Kaua’i, the 4th smallest island toward the end of the chain. It’s known for it’s small towns and wild chickens (trust me, they’re everywhere). While it’s not as famous as O’ahu and doesn’t have any cities with hundreds of thousands of people in it like Honolulu, there is still much to see and do on the island! There are also things to know before visiting it, some the same and some different from the others.
Payphones, Payphones Everywhere
I know I joked about this on O’ahu but seriously, on Kaua’i they’re everywhere and they’re all in working order. At least, all of the ones I’ve seen. On O’ahu usually they had graffiti on them and were torn out but on Kaua’i they’re in pristine condition. I don’t think I’ve seen so many payphones in my life. They’re outside of stores, in parks, and next to bus stops. Maybe you don’t even need a cell phone here.
I saw this on O’ahu has well, but there they mostly stay out of city areas (in parks and smaller towns, not Honolulu) but even on Kaua’i in the middle of Lihue or Kapa’a there will be chickens. Some alone, some in flocks, while others have little chicks with them. Also, be prepared to here them making noise early in the morning. I’ve had neighbors with chickens before so that didn’t surprise me but if you’re a city person be prepared!
The Bus System is Confusing
There is an extremely limited amount of buses. You can get from Kekaha to Hanalei, that’s it. There are several other towns after those ones, and several other things to do and see. Without a car here it’s tough to get around. Although, along the coast it’s pretty flat so renting a bike shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. There aren’t any day or transfer passes, so if you have to ride multiple buses then get ready to spend more money. The good (and bad, depending on your take) news is that the bus doesn’t stop at many places, so when you take the bus you actually get where you want to go in a near timely manner!
There is Still Traffic
Only 20% of Kaua’i can be seen by car. Although there are few towns, there are also a few roads to leads the over 65,000 people who live here to get around. That means things get backed up, especially at red lights. Don’t get me wrong though, having a car is the best way to get around the island in order to see and do the things you want.
It’s Begging for an Aerial Tour
Like I just mentioned, very little of the island can be seen from the road. That means you have to see it from the air! There is the famous Na Pali Coast on the northern side of the island that shows mountains just reaching out from the earth. It looks like the cheapest tours are over $100 per person, the most expensive being over $300 per person, so make sure to budget that in!
The Weather is Cooler Than You’d Expect
The whole time I’ve been here it’s been getting into the low 60’s at night, and it’s windy, so it feels like it’s 55 degrees. Although, that’s nothing compared to other places that get real winter. The place I’m staying doesn’t have AC (which was something I worried about) but so far it hasn’t been an issue! The cross breeze in Hawai’i is famous for keeping the islands cooler than other Pacific Islands.
Waterfalls and Hikes Are Your Friend
There are so many waterfalls on the island. Many of them include hikes if you’re into that sort of them. Also, there are plenty of hikes without waterfalls, some with views of the coastline and Kauai nature in general.
Kaua’i Has it’s Own Grand Canyon
Also called Waimea Canyon and it rivals the one in Arizona with it’s deep red dirt contrasting the greenery (almost like Christmas). Thankfully the road goes right to it (although no buses do so if you’re going to see it you’ll need your own car). It’s also an amazing site to see from the air, which like I’ve already mentioned, Kaua’i is begging for an aerial tour!