Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Captain's Blog

What Side Of Kauai Is The Best To Stay On?


Kauai offers such a wealth of wonderful sights and features that you pretty much can’t go wrong whichever side of the island you choose to stay on. Of course, there’s no way to take it all in unless you plan on staying here for several months. So if you want to maximize your trip and still have a great time, it’s worth knowing what to expect in each region.

Kauai has four distinct geographic areas, each of which offers its own unique set of features and attractions:

  • The North Shore
  • The South Shore
  • The East Coast
  • The West Side

Let’s take a look at what each region has to offer!

Staying On Kauai’s North Shore

North Shore Pros:

  • Plenty of impressive scenery with spectacular mountain views
  • Green valleys with many waterfalls
  • Good range of accommodation options
  • Located close to some of the finest beaches in Hawaii, including Kee Beach, Haena Beach Park, Tunnels Beach, and Hanalei Bay

North Shore Cons:

  • Heavy rainfall from late November to March

The North Shore encompasses the towns of Princeville, Hanalei, and Kilauea. It is widely considered one of the most scenic spots oon Kauai and on the entire Hawaiian island chain. With its stunning beaches and majestic mountains towering above the horizon, it is every bit the epitome of Hawaii, as most people know it.

The rainfall can get pretty heavy at certain months of the year, particularly from late November to March. But this only adds to the lush greenery of the surroundings and helps keep the air cool.

Luxury accommodations are available at Princeville. This town is located close to Hanalei, which is a popular spot among local and visiting surfers.

Experiencing the South Side of Kauai

South Side Pros:

  • Plenty of sunshine throughout the year
  • Several fine beaches to enjoy
  • Wide range of restaurant and dining establishments

South Side Cons:

  • The beaches tend to get quite crowded

The South Shore is arguably the most popular region of Kauai. It encompasses the towns of Koloa, Lawai, and Poipu. It is gifted with excellent weather throughout most of the year and remains fairly dry with plenty of sunshine.

The South Shore offers many opportunities to shop and dine, with fine establishments and luxury resorts all over. It does tend to get crowded at times, especially at the beach during peak season. But that is all part of the area’s charm, and anyone looking for a lively and social environment would do well to check it out.

The East “Coconut” Coast

East Kauai Pros:

  • Plenty of affordably-priced accommodations, even during peak season
  • Located near the most popular attractions on Kauai
  • A convenient location from which to explore the island
  • Located close to the North Shore and the West Side

East Kauai Cons:

  • The beaches aren’t as impressive as those on the North Shore or the South Side

Also known as the “Coconut Coast”, Kauai’s East Coast includes the towns of Kapaa, Lihue, and Wailua. A few minutes’ drive along the highway will quickly reveal why the area is named as such, with its thousands of majestic coconut trees lining the coast.

As for accommodations, travelers on a budget will be thrilled to know that the East Coast offers some of the cheapest rates on Kauai. It is also ideally situated on the island’s center, making it the perfect jumping-off spot to explore the other regions. Make sure to check out the local beaches here for a more rustic experience that contrasts sharply with the more tourist-friendly beaches on the North and South Shore.

The West Side of Kauai

West Kauai Pros:

West Kauai Cons:

  • Most areas are pretty dry and barren

Kauai’s West Side encompasses the towns of Waimea and Hanapepe. Although not quite as ‘touristy’ as the other parts of the island, this region nevertheless has a quaint and rough-hewn charm that makes it an ideal destination for those looking for something off the beaten path.

The West Side stays pretty dry throughout most of the year, as the mountains at the center of the island pretty much block out most of the rain. So if you want to avoid getting wet as much as possible, this region might be the one for you.

Popular attractions on the West Side include Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. There are also many trails available for those into hiking.

As you can see, Kauai Island has plenty to offer regardless of where you choose to stay. Hopefully, the information provided is enough to help you make a more informed decision when choosing your accommodations. Don’t forget to book a tour with Kauai Sea Tours to enjoy the best of Kauai Island!

  • Posted in: