In case you haven’t noticed, tall buildings don’t obscure any of the natural
splendors of Kaua‘i. This is because legislation mandates that no structure built
on Kaua‘i is taller than a coconut tree. How it has managed to maintain that code
after all these years is a mystery, but Kaua‘i is no stranger when it comes to standing
its ground. Not even the Great King Kamehameha could take it down. In fact,
in an attempt to prevent further attacks on both his people and his Island, King
Kaumuali‘i, Kaua‘i’s last reigning king, decided to cede Kaua‘i to Kamehameha in
peaceful negotiations. Now that is the original “make love not war.”
This peaceful mind-set has been passed on through generations and is apparent
in island life today. Kaua‘i has the reputation of having the friendliest residents
of all the islands. Not only is the Garden Isle the most beautiful with paradise
settings often portrayed in Hollywood movies, but the feel of the island is relaxed,
with a laid-back attitude that resonates in the air as much as the sweet intoxicating
aroma of plumeria.
As balmy and dreamy as Kaua‘i is, it does experience a change in seasons, so
make sure that you plan your activities accordingly. Actually, the entire state
experiences basically two seasons. The Hawaiians named them kau (summer)
and ho‘oilo (winter). The summer months range from May through September
and winter from October through April. Although the seasons are usually mild,
you should watch out for excessive rain in the winter. In March 2006, it rained
for 40 days and 40 nights and while nobody spotted an ark in the horizon, there
was massive flooding on all of the islands. Before making the famous 11-mile trek
along the Näpali Coast, make sure that the skies are clear and there is no chance of
rain. With the change in weather also comes a change in surf. Winter months will
bring large surf to the North and West shores and the opposite goes for summer
months. Heed all warnings on the beach to ensure the safety of your family.
Kaua‘i’s main vein of transportation is the predominately two-lane Kaumuali‘i
highway. Named after the king, this 82-mile stretch of highway can really get
backed up, especially during rush hour. And yes, paradise does have a rush hour.
About 62,000 people live on this 5. 1 million year old “Fantasy Island” and 36,800
residents drive. So to avoid any unwanted stress in paradise, make sure to schedule
your road trips around peak travel hours. Aside from this, don’t worry if you need
to get from one side of the island to the other as you could do so in 90 minutes.
So if you like the idea of visiting Waimea Canyon but would rather stay in the
quaint and convenient town of Kapa‘a, near award winning restaurants and cool
boutiques, go ahead as the average commute time to most places is 30 minutes.
Kaua‘i has 552 square miles of diverse terrain, which is the fourth largest Island
in the eight-island chain. Obviously, good things come in small land mass. Once
you have experienced the diversity and the beauty of each town and attractions,
you will soon agree that the Garden Isle is the best island with all the elements
of a perfect vacation. Rural enough to get away, yet a stone’s throw away from
indulgence. Perfect. E komo mai. Nou ka hale (Come inside, the house is yours).