Saturday, December 3, 2022

Best Side Of Island To Stay In Kauai

The East Shore Kauais Secret Coast


Now that youve decided between the North and South Shore of Kauai, Im going to blow your mind with a little secret. The East Coast of Kauai is also a desirable place to stay. In recent years the town of Kapaa has grown into a lively little town. Once just a spot you drove through when going between Poipu and Hanalei Bay, more travelers are discovering the appeal of staying in the Kapaa area. With an atmosphere that somehow perfectly blends old-school Hawaii with artsy, trendy, earthy and beachy vibes, the Coconut Coast of Kauai is definitely increasing in popularity. Where else on the island can you find a surf shop, a boutique selling artisan bamboo bowls, an art gallery, a car wash and a Chicken in a Barrel restaurant all within a few blocks of each other?

Probably the main reason visitors forgo staying on East Side of Kauai is that the beaches are frequently windy and not as suitable for swimming. For many people vacationing in Hawaii this is a dealbreaker.

However, if you are planing on spending your days doing organized tours and exploring the island, the East Coast is a logical, central location. You can be in either Princeville or Poipu in about forty minutes. Furthermore the East Side of Kauai regularly has some of the best deals on hotels. There isnt anything quite as upscale as what you might find in other parts of the island, but if youre staying in Kappa poshness isnt a priority.

Things To See And Do In Lihue

Head down to Kalapaki Beach for beautiful views.

Spend some money at the Harbor Mall or Anchor Cove Shopping Center.

Check out the local eateries like Konohiki Seafoods or Robs Good Times Grill.

Enjoy some swimming, surfing, or paddle boarding on the quiter beaches.

Check out the Alekoko Fishpond, a 1000-year-old Hawaiian aquaculture reservoir.

Spend the day on Ninini Beach and check out its Lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1897.

Take a trip out to see Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, and Wailua River for an unbeatable natural experience.

Where To Stay In Kauai : 9 Best Areas

When youre ready to visit this magical place and experience the allure those have talked about for centuries, youll probably wonder where the best place to stay in Kauai is.

After all, with so much to see and do and probably not enough time to discover it all, youll want to find a good accommodation spot that is within close distance to the things on your itinerary.

Luckily, thanks to a tourism boom in recent years, more and more hotels, motels, AirBnBs and smaller inns are popping up each year, many with incredible Pacific views.

So take advantage of the laid-back spirit of the island, book your tickets and read on to discover the best nine areas to stay in Kauai, spread out across the island.

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Stay On The Sunny Side: Why Kauais South Shore Rocks

You dont like to take sides but . . . your family had debated which side of Kauai is the best to stay on the North Shore or the South Shore. You love the North because it manages to be both laid back and spectacular with dramatic green cliffs, world-class surf, and predictably unpredictable rains. But this time you were all in for a luxurious beach villa on Kauais South Shore, and it does not disappoint.

The moment you steer your rented Jeep into that unmistakable tunnel of trees on Maluhia Road you feel the magic. Theyre just trees . . . right? So then why do they make you so happy? A gift to Kauai from a pineapple baron more than a century ago, these Eucalyptus form a fluttering green entryway that welcomes every visitor to the South Shore an aloha to one of the most stunning natural wonderlands on earth.

To say the South Shore is loved for being the sunny side is like saying a double mai tai is loved for being cold. There is that, of course but there is so much more. Here are a few reasons why you think the South Shore rocks:

Poipu Koloa Where To Stay In Kauai For First Time

Where to Stay in Maui: The Best Hotels and Resorts in Maui ...

Aptly named crashing waves in Hawaiian, Poipu is located on the sunny southern side of Kauai.

Centered around a stunning, white-sand beach that is internationally-regarded as one of the best in the world, Poipu is also home to welcoming residents, fun attractions, sights and incredible restaurants, hotels and wildlife.

The waves here are white-washed and large, making Poipu a popular spot for surfers. But the area also has a calm, distinctly-Hawain air about it that separates it from other areas on the island.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, Poipu is an amazing place to stay in Kauai and explore. Give yourself a good amount of time to enjoy everything this area has to offer, including some incredible culture.

While the area has experienced significant growth, it still retains a humble, subtly luxurious charm, and the residents would like to keep it that way.

Poipus dynamic and extensive coastline is filled with a lush green landscape and amazing views.

Start by exploring the waters and the mountains off in the distance by snorkeling at Poipu Beach. Kids will love the crystal clear waters and colorful fish always swirling around and parents will love the calm, lapping waves. You may even catch a rare Hawaiian sea turtle or two.

If youd like to see the water from a boat, there are several charters you can rent out for a half or full day, complete with a dedicated and knowledgeable crew.

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Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Right on Poipu Beach, Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort is a great-value 3-star resort with a relaxed vibe.

The property has accommodation in one -, two-, and three-bedroom condos with luxe decor and either full or partial ocean views. These come with daily housekeeping, as well as full kitchens should you want to do some DIY cooking. The private furnished balconies are perfect for relaxing or, between November and March, looking for migrating whales. The master bath of each condo also comes with a Jacuzzi tub.

On-site amenities include an ocean-facing swimming pool, a hot tub, and a community BBQ area. If you are in need of a little pampering, there is a spa with a full range of treatments. Activities from horseback riding to snorkeling and golfing can be arranged

Address: 2640 Puuholo Road, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Best Beaches In Kauai For A Perfect Trip

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Kauai is the most beautiful Hawaii island with lush green mountains, dramatic coastline, cascading waterfalls, and of course, gorgeous, golden beaches.

Whether you like to while away your days catching up on the latest beach read, have children to entertain, or prefer to spend most of your time in the water, you wont have a hard time finding your ideal Kauai beach.

In this post youll find our tips on the best beaches in Kauai no matter your preferences, as well as suggestions from other travel bloggers.

At the top weve summarised the best places for specific beach activities such as snorkelling, swimming, and surfing. Bear in mind this can change throughout the yearthe ocean is calmer in summer and rougher in winter, especially on the North Shore.

Below that we share more detailed information on each beach including tips about the best places to stay.

Theres a Kauai beaches map with all these recommendations near the end of the post.

Please note that if you intend to beach hop around the different shores, you really need a rental car to make the most of your stay.

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Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

Just a few miles from the airport, the Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue is on a pretty stretch of golden-sand beach. The 4-star resort is a great choice for families. It offers interconnected rooms, as well as sofa beds in the suites and dedicated family rooms. There is also a kids’ club and one of Hawaii’s largest family-friendly swimming pools.

Rooms and suites are modern and comfy, and many have ocean views from floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto private balconies.

The aforementioned swimming pool forms a circular center point and has potted palm trees on a landscaped concrete center. Sun loungers and cabanas surround the pool, and you’ll find more on the beach.

There are five dining options, including Duke’s Kauai, which serves Hawaiian and American fare, from steaks to seafood, with ocean views. Every Monday there is a traditional Hawaiian luau .

You can also book a treatment at the full service spa on-site. Or play a round of golf at the adjacent Kauai Lagoons Golf Club with an 18-hole Jack-Nicklaus-designed championship course.

Address: 3610 Rice Street, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Comparison Of The Best Kauai Hotels

Best Place to Stay on Kauai

Heres a quick overview of some of the best Kauai hotels, resorts and condos. Youll find more detailed reviews below.

Ocean view condos on a beautiful beach $$
Mountain view condos with tropical resort feel $$
Most luxurious resort with huge pool $$$$
Spacious, self-catering homes for all budgets $+

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Kapaa Where To Stay In Kauai On A Budget

Perfect for shopping, eating and exploring, Kapaa Town is situated just north of Wailua on Kauais east side.

Meaning solid in Hawaiian, Kapaa is a small town located at the base of Nounou Mountain and is extremely welcoming to tourists and those from all walks of life.

Even though the town isnt large in size, some of the best shopping in Kauai is here in the form of two popular plazas. In addition, Kapaa carries great historical significance to Kauai.

If youre a hiker, youll love the Sleeping Giant Trail, a 3.2 mile hike with beautiful native flowers and a stunning mountain view from the top lookout point.

According to local legend, its said that a giant decided to take a nap on the mountain side after feasting too much at a party. He never woke and youll see that the mountain itself resembles a sleeping giant.

Youll probably catch a glimpse of Kapaas exotic plant and bird life as you walk along, along with some sunny Hawaiian rays.

The Kalalau is another incredible trail, but be forewarned that it isnt for the faint of heart.

The trail winds for 11 miles through the dense Napali Coast and passes along heart-stopping cliffs, muddy grounds and often, torrential rains.

Make sure to be prepared for every possible weather condition if youre planning to embark on this demanding trail, but also be prepared to see incredible views of the Pacific if you can make it all the way through.

Should You Split Your Time Between Two Locations In Kauai

Kauai isnt a huge island and you can drive from one side to another in about two hours, so you could choose to stay in one place and visit all the main attractions on day trips.

We wanted to avoid long drives, though, so we chose to divide our 11 days on Kauai between Poipu on the south shore and Princeville on the north shore .

This plan worked out really well for us. We got to experience the best of both worlds and all our day trips were a manageable distance .

It is a bit inconvenient changing hotels, especially when there can be a six-hour gap between check-out and check-in times.

I recommend requesting late check-out and early check-in times when possible, buying a cheap cool bag from Longs to store any food, and exploring the east coast on the way. You might also be able to use the hotel pool and facilities before or after checking in/out.

Despite the inconvenience, we felt we made the right decision and it would be hard to choose which coast we preferred.

If wed stayed on the South Shore, wed probably only have made one day trip to the North Shore, and it was worth having much longer to explore.

If the North Shore had been our one base, wed have had to make multiple long day trips to some of our favourite activities.

If you have a week or more on Kauai, I recommend splitting your time between two locations, unless you are planning to spend most of your time relaxing at your resort rather than exploring the island.

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Kauai Vacation Guide What Part Of The Island Should You Stay On

When youre planning a vacation to the breathtaking island of Kauai, you might be wondering which part of the island you should stay on. Kauai has four distinct sides with their own benefits and personalities, and choosing from Kauai condo rentals on a specific side of the island is a quick way to set the tone for your getaway. No matter where you stay, youre sure to have an amazing time! Here, youll find a complete breakdown to the four sides of Kauai, so you can easily plan where youd like to stay.

Spend The First Four Days Of Your Kauai Itinerary On Kauais North Shore

Kauai Resorts: Your Ultimate Guide to Picking the Perfect ...

If youre visiting Kauai, youre in for a magical trip. Es specially if its your first visit! I always recommend Kauai as one of the best islands for first time visitors to Hawaii.

Start your Kauai itinerary on the islands north shore. During your time here, youll explore the nearby sleepy town of Hanalei, the most picturesque of all small Hawaiian towns, and get an up-close view of the Na Pali coast, Kauais dramatic, lush northern coastline.

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Kauai Itinerary Day : Explore Poipu

Start off your first full day on Kauais south shore with an easy seaside hike. The Mahaulepu Coastal Trail starts just beyond the Grand Hyatt, and hugs Kauais gorgeous south shoreline for several miles. The hike is mostly flat, and the cliffside path is a great venue for wildlife-spotting. Be on the lookout for sea turtles, monk seals, and more marine life that dwell in the tide pools alongside the trail.

Lodging Options On The East Shore


Lihue is the big city of Kauai. Most of the lodging in Lihue consists of a few big hotels located near where the cruise ships dock with access to Kalapaki beach. I stayed there years ago but must admit it was my least favorite place to stay on Kauai and I havent stayed there again since. It is super touristy and you dont get the real feel of Kauai in that area.


There are several big hotels and some vacation rentals in the Wailua area. Although Wailua doesnt have much of a town center, its in a perfect central location close to Lydgate State Park, Wailua River, hiking, and beaches.


One of my favorite towns on Kauai is Kapaa. Its close to Wailua, so a great central location, but its also a fun little town. There are great restaurants, shops, food trucks, shave ice, and grocery stores. You can access the paved bike path a few blocks from the main street of Kapaa and rent bikes in town. Kapaa has a variety of vacation rentals, mainly condos, that are right on the ocean.

If you are staying in Kapaa, Waipouli Beach Resort is hands down the best place to stay with kids. This incredible resort is right on the beach with direct access to the bike/walking path. The best part is the pool with a lazy river and water slides! My family absolutely loves this place!

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Kilauea Best Neighborhood In Kauai For Families

Kilauea is on the North Shore and offers unparalleled natural scenery, which makes it a great choice when youre deciding where to stay in Kauai for your first time. In fact, the whole North Shore is filled with awe-inspiring waterfalls, towering mountain ranges, and lush tropical rainforest.

Shane Myers Photography

The town of Kilauea itself is charmingly rustic, filled with tropical fruit stands, and stone houses. And its rolling cliffs hide the homes of celebrities like Bette Midler and Sylvester Stallone.

Kilauea is one of Kauais best neighborhoods if youre looking for local charm. It has plenty of historic and cultural attractions as well as budget and luxury accommodation. And there are plenty of popular restaurants in the area, so youll be spoiled for choice when it comes to your meals!

Hanalei Where To Stay In Kauai For Families


Surrounded by natural beauty in the form of glittering waterfalls, verdant mountains and some of the best surf breaks on all of Kauai, Hanalei Town is a popular spot where to stay in Kauai that is growing with tourists every year.

But, this area still retains its hidden gem quality, introducing a quiet magic to all who visit here. Located on the North Shore, Hanalei Town is filled with historic sites, incredible beaches, great dining and shopping, art galleries and a welcoming spirit.

Charming and peaceful, this is one stop on the island that cant be missed, especially if you love to surf and be outdoors.The beautiful, crescent-shaped Hanalei Bay is what frames the town and transforms this area into an ocean getaway.

In addition, with a major resort and several other smaller boutique hotels, youre more than likely to find a great place to stay during a trip to Kauai.

To get started here, start at the beach at Hanalei Bay, the largest bay on the north shore of Kauai. Nearly two miles of beach are surrounded by large mountains and situated between two rivers.

This ocean playground is perfect for kids and those of all ages, especially surfers, swimmers, snorkelers, paddle-boarders and sailboaters, especially during the summer.

With a stunning backdrop of emerald green mountains, its no surprise that Hanalei Bay is often considered one of the best beaches in America, as well as a filming spot for movies like South Pacific and The Descendants.

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