Kauai's main airport is located in Lihue, on the southeastern coast. Taxi fares to nearby Walua run about $18; fares to Poipu are generally in the $30 range. There is a smaller airport in Princeville to serve the resorts on Kauai's northern shore. Rental cars are available at both airports.
Flight Times to Kauai
- From San Francisco: 5 hours, 20 minutes
- From Los Angeles: 4 hours, 20 minutes
- From Chicago: 9 hours
- From New York: 11 hours
Kauai is on Hawaiian Standard Time, two hours earlier than the West Coast (Pacific Standard Time) and five hours earlier than the East Coast (Eastern Standard Time). Unlike the rest of the U.S., the Hawaiian Islands do not observe Daylight Savings Time. That means that during the summer months, Maui is three hours earlier than Pacific Daylight Time and six hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Time.
Most visitors to Kauai rent cars. Kauai's public bus service is inconsistent at best, and distances between sights make relying on taxis and limos too expensive. If you plan on arriving during high season be sure to reserve a car well in advance.
Both Hawaiian and English are spoken on Kauai. Check out a
language guide to learn a few helpful Hawaiian phrases.
Tap water is safe to drink, but unfiltered water from Kauai's rivers and streams should be avoided as it may contain harmful microorganisms.
The Hawaii Visitors Bureau has a branch at 3016 Umi Street, Room 207 in Lihue, telephone 245-3971. The branch is closed on weekends. Many visitors prefer stopping by the tourist information kiosk at Lihue Airport upon arrival.
What To Bring
Travelers to Hawaii should pack light cotton clothes, a bathing suit, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. The majority of people on Kauai dress casually, although some of the upscale resorts on the island boast elegant restaurants where a jacket or skirt would not seem out of place.
Sandals or bare feet are the norm, but if you are planning on doing any hiking bring sturdy shoes and a warm layer of clothes. All travelers to Kauai, but especially those who plan on staying on the island's northern shore or visiting Mount Waialeale, should consider bringing rain gear.
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