Aloha(hello/goodbye) and Mahalo (thank you) are the most used words in Hawaii. Everyone is so very happy to have visitors from the mainland. There are some requirements in place for travel to Hawaii. All travelers must go to Safe Travels Hawaii and complete the forms which involve your flight info, as well as vaccination status. Vaccinated travelers, as of right now, do not need to quarantine. Do not forget to complete the health form 24 hours prior to travel. Once all information is inputted, you will receive a QR code. American Airlines precleared us at our gateway, Los Angeles, so when we landed in Lihue, we just showed our preclear bracelet and went to baggage claim.
Airlines today are enforcing transportation rules very stringently due to the disruptive behavior of the traveling public. Announcements are given many times aboard the aircraft about correct mask wearing, smoking and adherence to flight attendants’ instructions. Passengers are advised that failure to follow the regulations will result in fines, prison and permanent banning of future travel. In all our years of travel, our first experience of police escorting a passenger off the plane happened on our flight L.A. to Lihue due to smoking in the lavatory.
We rented a car, but Uber and Lyft are also available. If you rent through National, right now all shuttles are through Alamo.
There’s much to see and do in Kauai. You can sightsee on your own or book tours (right now due to COVID most tours are limited to about 10 participants).
Don’t miss Waimea Canyon (Kauai’s Grand Canyon), Wailua Falls, Lappert’s Ice Cream (and they have delicious cookies!) and shave ice. If you like to hike, enjoy watersports, and take helicopter rides, this is definitely the island for you! But be aware, some parts of the island are only accessible by boat, plane or helicopter.
There are many choices for accommodations…hotels, condos, b and bs. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. It’s a great family resort with many pools, plenty of water options as well as a lagoon and beach. The hotel also has complimentary self-parking which is a huge plus. If you’re a golfer, Poipu Bay Golf Course is a short walk from the hotel. There is a small store onsite for various snacks and sandwiches and they also have a guest laundry. The hotel provides laundry detergent pods and dryer sheets. It is difficult to obtain dinner reservations at the hotel if you wait until you arrive. Some evenings we ate offsite. Poipu Shopping Village and the shops at Kukui’ula offer alternative choices such as Keoki’s Paradise, Merriman’s and Bubba’s Burger.
Everything is more expensive on Kauai as most goods are flown in from the mainland so be prepared for higher food, beverage and gas prices. If you plan to eat in restaurants, most are listed on Open Table and you should book as far out as the site allows. Restaurant reservations are difficult to come by if you wait until you arrive. Effective September 15 for at least a month (and maybe more), the restaurants and venues will be requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter.
The weather is beautiful. The foliage is fabulous. Hence the name The Garden Isle. And the pace is slower. Although you are in paradise, don’t despair cause Costco, Macy’s and soon a Target to fulfill your other shopping needs.
Enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the starry skies. Kauai is calling your name!