13 Reasons to Move to Kauai | Islands

13 Reasons to Move to Kauai

You know Kauai’s scenery is incomparable (if you didn’t know, then gaze at the screen for a while). But here’s the big question: what would it be like to move to, not just travel to, Hawaii’s Garden Isle?

Move to Kauai | Best Islands to Live On Hawaii | Na Pali Coast

1. Home from Above

It isn’t like you can walk out the front door and stroll on over to the famed Na Pali coast. But people who live on Kauai can, and do, take a look by boat and by helicopter. One lady who grew up on Kauai pays $239 once a year to fly over the Na Pali Coast on a Jack Harter helicopter tour. “The view makes me cry every time,” she says.

Jon Whittle

Move to Kauai | Best Islands to Live On Hawaii | Kukui’ula

2. Home on the South Coast

Home could very well be on Kauai’s south coast, in a new community called Kukui’ula. A home overlooking the Pacific off the front porch and Mount Wai’ale’ale out the back sells for about $4.5 million.

Jon Whittle

Move to Kauai | Best Islands to Live On Hawaii | Waimea Canyon

3. Why You Need a Truck

Getting to this spot over Waimea Canyon required 4-wheel-drive and good hiking shoes. Local friends like Robert Miguel are priceless sources when it comes to knowing where to be awed. “We’ll show our favorite spots when we know someone is serious about living here, and not just looking for a photo to post on Facebook.”

Jon Whittle

Move to Kauai | Best Islands to Live On Hawaii | Bethany Hamilton

4. Who Lives Here

Surfer Bethany Hamilton, who inspired millions of people worldwide with her courage and faith after a shark attack left her with one arm, grew up on Kauai’s north shore. Her parents, Tom and Cheri, live in the same modest home on a lot they bought 25 years ago for $69,000. He’s a waiter at the St. Regis Hotel and she just finished a book, Raising a Soul Surfer. “Living modestly is both a choice and a necessity. We like simple, and some things here are really expensive, like electricity.”

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Outdoor Hobbies

5. Healthy Lifestyle

Hawaii as a state has the highest average life expectancy in the U.S. Outdoor hobbies are exercise (no need for a gym), and local produce makes a sweet lunch.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Good Farming

6. Everyone Has a Garden

With the daily combination of sunshine and rain, plus the rich volcanic soil, everything grows on Kauai. No fertilizers necessary — in fact, they’re strongly discouraged.

Courtesy Kukui’ula

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Garden Isle

7. It Is Not Sunny 24/7

The highlands here are among the rainiest on earth, with precipitation feeding the incredible waterfalls and providing pure runoff for the aptly named Garden Isle.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Pool and Outdoor Kitchen

8. The Ideal Kauai Home

This 4,000 square foot home with pool and outdoor kitchen (because really, who wants to stay inside?) is listed at $3.9 million. Go to Kukuiula.com.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Public Beaches

9. The Weekend Getaway

Many people who live on Kauai say they rarely drive outside of their little slice of the island. A one-hour drive is considered a vacation, and done once or twice a year. There's no need to drive far to find a beach, as there are more than 100 public beaches around Kauai. We found this one at the end of a bumpy gravel road and through a barrier of tall pines.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Beach Hunting

10. Local Protocol

This is how you go beach hunting on Kauai. Do not bring a ton of gear and overwhelm the places that locals consider private and sacred. Notice the nutrient-heavy dirt. Now you know why it’s also standard protocol to take off your shoes before entering a home.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Go big or go home

11. Live Large

This is an example of going big and going home. It's a custom-built house on a hill overlooking the ocean, with infinity pool and access to guides armed with surprising Kauai-only adventures. It's in the $8 million range through Kukui'ula.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Cottage on Golf Course

12. Start with a Vacation Rental

Before buying a home it's a good idea to experience Kauai for at least a week as if you were living here. To do that you can rent a condo unit for as little as $98 a night or rent a cottage like this (with a plunge pool, detached garage, and an "ohana" or guest house) for $4,200 a week. Check out a variety of rentals through The Parrish Collection.

Jon Whittle

How to move to Kauai | Best Islands to live on Hawaii | Kauai Forever

13. Remember Why You Moved Here

One more shot of what draws people here in the first place — and brings tears to the eyes of locals whose families have been on Kauai forever.

Robert Stephens

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