There's no denying that Kauai is the ultimate Hawaiian tropical paradise. The island is full of breathtaking natural wonders, from the velvet-green cliffs to the turquoise waters. There are beaches and attractions to explore, as well as mouthwatering dishes on which to dine. The best way to see Kauai is by car, and with all major rental companies being represented on the island, it's easy for travelers to rent one during their stay.
Renting a Car in Kauai
While the minimum age for renters is 21, drivers under the age of 25 must pay an underage fee, which can cost anywhere from $25 to $75 a day. Visitors arriving by plane can cross the street outside the airport baggage claim and take a shuttle to the rental lots. Additional rental sites are found at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Princeville Airport.
Numerous makes and models of vehicles are available to suit travelers' needs. Riders 21 and older who carry a heavyweight motorcycle license can also rent a Harley-Davidson, while those 18 and older with a valid driver's license can rent a one-person moped.
While many people assume the best way to see the islands is via off-roading in a 4x4, they should beware, as rental agencies typically don't allow off-roading of their vehicles. Renters should find out before booking, because if it's not included and they do it anyway and have a problem, the insurance isn't going to cover it.
Driving in Kauai
Kauai has one major road that wraps around the island, except along the Napali Coast. With only two lanes, it can become extremely congested during rush hours, which are from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. During busy times of day, a third, contra-flow lane is opened, with the direction being determined by the time of day. The speed limit is 50 mph, but slower sections run through residential and business areas.
What to Do in Kauai
The paradise island is obviously known for its beaches, and there's no better way to see them all than by renting a car, rolling the windows down, and taking to the road. For those who want to swim and windsurf, Anini Beach is Kauai's safest beach for doing so. Divers are drawn to the spot in summer months to dive from a 60-foot dropoff on the northwest corner near the channel. Swimmers and divers should know that during winter months the channel creates a dangerous rip current, so it's best to stay in the generally calmer waters near the shore.
Visitors who prefer to stay dry can golf one of the courses that are rated among the most technical as well as most scenic in the world. For those seeking a bird's-eye view of the splendors of this island, small plane, helicopter, and biplane tours are available.
Vacationers, families, and business travelers will appreciate how easy it is to rent a car in Kauai. What they will appreciate even more is the opportunity to explore this spectacular island at their own pace.