After more than a year of being pent up inside, and with travel restrictions beginning to ease up, everyone is excited to “get back out there” and explore the exotic places on their bucket list. The Hawaiian Islands are a dream destination for many, and for good reason!
When planning a trip to Hawaiʻi, the first decision of course is … which island? Ideally, all of them as each has its own personality and charm. For those seeking a more intimate experience away from the crowds, we recommend Kaua’i, also known as “The Garden Island”. Its rustic, verdant beauty and dramatic landscapes make this a place of wonder and relaxation.
Created by a volcano six million years ago, Kaua’i is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and also the smallest with a current population of 72,543. It is a melting pot of cultures — predominantly Polynesian. Locals and Hawaiians refer to the 49 continental United States as “the mainland”. The separation is more than geographic. Hawai’i was the last state to join the Union (in 1959), and many residents still acknowledge it as the Kingdom of Hawai’i denoting a strong connection to their ancestral lineage.
Here are a few tips for visiting Kauaʻi, and traveling around Hawai’i in general.
- Embrace a Slower Pace. Although Kauaʻi is a small island, it can take a while to get from point A to point B. There is essentially one main road around the island, so plan some buffer time into your outings to account for back ups. The “big cities” of Lihue and Kapaʻa see the most congestion, especially during morning and evening rush hour. We invite you to turn this into a positive. Slow yourself down and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. Lucky for you, Timbers Kauaʻi is conveniently located only a few minutes from the Lihue airport.
- Mālama ‘aina. You will often hear locals use the phrase “mālama ʻaina” or “protect the land”. Remember to respect and honor the environment and all of the creatures whom inhabit it. Farming and sustainable living is a way of life here, and there are endangered animals needing special protection. If you are fortunate enough to spot a monk seal or a honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) please observe and take photos from a distance. 50 feet is recommended. We are delighted that many nene — a Hawaiian goose which is the state bird — frequent Timbers Kauaʻi as a safe haven.
- Donʻt Forget Your Slippahs Just as the culture in Kauaʻi is casual and relaxed, so is the attire. When packing your suitcase, all you really need are shorts, tank tops, flip flops (or “slippahs”, as they are called in Hawaiʻi) and hiking/water shoes. Keep in mind you are visiting a tropical jungle environment, and plan for rain and wet conditions. The trails on Kauaʻi can get pretty muddy, so proper footwear is critical. If you book a hiking tour with our Adventure Guides at Timbers Kauaʻi and happen to forget your water shoes, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with some to borrow!
- Support Local Business Tourism is the primary industry through which most Hawaiians and locals are able to support their livelihoods and families. Buying from local businesses and farmers on Kaua’i is the way to be pono (right or good). One opportunity, without even leaving the comfort of Timbers Kauaʻi, is to check out our weekly pop-up market. Every Friday on the pool deck we feature fantastic local Kauaian artisans and vendors selling their wares.
- Everything in Kauaʻi Costs More. This should come as no surprise as the Hawaiian Islands are among the most remote in the world and many items must be shipped in. That means the cost of gas, food, and other supplies will be higher than on the mainland. Take advantage of the many farmers markets here — allowing you to save money and support local while scoring the freshest Hawaiian grown fruits and veggies. Our Concierge at Timbers Kauaʻi can ably assist you in locating the best of those, plus recommend restaurants in line with your budget and mood. Or choose to dine on-site at Hualaniʻs Restaurant and Bar, with delicious farm-to-table cuisine.
Now that you are in the know, visiting Kauaʻi is sure to be one of your best vacations ever. With so much to do, see, eat, and enjoy – the Garden Isle will not disappoint. We hope to see you very soon. Aloha!