Where to Stay in Kauai
Second oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands, and also known as the ‘garden isle’, Kauai brims with tropical beauty (in terms of nature). The climate stays generally humid, making it a worth visiting place for the people who miss the beach and have winter as the only primary season in their region.
Even for people who do have summer, Kauai is a place you will surely enjoy. From the beaches with water gushing on the golden sands to the high skyscraping Mt. Na Molokama, this destination is not only for the people who just want to lay low from their tiring work schedule but also for people wanting an adventure out of their redundant life.
Kauai is divided into regions of six of which four have been people’s favorite. All the four regions- north, south, east, west have beaches. So, if you love beaches, you can stay in any of the regions on the island. The authentic cuisine of Kauai offers a great tropical taste and the picturesque sceneries, every part of the island contains are satisfying.
In this article we will be making you well-acquainted with the beauty of all the regions of the island, making it easier for you to decide where to stay as it suits you.
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The South Shore
The South Shore primarily includes Koloa, Poipu, and Lawai. This side of the island is the most famous among people. It has more pleasant weather- dried air and more sun, which with cool and exciting dining and shopping options makes it a must-visit for you. Everything that you expect an island to have you will see in abundance here (and hat counts for the crowd as well).
People often prefer to lay low on Shipwreck Beach more than doing anything which makes it best for people who just want to ooze out all the burden they have on their minds. But this beach is not the only beach or the only location here.
The Spouting Horn, a natural wonder is a blowhole, shooting spouts of water up to a height of 6 meters in the air. This area bubbles with a lot of sea turtles also laying low. Located in Poipu, this spout is a part of a 10 mile long Koloa Heritage Trail.
Shout out to our fellow hikers! Just near this attraction, The Makahuena Point is located. This location bubbles rather with resorts and condos instead of turtles that include golf courses, hiking trails, surfing, and spas if you want a break from watching turtles for some time.
Now, back to people with an appetite for adventure. First of everything else, a shout-out! An 8-line adventure which also is a 5-line family tour is your food. Who does not want to zipline across the graceful environment of the island, coming across 200 feet drops and approaching speeds faster than 22 m/s!
This tour comes with soaring over three valleys against ocean scenery relaxing your heart while the zip line making your heart race faster. In the end, it’s a well-balanced tour. For our water-people, The South Shore offers paddleboarding with snorkeling with Nukomoi Point being the prime spot for it on Poipu Beach.
For our shopaholics, Old Koloa Town is the place you have to visit. Featuring plantation buildings full of stores and unique shops; the sight of the first successful sugar plantation in Hawaii, and the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa. Saint Raphael Catholic Church is located here which is also the oldest church in Kauai. On your way back don’t forget to drive through Tree Tunnel made up of eucalyptus trees.
Even if you are not a golfer, you got to visit Kahuna Golf Club just for the picturesque scenery of green. Speaking of green, Kauai’s Allerton Garden is located here for our tree-huggers. Shout out to the tree-huggers of the world!
Best Hotels in The South Shore
Best Airbnbs in The South Shore
The North Shore
The North Shore is so much rich in quaint charm that it places it under the title of the most scenic places on the entire planet. The scenery ranges from lively, verdant mountains reaching azure skies and golden beaches joining the cerulean waters.
The majority of the accommodations are located in Princeville, and beyond it, you can enjoy the busy shops and town with authentic items for sale. And if you want to have a bite, you’re just in the right place.
For our pizza lovers we have the Pau Hana Pizza, and for the people who more fond of the seafood, Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant is your place to sit back and enjoy luscious seafood.
Let’s talk about the strong stuff now. Bar Acuda Tapas & Wine serves one of the best dishes on the island. Chef Jim Moffat serves the renowned lobster-stuffed squid with romesco sauce and roasted chicken Panzanella. The menu lusters with vintage bottles from Western Europe and the US. This is a place tailor-made for the honeymooners.
A walk with your significant other with a landscape of hills kissing the sea, at Kee Beach, is not only a sight of healing but amazement too. This scenic beach is located between NaPali and the Limahuli Stream. Many others also consider this beach for snorkeling, and it is shaped like a lagoon.
The Kilauea Lighthouse, the northernmost point of the Hawaiian Islands was constructed in 1913. It had the largest hand-blown clamshell lens which in the 1970s was replaced with a beacon. This is considered one of the most well-known attractions to visit in Kauai.
Visible from the bridge spanning the Kalihiwai River, Kalihiwai Falls grants you to cherish the beautiful scene of the fall. This destination is popular for weddings. There’s even another unnamed waterfall at mile marker #25. Just after mile marker #9, there’s a large dry cave, the Maniniholo cave on the left by the road. Vehicles can be parked in the parking lot at Haena Beach Park. The cave 100-150 feet long and is pretty spacious.
Abundant with beautiful valleys, waterfalls, and the scenic backdrop of mountains takes its beauty on a whole new level. No matter which luxury accommodation you’re staying in, you will always be just a few minutes away from the trio beaches- the Kee, Haena, and Hanalei.
Best Hotels in The North Shore
Best Airbnbs in The North Shore
East Kauai/East Coast
Also known as the Coconut Coast, East Kauai is the most developed of all the other parts of Kauai, having the most affordable accommodations. This place touches borders with the towns of Anahola to the north. To the south, it touches to the capital city of Lihue.
Take a boat up the river, Wailua, and enjoy the kingdom of tropical plants and trees. The 30-minute tour can put you in a joyous mood for the rest of your trip. The tour is also accompanied by people singing and dancing. If you want to enjoy yourself while chilling with your family, Lydgate Beach is the place to go to.
This beach park has rock enclosed pools, especially for kids. There are multiple pools for toddlers, grown-up kids, and even babies which is why it is one of the most family-friendly destinations in Kauai.
The hike of Nounou East or the Sleeping Giant trail takes you on a 1,000 ft. from where the view you see will be like nothing else you’ve seen on Kauai. Just be careful on the top, and enjoy the view. It gives you a view of most of the east side and Waialeale. And if you head up the Kuamo’o Road, you’ll be able to see the Opaeka’a Falls, the over-150 ft. waterfall just before the second-mile marker. It flows all year, so, you can visit anytime.
Just ensure to visit under sunlight. The cloudy weather slightly fades its beauty. At the back of the Anahola Bay, the ½-mile-long spread of golden sands, the Anahola Beach is the most visited destination on the whole East Coast. The main access point is at Anahola Beach Park, through Anahola Road (too much Anahola…). You can find the restrooms, lifeguards, and the main campground, there.
The rocks bound an area of the beach with shallow waters suitable for toddlers to play in with safety. Other renowned beaches include Donkey Beach, Lydgate Beach, Kealia, and Numolii Beach.
The east side of the island generally has more affordable accommodations for you to stay (even during the busiest seasons). This side of the island is close to many beautiful locations that you can visit and it is proximal to the North Shore and West Side as well. It is home to the Kauai Path, a beautiful place so that you can take a romantic walk with your significant other.
Best Hotels in East Kauai/East Coast
Best Airbnbs in East Kauai/East Coast
The West Coast
Unlike the other parts of the islands ad as compared to them, the West Side of Kauai is more like an arid land. Because of the rain being blocked by the mountains this part of the island is comparatively dry but it is the destination for people who love hiking.
The scene of bright orange land from the top of Waimea Canyon is a sight to be experienced. This site has more B&Bs and Inns rather than hotels though it is advised to visit this part of the island with any other part, as its beauty is only seen by very few people. Many find the other parts of Kauai more interesting than the West Side.
Not only the Waimea Canyon but also the Kokee State Park is the place for our nature-lovers and poets. The Polihale State Park suits more the Arizona surrounding rather than Hawaii.
The beach is 12 miles long, perfectly suitable for our fellow honeymooners for they can get the space they want. The blue waters brush the sands with the backdrop of brown mountains with a reddish tinge to them.
Honopu Ridge Trail offers people the opportunity to have their adventure time as the trail has faded because of hurricanes in the past leading to a proclived probability of getting lost in the forest. But, do not worry, a guide might do you good. Another trail, the Nualolo Trail is another prime location for adventurers.
It offers a great view of the NaPali coast which is very heartwarming and relaxing. This trail is often is best done if you combine it with Awa’awapuhi Trail in a loop.
Have I mentioned how beautiful and serene the scene from the Kalalau Lookout is! It is not just another one of the lookouts. It is called ‘a view into the heart of the valley’ by many people. This place is no doubt one of the most photographed valleys in the whole Hawaiian Islands.
The coastline and valley it encompasses have been shooting spots for many movies even. The original King Kong, Jurassic Park, Six Days Seven Nights (sounds like a great package!), and Mighty Joe Young. This is also the highest you can go by road in Kauai at approximately four thousand feet above sea level.
Best Airbnbs in The West Coast
Regardless of what you want to see and what you want to do, there’s always something greater than you can expect in Kauai. Greater accommodations, greater food, greater culture and greater sceneries. You can enjoy as you want, as much you want, and can say ‘Ay Caramba’ all the time, enjoying a cocktail in a coconut.