What to Wear in Kauai.


{View of Mount Waialeale from Sleeping Giant’s Nounou trail}

Congratulations. You are officially on the path to vacationing in Kauai.

Whether you are just thinking about traveling to the beautiful Garden Isle, or you have your tickets in hand, chances are you were directed to this post because you are attempting to pack for the many microclimates you will encounter.

Kauai technically has two seasons. The “Dry” season is usually from April well into Fall, and the  “Wet” season is usually from November to March. From my experience, there are a lot of sunshine filled days during the so called “rainy” season, so pack accordingly. Even in Winter the average day time temp can still be in the 70’s and 80’s. And don’t fret if you are visiting in the “wet” season! It is gorgeous year round!

That being said, Kauai isn’t called the Garden Isle for nothing. It rains an average of 2-4 inches per month… which helps keep the island so beautiful and green!

And guess what?

With rain, comes gorgeous rainbows…. and also the best time to see waterfalls!


Now that you know a little bit about the weather, let’s talk about what to wear when. What to pack while visiting Kauai really depends on what you will be doing while you are here. With that being said, if you did nothing, you would be good with a swim suit and towel, windbreaker, and a pair of slippah’s {Hawaiian for Flip Flops}! If you are doing more than that then read on.

Island living is extremely casual. I am a SoCal native, and it is even more casual here. You can go barefoot and shirtless in most stores {not that everyone should…just sayin’}. For day time activities, a shirt that breathes well paired with shorts and sandals is just fine. Summer dresses work well too.  The most you will ever get dressed up, is for dinner. And even then shorts and “slippah’s” are just fine. I wore the outfit pictured below to a nice dinner and I was “dressed up” more than some.  I would wear lightweight dressy pants or a flowy skirt with a nice blouse and dressy sandals. Most women don’t really wear heels here even to dress up. If you prefer you can, you won’t feel out place, it’s just most women choose comfort over fashion.


Kauai is known for it’s scenic hikes and gorgeous waterfalls. If you plan on doing any hiking you need to make sure to dress properly. A comfortable pair of shoes with good grips are essential. I emphasize the word “grip”. With all of the rain, the trails are usually very muddy and slippery. Since we live here, I ended up buying a pair of Keens, and I am in love with them. They are so comfortable and perfect for muddy trails and sand.  As far as what else to wear when hiking, that just depends on what part of the island you are visiting. I usually wear shorts and a cotton t-shirt with my Keens. If it is cooler you may need a wind breaker or rain jacket of some sort. However I personally would rather wear a cotton hooded sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt because of the humidity. Whatever you choose to bring as your “lightweight jacket” make sure it has a hood. It can get windy on the different parts of the island, and it comes out of nowhere sometimes.

{Keen Footwear pictured below on North Shore hike to “Secret Beach”}


If you choose to be lazy along one of Kauai’s gorgeous beaches or go snorkeling… don’t forget sunblock! The Sun is powerful here.  We bought rash guards for the whole family because they are usually at least SPF 30 and I don’t have to worry about reapplying Sunscreen to the covered areas.  I usually bring a hat and sunglasses too :)

{Beach in Kapaa}
{Coconut Grove in Kapaa}




As far as what else to bring….

Don’t forget your Aloha Spirit, and lots of smiles!

The island will welcome you with open arms!


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