Kauai : Hawaii


What It Is Like to Retire in Kauai

Kauai is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands and the fourth largest of these islands, Known also as the "Garden Isle", Kauai lies 105 miles northwest of Oahu. This island is the site of Waimea Canyon State Park. Tourism is by far the biggest industy. The largest town, Kapaa , has 9500 inhabitants.  The 2010 United States Census population of the island was 67,091. Photo of Kauai lighthouse courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain); Photo of Northeastern coast of Kaua?i, near Klauea courtesy of Wikipedia and Richard B. Mieremet, Senior Advisor, NOAA OSDIA (public domain).


Where to Retire in Kauai and Home Prices

Poipu on the southern coast has some developments suitable for active adults. Zillow reports the median home value $602,500 in early 2020.


What Is Special about Kauai

The beauty of Kauai has been recognized by Hollywood with scenes from more than 70 movies and televisions shows being filmed here, including the opening helicopter scene on MASH, and the musical South Pacific.  Kauai has an array of outdoor adventures, public transportation, an airport, several medical centers and hospitals, and many great restaurants. 


What Is Not Special about Kauai

What is not special is the high cost of living; Kauai is all about the scenic beauty and the outdoors so if you don't enjoy outdoor recreaton and activities you may not find much else to do;  tourism is its main industry and the island gets over a million visitors a year.


Who Will Like Retirement in Kauai

Retirees who enjoy the beaches, and exploring historical and cultural sites which include botanical gardens, salt beds, and canyons would enjoy living here. Kauai has several hiking trails, parks, fishing charters and sightseeing adventures of many types.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism is the main driver of the economy. Farmers raise many varieties of fruit and other crops. Guava, coffee, sugarcane, mango, banana, papaya, avocado, star fruit, kava, noni and pineapple are all cultivated on the island.


Climate and Physical Environment

The tropical climate provides humid and stable conditions year round.  January's average temperature is 72 degrees, and July's average is 79. The mountainous regions averages 50-100 inches of rain annually.   Mt. Wai'ale'ale, one of the highest peaks on the island, has been called the wettest place on earth and gets over 400 inches of rain.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Restaurant choices abound in Kauai where you can find seafood, Asian, Hawaiian, and Polynesian cuisines.  The island also offers many outdoor activites with beaches, state parks, boat tours and water sports.  The Waimea Canyon and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge are among the most popular sites to visit.



Kauai is considered to have Hawaii's lowest crime rate.


Medical Facilities

There are several medical centers in Kauai and three hospitals, including a Veterans Hospital.



Kauai offers public bus transportation; the Holo Holo Koloa Scenic Byway is a state designated 19 mile road that connects many of Kauai's historical and cultural sites;  Lihue Airport  offers service to other the other Hawaiian Islands and the mainland.


Valuable Links


The Island of Kauai


What people are saying about Kauai

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