Kauai - The Garden Island

Elvis was married here in Blue Hawaii. Speilberg filmed Jurassic Park here. The magnificent scenery of the Garden Island of Kauai has been the backdrop for countless other famous films including South Pacific, King Kong and even Avatar.  We asked the top luxury real estate marketing professionals who live and work here what is most beautiful about their island.  Invariably, they said that the scenery was breathtaking, but it is the people of Kauai and the strong sense of community they create together, that is the true beauty of the island.  


In addition to the lush surrounding of Kauai, another common thread that was conveyed by all was a savoring of the slower paced, authentic Hawaiian lifestyle. Sarah Bernston said, “When you cross the one lane bridge into the famous Hanalei Valley you can feel the shift in the slower relaxed way of life”.  Barbara Sloan says, “Kauai is often referred to as the ‘friendliest place in America’. Even though there is very little traffic here, people will go out of their way to yield the right of way”.

Michael Schmidt shared what it is like to work in Paradise. Essentially, he explained that there is a seamless continuum between work and play, between communing with nature and being engaged in the community.  “Kauai is conducive to discovering and maintaining your own balance”, he said.

Although,  Wai’ale’ale area is known as the wettest spot on earth, with its average rainfall of over 450 inches,  the perimeter of the Island along the coastline gets relatively little rain.  Kauai has more sandy beaches than the other islands and there are many superb beach front homes here. “This is an excellent time to purchase an oceanfront home”, says Jim Pycha. “Given all of the amenities of our island, there is incomparable value in Kauai”.    

There is also a deep sense of value and genuine respect for the environment among the people of Kauai. Debra Blachowiak believes that, “it is all about the fresh water—water is the gold of the future.  Just about anything can grow here which allows for a sustainable lifestyle”.

“The lush landscape on Kauai offers some, who prefer a more rural lifestyle, the perfect opportunity to realize their dreams”, according to Rick Shaw. But, if you seek a vibrant night life, you may need to take a 20 minute flight to Honolulu because “the sidewalks in town on Kauai roll up around 6pm”, Rick says.  On Friday nights, however, “the Hanepepe Artist Walk is a popular attraction that features local artists, musicians, shopping and food booths”.

Broker/Owner, Scott Lindman, often visits his friends on the mainland, friends who live at a faster pace. “For them, owning a second home on Kauai offers a place to completely recharge”, he says. For Scott, business as usual on Kauai means, “scheduling regular “board meetings” with his agents and staff, surf boards, that is.  Successful agent, Sean Ahearn, a transplant from Boston via the San Francisco Bay area, says he usually starts his day on his stand-up paddle board and is often joined by his “frients”, clients who become his friends.

Hanna Sirois, says, “Kauai is a restorative place where you can escape and take the time to exhale”. “Celebrities who live on Kauai are not fussed over”, says Neal Norman, “it is their opportunity to stay out of the limelight”

Kauai is a great place to raise a family, too.  Kids get to go barefoot in grade school. Children are raised to be independent here, to “paddle their own canoe”, as Mark Tanaka puts it.  He says, “It feels safe here. Neighbors throughout the island keep an eye out for your kids.”

Kauai may very well be the perfect blend of natural beauty, community and an authentic lifestyle. But, it is the appreciation of this splendor that is at the core of the Aloha Spirit. Yvonne Summerfield expressed it this way, “We feel extremely blessed to live on this beautiful Garden Isle.  Ben Welborn came to Kauai as a youth on vacation with this parents, and has called Kauai his home ever since. He says, “I love this beautiful island and feel very grateful to live here. I am a Kauai Boy at heart”. 

Photos Courtesy of the Agents & Brokers Interviewed

See: Part 1 (Oahu) and Part 2 (Big Island)