So You Want to Move to Kauai.
The unparalleled beauty, unique geographical makeup and indescribable magic found on Kauai truly makes it a place unlike any other. From world class beaches and surf to expansive rainforests, sweeping valleys and jaw dropping mountain ranges, the serene splendor of Kauai is hugged into an island just 553 square miles small. But for the 70,000 of us who are lucky enough to “live Kauai” and call the Garden Isle home each day, it’s the laid-back atmosphere, slower pace, and timeless ease of living set against the island’s dramatic backdrop that keeps us here as permanent residents.
Each year over a million visitors flock to Kauai to experience our little slice of heaven on earth, and if you are one of the many who connect with the spirit of Aloha and island way of life, perhaps you are considering making the move to Kauai yourself. Whether you are single, have a young family, or have dreams of retiring in paradise, Kauai truly offers something for everyone. While the thought of leaving the mainland behind can be daunting, familiarizing yourself with the island can ease the transition and turn your dream of living on Kauai into a reality.
Where Should I Live?
Kauai is divided into four main regions which each have their own distinct energy and experience.
For many people, Kauai’s north shore is the perfect picture of a tropical Hawaiian paradise. Mountains with overflowing waterfalls, expansive valleys, and miles of pristine beaches lined with palm trees make up the landscape here. While typically rainier than the rest of the island, (average rainfall is 45 inches per year) the climate is ideal for growing fruits and vegetables which is why you will find an abundance of farms and farmers markets on the north shore. At the “end of the road” in Haena lies the Napali Coast, 11 miles of coastal trail as stunning as it is strenuous, accessible only by foot. The north shore is lightly populated and lends itself to a slower pace and smaller town feel, but the towns of Hanalei, Kilauea and the resort community of Princeville provide a nice variety of restaurants, shops, and markets to keep you busy when it’s time for a break from the outdoors.
The east side of Kauai is the central most spot on the island and home to Kapaa, Kauai’s most populated town, which balances all the conveniences of grocery stores, retail shops, and entertainment with golden sandy beaches, a 9 mile bike path along the coconut coast, and beautiful lush countryside. The east side is also home to Lihue or “town” which is where you will find the airport, the island’s largest hospital Wilcox Memorial, bigger box stores like Walmart and Costco, and a wide range of housing options from studio condos to cliff houses with endless views. The east side is typically warmer and dryer then the north shore receiving about 30 inches of rain per year.
The sunny south shore of Kauai is comprised of the resort community of Poipu and historic Koloa town. Living in the south side of Kauai offers an everyday vacation-like experience combined with a small town island atmosphere. Poipu stretches across roughly 4 miles of coastline where you’ll find a combination of old and new homes, hotels, many beachfront condos, and two golf courses. On the West edge of Poipu is the sprawling Kukuiula Luxury community.
The west side of Kauai is the gateway to Waimea Canyon , Kokee State Park and Hawaii’s longest beach at Polihale State Park . The west side is hotter and dryer than the rest of the island and the small towns of Eleele, Hanapepe, Waimea and Kekaha offer an eclectic assortment of shops and a bustling artist community with plenty of local feel. The west side is less developed and generally less expensive than other parts of the island and will instantly transport you back to the Kauai of old.
Family life on Kauai
In Hawaii you will often hear the phrase “the keiki are our future” and for those keiki who grow up on Kauai, it’s hard to imagine a childhood anywhere else. Here adventure is around every corner and nature is your playground, filled with weekend trips to waterfalls, after school surf sessions, and mango trees doubling for jungle gyms. A mild tropical temperature keeps children playing outside and active year round, which contributes to a happy and free spirited sensibility. It’s this Aloha spirit which extends far and wide as friends and neighbors quickly become part of your Ohana. On Kauai family comes first, and we all take care of each other.
Retiring to Kauai
The relaxing lifestyle, sense of community, and year round warm climate make Kauai an ideal place to enjoy your retirement. Many of those who retire to Kauai take advantage of the many physical and social activities that come with island life, whether it be paddling for one of the canoe clubs, enjoying 365 days of year round world class golfing or partaking in a wide range of community events and volunteer opportunities. Kauai offers the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, all set against a backdrop of unimaginable beauty that will inspire the feeling of Noho’ana Hau’ole from sunrise to sunset: Life is Good.
For all of the pleasures of paradise, moving to Kauai will take time, planning, and preparation. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows (although it sure seems like it), but for those of us fortunate enough to embrace and be embraced by the island and spirit of aloha, living on Kauai will feed your heart, nourish your soul, and allow you to discover how sweet the simple life can be.
If you have questions moving forward, I’m here to help you 100%.
If you are hooked and want to learn more about properties on Kauai, visit: Kauai Real Estate Group