How To Be The Best Kauai Visitor

An administrator of one of my favorite Facebook pages, Kauai Live Laugh Love, asked the members of the group for do’s and don’ts that every Kauai visitor should know. Suggestions came flowing in. Many of them were rather obvious, but some gave pause for thought. He pinned the accumulated list of these “best practices” at the top of his group page. I have modified them a bit, but thought they were worth sharing.


Kauai is a small island with limited resources. Most that choose to live here are very conscience of the differences between life on the Garden Island and many other places in the world. We are protective of the aina (land) and its people. We love visitors that understand this, and who do all that they can to leave a small footprint on this special island. So, please consider these suggestions as you spend quality time on Kauai. Residents and other visitors will appreciate your efforts.

As a Kauai visitor, please avoid the following:

  1. Trespassing on private property, or public property which is closed off. If a gate is locked, don’t go around it. Read all warning signs and follow them.
  2. Blocking traffic by leaving a car door open, waiting for a parking space, or stopping in the middle of the road to take a photo.
  3. Hiking or kayaking during a flash flood warning or the threat of heavy rain.
  4. Feeding the wildlife, including birds, feral cats, or fish.
  5. Taking flash photos of the honu (sea turtles).
  6. Honking your horn (unless it is an emergency).
  7. Walking on the reef.
  8. Smoking on the beach.
  9. Sitting on tables made for eating.
  10. Tagging and naming special places or dangerous places on social media.
  11. Picking fruit or flowers from properties.
  12. Sitting too close to others on the beach.
  13. Taking all your clothes off. (smile)

Being a perfect Kauai visitor means:

  1. Volunteering some time (beach clean-ups with Surfrider, taking a Kauai Humane Society dog on a field trip, Waipa Foundation ….. )
  2. Supporting local businesses at Kauai stores, Night Markets, or Farmers Markets.
  3. Making reservations for Haena State Park, activities, and restaurants before you arrive.
  4. When deserved, tipping generously for restaurant service or tour guides.
  5. Listening to residents about warnings.
  6. Bringing a water bottle, rather than buying bottled water (our water is CLEAN).
  7. Swimming and snorkeling at lifeguarded beaches.
  8. Parking only in legal spaces.
  9. Picking up trash, even if it is not yours.
  10. Using reef safe sunscreen, perferably not the spray. If you do use the spray-on sunscreen, move downwind from others and away from the ocean.
  11. Bringing or buying reusable grocery bags.
  12. Letting drivers merge in from the side streets or from another lane. When crossing a one-lane bridge, stop after 5 to 7 cars have crossed.
  13. Recycle
  14. If listening to music on the beach, wear earbuds.
  15. Keeping your distance from wildlife (monk seals: 50 feet, with pup: 150 feet; honu at least 10 feet (in and out of the water); albatross: 15 feet). Allow monk seals and honu to come to shore to rest.
  16. Knowing your abilities for swimming and hiking.
  17. Giving fishermen (women) space. Walking or swimming close by scare the fish away.
  18. Staying in legal accommodations.
  19. Keeping your noise level down when staying in a residential neighborhood.
  20. Leaving no trace, only footprints in the sand.
  21. Learning about local history and researching as much as possible before your trip.
  22. Being respectful and less demanding.
  23. Having patience with the slow pace.
  24. Appreciating the natural beauty.
  25. Enjoying every sunrise and sunset.
  26. Living ALOHA.

You can see that the group of residents and visitors came up with quite a few suggestions. I’m sure you were aware of many of these, but there may be a few that you didn’t realize, or never thought about. Hopefully, by incorportating some of these into your vacation mindset, Kauai can continue to be a place that we ALL enjoy. Mahalo!

For more information about our luxury, three bedroom, Kauai vacation rental on the north shore, go to any other page of this website. If you would like to subscribe to our blogs, scroll down to the bottom of the Guide Page of this website. You will be sent an email when a new blog is published. We would LOVE you to follow us on Instagram @honupoint. Mahalo!

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