My name is Heidi Siefkas, a writer, storyteller, and adventurer currently living in Kauai.
I moved to the Garden Isle at the end of 2013 after calling South Florida my home for nearly ten years.
Kauai can best be described in these five words: lush, mystical, dynamic, island, paradise
Women should consider visiting Kauai because of its inspirational beauty for relaxation, active adventure, self-discovery, yoga, writing, and art. Plus nature’s surprises are around each corner with waterfalls, canyons, and secluded beaches.
Don’t forget your camera. Kauai island will make everyone a good photographer…
How do you get to Kauai Island?
Flights come directly from the US to Lihue typically out of Los Angeles, Seattle, or Phoenix. However, you can fly to Honolulu from just about any major US or international city. It’s a 45-minute flight to Lihue, Kauai.
Cruises come to Kauai’s port, Nawiliwili Harbor, in Lihue; however, they stay for 1 day or maximum 1.5 days, which isn’t enough to fully experience Kauai.
What’s the best way to get around Kauai Island?
The best way to get around Kauai is by renting a car. Although the island is small, roughly 25 miles by 30 miles, the public transportation is rather slow and bicycle riding is dangerous with little to no shoulder. It is an easy island to navigate as there aren’t many roads and traffic is minimal, except at rush hour (8-9am and 3-5pm). You must take a drive around the island to see the beautiful North Shore at Hanalei Bay as well as explore the South Side and go up the Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
My suggestion is to do the North Shore in one to two days, while doing the same with the South Side.
With that said, the only way to see the entire island, waterfalls, Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, secluded beaches, and even whales is via helicopter. There are many 50-minute flights that take you where roads do not go. Bar none, it’s the best tour to do on Kauai. Who wouldn’t love to see waterfalls from Jurassic Park, the Napali Coast, the changing palate of colors of Waimea Canyon, beautiful beaches, and Mount Waialeale all in one flight!
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.