Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Kalaheo

Set on the west coast of Kauai, Kalaheo is famed for its stunning natural beauty and incomparable sunsets that go down right over the ocean. It’s nestled in a lush green landscape between the mountains and the sea, so fantastic vistas surround you. Nicknamed the "Garden Isle," it features unique and diverse flora and fauna, towering palm trees, and well-manicured home gardens. To the north is Waimea Canyon State Park. With valleys that glow in vibrant hues of red, orange, and green, it’s considered the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Kalaheo residents have access to numerous beaches and a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, surfing, snorkeling, golfing, and more. You can enjoy the outdoors year-round. The weather is warm and sunny, with trade winds that help cool the town during the summer. This is the ideal location for outdoor lovers who want to be near the ocean and the mountains and who are looking for a more laid-back and slower-paced life. Away from the main touristy hotspots of the island, you’ll get a sense of the small seaside town lifestyle. If this sounds perfect for you, here’s everything you need to know about moving to Kalaheo.

Embrace the island lifestyle

The island lifestyle in Kalaheo differs from the hustle and bustle of the mainland and metropolitan areas. It offers a more relaxed atmosphere, deep cultural connections, endless recreation, and a healthier lifestyle overall.

Cultural richness

Kalaheo embodies the Hawaiian heritage and aloha spirit of the islands. There’s a strong connection to the culture and traditions. Locals love to organize festivals, art and craft fairs, and performances to showcase various aspects of Hawaiian culture. They are very active in preserving the language, music, dance styles, and customs. Their aloha spirit emphasizes warmth, kindness, hospitality, and respect for others. Kalaheo is also home to historical sites that highlight the island's past. The nearby Old Sugar Mill of Koloa and the Kauai Coffee Company help showcase the history and impact of agriculture on the island economy.

Outdoor recreation

Living in Kalaheo means you get access to a wealth of outdoor recreation. For true nature lovers, the landscape is perfect for connecting with the natural surroundings. From hiking through verdant forests and swimming under cascading waterfalls, Kalaheo offers unique opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and be more active. Surfers, swimmers, kayakers, and divers go out to the ocean year-round.

Fresh food and a healthier diet

In addition to engaging in recreational activities, there’s an abundance of locally-sourced food and produce on the islands. You can always get fresh seafood, organic produce, and farm-to-table ingredients. Farmers’ markets and restaurants take pride in using locally-sourced products. The food in Kalaheo promotes a healthier diet and a more holistic lifestyle overall.

Environmentalism and sustainability

To help keep the island’s pristine natural beauty, Hawaiians have great respect for the environment. They actively participate in conservation efforts to help preserve the ocean, the forests, and wildlife. When engaging in outdoor activities, they follow guidelines to avoid damaging the island’s unique ecosystem.

Because of their dependence on the ecosystem, farmers and fishermen are especially environmentally conscious. They follow sustainable practices and strict certification standards. Many farms in Kalaheo are part of community-supported agriculture programs where consumers can receive fresh, locally-grown produce directly from the farms. 

Tips for moving to Kalaheo

Prepare yourself for island life by planning ahead. Moving to Kalaheo may mean a major lifestyle change and major adjustments, especially if you’re moving from a city on the mainland.

Dress for the climate

Kalaheo has a tropical climate. It’s warm throughout the year, with only minor changes throughout the seasons. Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. Rainfall is moderate, and most of it is during the winter months. The island has diverse microclimates, meaning weather conditions can vary. You may experience occasional showers and thunderstorms, especially from November to March. Choose cooler clothing and be prepared for some rainfall. Hats and sunglasses are essential to help protect you from the sun.

Local cuisine

The cuisine in Kalaheo incorporates Hawaiian ingredients. Local staples include kalua pig (slow-cooked pork), lomi lomi (cured salmon salad) including, musubi (spam and rice sushi), poi (taro paste), and haupia (coconut pudding). While you can easily find classic American fare, be prepared for a fusion of traditional flavors. There are also local artisanal and specialty products, including honey, jams, macadamia nuts, and Kona coffee.

Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are plentiful. You’ll find the most common ones, such as pineapple, mango, papaya, and guava, as well as some you may not be familiar with, such as longans and jackfruit. Fresh seafood is also plentiful, including mahi mahi, tuna, and snapper, commonly served in poke bowls and a variety of preparations.

Cost of living

Naturally, a lifestyle in paradise does not come cheap. The cost of living in Hawaii is the highest in the nation. Higher tax rates, limited land for development, and strict zoning regulations contribute to the higher cost of living and housing. In addition, shipping costs are so much higher because goods from overseas must pass through the U.S. mainland, adding to the costs and shipping times.

The Kalahoe real estate market is very competitive, and home prices are higher. The average home value in Kalahoe is $664,900.00. That’s 13% higher than the average home value for the state, which is $578,178.00, and it’s significantly higher at 72% than the national average, which is $188,692.00.

Want to find out more about moving and living in Kalahoe?

After falling in love on his first visit to Kauai, Jim DeVille decided to relocate and continue his realtor career here. As a local resident, he has extensive experience buying, selling, and improving residential properties.

With his partner, Scott, some of their design work has garnered recognition from House Beautiful Magazine and the Santa Fe Historic Design Review. Since moving to the island in 2014, Jim has thoroughly embraced the local culture and lifestyle and can provide you with invaluable insights into the local estate market. Call him today to discover more about Kalahoe.

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