Winter is Coming…


A surfer catches a wave off Kauai’s north shore. Photo courtesy Flckr Creative Commons.

While Kauai may not have a traditional “winter”, there are a few key changes around the island that let us know the seasons are indeed shifting. Below are a list of the first signs to keep an eye out for!

The Waves Head to the North Shore

It may come as a surprise to some but winter is one of Kauai’s most popular surf seasons. Experienced and pro surfers flock to the island during the holiday season in search of warm water and massive waves; never leaving disappointed. Some of the year’s largest swells make their way to the northern side of the island, making Hanalei Bay an extremely popular destination. So if you’re looking for a fun and free outing, grab your beach chair, pack your cooler and head north for a day of ultimate surf watching.

Mango and Lychee Seasons are Done

We begin to mourn the last weeks of our beloved mango and lychee season. Usually found at every booth at the local farmer’s markets, in the brightly painted roadside fruit stands or simply speckled among all the trees in the neighborhood, these sweet summer fruit are a staple in the Hawaiian diet. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve picked and eaten a ripe juicy mango, or a perfectly red lychee, straight from the tree. Lychee have a sweet, floral taste. Almost like a juicy grape with subtle hints of tartness. Mangoes are full bodied and buttery, the perfect summer treat. While we miss their presence in the winter, we’ve learned to appreciate them even more during the summer months.

Evenings Call for a Light Cardigan

The sand is still golden. The palms still sway under bright blue skies. The sunsets are just as breathtaking. Nevertheless around this time, a slight chill finds its way into the island’s balmy nights. Locals welcome the change of pace, enjoying a chance to wear a light sweater, scarf or even a pair of pants. A warm evening could surprise us at any moment, we must make the most of “winter” while we have it!

Locals Wear Socks With Their Slippers

Another seasonal phenomenon to be found on Kauai in the winter time, is that of the mysterious and controversial…socks and sandals combination. This bold comfort-over-fashion style consists of sandals (otherwise known as “flip flops” or “slippers”) paired with designated socks of choice. Wikipedia goes on to further explain, “[It is a] social phenomenon that is discussed in various countries and cultures. It is sometimes considered a fashion faux pas” as well as a “high crime of fashion.” As this trend sweeps across the island, visitors watch from a safe distance before it too finds its way into their home and onto their feet.

Winter Seasonal Cuisine Hits The Restaurants

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that living in paradise means year-round harvests. Certain months do, however, bring an abundance of new and exciting fruits and vegetables to the local restaurants and farmer’s markets. A few of our favorite winter goodies to keep an out eye for: creamy avocados the size of small melons, juicy tangerines, refreshing starfruit, succulent mangosteen and enormous grapefruit.

What’s Bloomin’?

Much like produce, Kauai is lucky enough to grow almost all types of flowers year-round. Orchids for one, never go out of season. Their deep purples and snowy whites can be found in everything from leis and bouquets to ceremonial and home decorations. Ginger is another resilient flower that can be seen around the island in a multitude of colors (red, white, pink) and shapes. Other winter flowers include Hibiscus (also the state flower), Heliconia, Angel’s Trumpets and African Tulips.

Have a Whale of a Time

Humpback whales begin to migrate back toward warmer waters, gracing us with a passing hello. See these incredible creatures first hand on one of Kauai’s spectacular charters or from the shoreline. A few of our favorite vantage points being: Poipu Beach ParkMarriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, Shipwreck’s Beach, the Grand Hyatt’s Lagoon and out front of Ko’a Kea. Experiencing these gentle giants is a magical part of living on Kauai and highly recommended if you get the opportunity!