forest – a great place to meditate and see some amazing trees!
- Eat in quaint town of Waimea at Island Tacos or the Shrimp Station. Both are family favorites! If in Kappa go to the Kountry Kitchen – another favorite (The Salty Monkey breakfast is a must!)
- Hang out at several beaches and relax far from others – there is plenty of space for all! Each beach has its’ own “personality” – so sampling a few is well worth it.
- Enjoy an ice cream from Lappert’s while walking around Princeville or Poipu (there are ice cream shops in both towns).
- Kauai is the garden isle – visit the many botanical gardens sprinkled throughout this region.
- Step back in time at the Kauai Museum on a rainy day or whenever! It is packed full of great Hawaiian artifacts, cultural information, and a fabulous gift shop!
- Drive from shore to shore. Be sure to bring your camera, swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel! (Not to mention hand sanitizer and wipes.)
- Learn to kayak, paddle board, or surf! The ocean and rivers await you!
- Check out the local newspapers (or websites) for area cultural events such as Hula presentations or lessons about Hawaiian culture and the language!
- Lastly, rise early to see glorious sunrises and stand alongside the ocean shore to see the amazing sunsets!
As promised… here are some of my favorite photos (please do not copy or “hijack” – thank you!)