Kauai’s East Side is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and culture of Hawaii. Kapaa town, located on the East Side, is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, and local businesses that offer visitors a taste of island life. Kuamoo Rd., a scenic drive that winds through lush tropical forests, provides access to popular attractions such as Opaekaa Falls and Wailua River State Park.
The East Side of Kauai is known for its stunning beaches, including Kealia Beach and Lydgate Beach Park. These beaches offer opportunities for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing in crystal-clear waters. Visitors can also explore historic sites such as the Hindu Monastery and the Kauai Museum which provide insight into the island’s rich cultural heritage.
If you’re looking for an adventure on the East Side of Kauai, consider taking a bike ride along the Kauai East Side Bike Path. This path offers breathtaking views of the coastline while providing an excellent opportunity to exercise and enjoy nature.
One thing that sets Kauai apart from other Hawaiian islands is its commitment to preserving its natural beauty. The East Side of Kauai is no exception with its lush greenery and sparkling blue waters. It’s easy to see why so many people choose to visit this beautiful part of Hawaii year after year.
Top Attractions and Activities on the East Side
Lydgate Beach Park: A Great Place for Swimming and Snorkeling
Lydgate Beach Park is a must-visit attraction on the East Side of Kauai. This beautiful park offers visitors a great place to swim and snorkel. The park features two enclosed swimming areas, which are protected by rock walls, making it a perfect spot for families with young children. The water is calm, clear, and shallow, making it easy to see the colorful fish and sea creatures that call this area home.
In addition to swimming and snorkeling, Lydgate Beach Park also has plenty of amenities available for visitors. There are picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and even a playground for kids. The park is also home to the Kamalani Playground, which is one of the largest wooden playgrounds in Hawaii. With so much to do at Lydgate Beach Park, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the top attractions on the East Side.
Wailua River: Easy Access to Kayaking or Boat Touring
The Wailua River is another popular attraction on the East Side of Kauai. Visitors can easily access this river from several points along Highway 56. One of the best ways to experience the Wailua River is by kayaking or taking a boat tour upriver to see the Fern Grotto.
Kayaking on the Wailua River is an unforgettable experience that takes you through lush rainforests and past towering waterfalls. If you’re not interested in kayaking but still want to see the Fern Grotto, there are several boat tours available that will take you upriver in comfort.
Kapaa Town: First Saturday Street Fair
On the first Saturday of every month, Kapaa Town hosts a street fair that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. This lively event features food vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to Hawaiian shaved ice. There are also local craft vendors selling handmade jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs.
Live music is a big part of the Kapaa Town street fair, with several bands and performers taking to the stage throughout the day. The event is family-friendly and always draws a large crowd. If you’re looking for something fun to do on the East Side of Kauai, be sure to check out the Kapaa Town first Saturday street fair.
Scenic Hikes: Sleeping Giant Trail and Kuilau Ridge Trail
The East Coast of Kauai is known for its scenic hikes, with two of the most popular being the Sleeping Giant Trail and the Kuilau Ridge Trail. The Sleeping Giant Trail takes you up to a stunning lookout point that offers panoramic views of Kauai’s lush interior. This hike is moderately challenging but well worth it for the incredible views at the top.
The Kuilau Ridge Trail is an easier hike that’s perfect for families or those who want a more leisurely experience. This trail takes you through beautiful forests and past several streams before ending at a scenic overlook.
Hidden Gem Beaches: Donkey Beach and Kealia Beach
While the West Side of Kauai may be more famous for its beaches, don’t overlook some of the hidden gems on the East Side like Donkey Beach and Kealia Beach. Donkey Beach is a secluded spot that’s perfect for sunbathing or surfing. The beach has plenty of shade provided by trees along its edge, making it comfortable even on hot days.
Kealia Beach is another great spot on the East Side that’s popular with locals. This long stretch of sandy beach offers plenty of space to spread out and relax in peace. It’s also one of Kauai’s best spots for windsurfing or kiteboarding thanks to its steady trade winds.
give me a table that lists the most popular attractions on the east side along with the best activities for each attractionsAre you ready to explore the amazing attractions on Kauai’s east side? Check out this handy table that lists the most popular spots and the best activities for each one!
Exploring the Beaches of Kauai’s East Side
Kalapaki Beach: A Must-Visit Destination
Located on the southeastern coast of Kauai, Kalapaki Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. With its stunning views of Nawiliwili Bay and its sandy shores, this beach is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kauai’s East Side.
Kalapaki Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and even surfing. The beach has a gentle slope that leads into the ocean, making it ideal for families with young children. There are several surf schools located near the beach that offer lessons and equipment rentals for those who want to try their hand at surfing.
For those looking to relax after a day in the sun, Kalapaki Beach also offers several restaurants and bars located nearby. Visitors can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a tropical drink while taking in the beautiful ocean views.
Kealia Beach: A Surfer’s Paradise
If you’re looking for a more active beach experience, Kealia Beach is the perfect spot. Located just north of Kapaa on Kauai’s Coconut Coast, Kealia Beach boasts some of the best surf breaks on the island.
The beach is also lifeguarded and features great amenities like restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. There are also several hiking trails located nearby that offer stunning views of Kauai’s coastline.
Anahola Beach Park: A Hidden Gem
Anahola Beach Park may not be as well-known as some other beaches on Kauai’s East Side, but it’s definitely worth a visit. This secluded beach park offers stunning ocean views and plenty of space for picnics and camping.
One unique feature of Anahola Beach Park is its natural rock formations that create tide pools during low tide. These tide pools are perfect for exploring marine life like sea urchins and crabs.
Kapaa: A Charming Town on the Coconut Coast
Kapaa is a charming town located on Kauai’s Coconut Coast that offers easy access to several beaches and other attractions. Visitors can take a stroll down the town’s main street, which features several shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
In addition to its beach access, Kapaa is also home to several natural attractions like the Opaekaa Falls and Heiau. These stunning waterfalls and ancient Hawaiian temples offer a glimpse into Kauai’s rich history and culture.
North Shore: A Hidden Paradise
While Kauai’s East Side is known for its beautiful beaches, the North Shore also has some hidden gems there are plenty of options for those looking for a more secluded beach experience.
One popular spot on the North Shore is Hanalei Bay, which boasts stunning views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear waters. The bay is perfect for swimming, surfing, or just relaxing on the sandy shores.
Outdoor Adventures: Hiking Trails and Water Activities
Hike the Giant Trail for Stunning Views
If you’re looking for a challenging yet rewarding hike, the Giant Trail is one of the best options in Kauai’s east side. This trail takes you through lush forests and up to high elevations where you can witness stunning views of the east shore and mountain ranges. The trail is approximately 8 miles round trip, so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
As you hike along the Giant Trail, you’ll encounter steep inclines and rocky terrain. However, once you reach the top, it’s all worth it. The panoramic views are breathtaking, with clear blue waters stretching out as far as the eye can see. Be sure to take your time at the summit and soak in the beauty around you.
Surf or Bike Along Ke Ala Hele Makalae
For those who prefer more leisurely outdoor activities, Ke Ala Hele Makalae bike path is an excellent option. This scenic path offers breathtaking views of both the shore and navigable river. Whether you choose to surf or bike along this path, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to enjoy.
The bike path stretches over 7 miles from Lydgate Beach Park to Donkey Beach, making it perfect for a day trip with family or friends. You’ll pass by several beaches along the way where you can stop for a swim or picnic lunch.
Explore Hidden Waterfalls and Pools at Wailua River State Park
Wailua River State Park is another must-visit destination on Kauai’s east side. Here, visitors can swim, kayak or take a boat ride to explore hidden waterfalls, pools and fern grottos that are tucked away within this lush park.
One of the most popular ways to explore Wailua River State Park is by taking a guided tour that will take you deep into its hidden gems such as Secret Falls. This waterfall is only accessible by boat or kayak, and the journey to reach it is as beautiful as the destination itself.
Wailua River: Tips and Recommendations for Visitors
Kayaking, boat tours, golfing, beach resorts, whale watching, and more – the Wailua River has it all! As one of Kauai’s top destinations, the Wailua River offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Here are some tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your visit to this stunning location.
Popular Activities on Wailua River
The Wailua River is famous for its kayaking and boat tours. These activities allow visitors to explore the river’s lush surroundings while taking in breathtaking views of waterfalls and wildlife. The river is also an ideal spot for fishing, paddleboarding, swimming, or simply relaxing on a peaceful float down the river.
Exploring Wailua Golf Course & Waipouli Beach Resort
Visitors can explore two popular sites near the Wailua River – The Wailua Golf Course and Waipouli Beach Resort. The golf course is located right next to the river’s mouth and offers stunning views of both the ocean and the mountains. On the other hand, Waipouli Beach Resort is a luxurious oceanfront resort that features a variety of amenities such as pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, spas, restaurants, bars.
Whale Watching During Winter Months
If you’re visiting during winter months (December through May), don’t miss out on whale watching opportunities on the Wailua River. Humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii during these months for breeding purposes. You may even catch sight of mothers with their calves!
Convenient Location Near Lihue Airport
The Wailua River is conveniently located near Lihue Airport (only 10 minutes away by car). This makes it easily accessible for tourists who want to spend time exploring Kauai’s east side without having to travel too far from their accommodations.
Flash Floods During Heavy Rainfalls
Visitors should be aware that heavy rainfalls can cause flash flooding in the area. It is essential to check weather conditions before heading out to the river and avoid kayaking or swimming during flood warnings.
Booking Tours or Rentals in Advance
To ensure availability, visitors are recommended to book tours or rentals in advance. This is especially important during peak tourist season (December through March), when demand for water activities is high.
Planning Your Vacation: Essential Information and Resources
Resort Options on Kauai’s East Side
Kauai’s East Side is home to a variety of resorts that cater to different needs and preferences. For those looking for a luxurious experience, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is an excellent choice. This resort boasts stunning ocean views, multiple pools, a championship golf course, and top-notch restaurants. Another option for those seeking luxury is the Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, which features spacious villas with full kitchens and private balconies.
For travelers on a budget, the Plantation Hale Suites offer affordable accommodations without sacrificing comfort. The rooms are equipped with kitchens or kitchenettes and there are two outdoor pools on site. Another budget-friendly option is the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach, which has direct access to the beach and offers complimentary yoga classes.
Directions to Kauai’s East Side
Getting to Kauai’s East Side is easy as it is just a short drive from Lihue Airport. From the airport, take HI-51 North towards Kapaa town. Once in Kapaa town, continue on Kuhio Highway (HI-56) until you reach your destination on the East Side.
Guide to Popular Attractions and Activities on Kauai’s East Side
One of the most popular attractions on Kauai’s East Side is Wailua Falls. This majestic waterfall can be viewed from a lookout point or by taking a short hike down to its base. Another must-visit spot is Opaekaa Falls, which can also be seen from a lookout point accessible by car.
For adventure seekers, kayaking along Wailua River offers breathtaking views of lush greenery and hidden waterfalls along the way. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Sleeping Giant Trailhead for panoramic views of the island after reaching its peak.
Family-Friendly Activities and Accommodations on Kauai’s East Side
Kauai’s East Side offers plenty of family-friendly activities and accommodations. The Lydgate State Park is a great spot for families with young children as it has a protected swimming area and playground. Another fun activity for families is the Smith Family Garden Luau, which includes traditional Hawaiian food, music, and dance.
The Kauai Shores Hotel is an excellent option for families as it offers spacious rooms with private lanais and easy access to the beach. The hotel also has two outdoor pools, a restaurant, and complimentary yoga classes.
List of Essential Items to Pack for the Perfect Vacation on Kauai’s East Side
When packing for a trip to Kauai’s East Side, it is important to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, swimwear, and light layers as temperatures can vary throughout the day. It is also recommended to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring the island.
Lodging Options on Kauai’s East Side
Hotels and Resorts
The East Side of Kauai is home to a variety of lodging options that cater to different preferences and budgets. For those who prefer the convenience and amenities of hotels, there are several options to choose from. The Courtyard Marriott, located in Kapaa, offers comfortable rooms with modern furnishings and a range of facilities such as an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. Meanwhile, the Hilton Garden Inn boasts oceanfront views and easy access to Lydgate Beach Park. If you’re looking for a resort experience, the Kauai Beach Resort provides guests with luxurious accommodations amidst tropical gardens.
For travelers seeking more privacy or larger living spaces for families or groups, vacation rentals are a popular choice on Kauai’s East Side. With options ranging from cozy cottages to luxurious villas, there’s something for everyone. Rental companies like VRBO and Airbnb offer a wide selection of properties that can fit any budget or preference. Whether you want to stay in Kapaa town or venture out into the countryside near Wailua River State Park, there are plenty of rental options available.
Bed and Breakfasts
For those who prefer a more intimate experience with local hosts, bed and breakfasts provide charming accommodations that offer unique insights into Kauai’s culture and history. The Fern Grotto Inn in Kapaa is situated on two acres of lush gardens featuring native Hawaiian plants and fruit trees. The inn offers six private cottages decorated with vintage Hawaiian decor that transport guests back in time while still providing modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and kitchenettes. Another option is Hale Ho’o Maha Bed & Breakfast in Anahola which offers guests stunning ocean views from their private lanais.
Dining and Nightlife in East Kauai
Restaurants in East Kauai
East Kauai is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of dining options to suit every taste bud. From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, visitors can explore the diverse culinary scene of the region.
Seafood lovers must visit The Fish Express, a popular spot known for its fresh and delicious seafood dishes. Visitors can also try local Hawaiian cuisine at Ono Family Restaurant, which offers an extensive menu featuring classic dishes like Loco Moco and Kalua Pig.
Kintaro Japanese Restaurant is another must-visit spot for sushi lovers. This restaurant offers traditional and modern Japanese dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Omakase Sushi Platter, which features a selection of fresh and delicious sushi.
For those who want to enjoy stunning ocean views while dining, Oasis on the Beach is the perfect spot. This farm-to-table restaurant offers a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients that are sure to delight your palate. Visitors can enjoy dishes like Grilled Mahi-Mahi or Seared Scallops while taking in breathtaking views of the ocean.
Nightlife in East Kauai
While East Kauai may not offer as much nightlife as other regions in Hawaii, visitors can still enjoy live music and drinks at some great venues.
Trees Lounge is one such venue where you can relax with friends over drinks while enjoying live music performances by local artists. The bar also serves delicious snacks like Garlic Edamame and Buffalo Chicken Wings that are perfect for sharing.
Lava Lava Beach Club is another popular spot where visitors can enjoy live music performances while sipping on tropical cocktails. The club also serves an extensive menu featuring classic Hawaiian dishes like Poke Bowls and Kalua Pork Sliders.
Discovering the Unique Features and Characteristics of the Region
Kauai’s East Side: Discovering Its Unique Features and Characteristics
Lush Vegetation and Stunning Natural Scenery
The eastern side of Kauai is known for its lush vegetation and stunning natural scenery. The area is home to several hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the island’s waterfalls, mountains, and valleys. One popular trail is the Sleeping Giant Trail, which takes hikers on a journey through dense forests and offers panoramic views of the island. Another popular spot is Opaekaa Falls, which cascades down a 151-foot drop into a pool below.
The east side of Kauai has several popular attractions that are worth visiting. One such attraction is Wailua Falls, which drops 80 feet into a pool below. Visitors can view the falls from an overlook or hike down to the base for a closer look. Another must-see attraction is the Fern Grotto, a natural amphitheater surrounded by ferns and tropical plants. Visitors can take a boat ride up the Wailua River to reach this stunning location.
Visitors can explore the rich history of Kauai’s east side by visiting sites such as Keahua Arboretum, an ancient Hawaiian village that provides insight into traditional Hawaiian culture. Another site worth exploring is Poliahu Heiau, an ancient temple dedicated to Poli’ahu, goddess of snow.
The east side of Kauai boasts some of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. Lydgate Beach Park offers calm waters for swimming and snorkeling along with amenities such as picnic areas and restrooms. Kalapaki Beach is another popular spot known for its soft white sand and crystal-clear waters perfect for surfing or paddleboarding.
Much of the east side of Kauai has been designated as a conservation district by the state of Hawaii to protect its natural beauty and unique ecosystem. This means that visitors can enjoy the area’s natural wonders while still respecting the environment and preserving it for future generations.
Experience the Best of Kauai’s East Side
Discover the Hidden Gems of East Kauai
East Kauai is a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and exciting activities. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover on this side of the island.
One of the most breathtaking sights in East Kauai is Wailua Falls. This stunning waterfall cascades down from a height of 80 feet into a pool below, surrounded by lush greenery and towering cliffs. The best time to visit Wailua Falls is early in the morning when the sunlight hits the water at just the right angle, creating a rainbow effect.
Another must-see attraction in East Kauai is Opaekaa Falls. This tranquil waterfall is located in Wailua River State Park and can be viewed from a lookout point just off Kuamoo Road. The falls are surrounded by dense tropical foliage, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and photographers.
Immerse Yourself in Rich Cultural History
East Kauai also boasts a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. One way to experience this history firsthand is by visiting Kamokila Hawaiian Village, an ancient village that has been restored to its former glory. Here you can learn about traditional Hawaiian culture and customs, watch cultural performances, and even try your hand at hula dancing.
Another significant historical site on East Kauai is the Wailua Complex of Heiaus. This sacred temple complex was once used for religious ceremonies and offerings to the gods. Today visitors can explore this fascinating site and learn about its significance in Hawaiian culture.
Take A Leisurely Stroll Along Scenic Ke Ala Hele Makalae Coastal Path
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal path offers an unforgettable experience with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and rugged coastline. The path stretches for eight miles along the eastern coast of Kauai and is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.
Explore Diverse Marine Life
East Kauai is also home to some of the most diverse marine life in Hawaii. Anahola Bay and Lydgate Beach Park are two popular spots for snorkeling and scuba diving. Here you can see colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins if you’re lucky!
Indulge in Local Flavors
No trip to East Kauai would be complete without indulging in the local flavors. Kapaa Town is a bustling hub of activity with an array of unique shops, galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious Hawaiian cuisine. From poke bowls to shave ice, there’s something for everyone here.
Conclusion: Discovering the Beauty of Kauai’s East Side
Discovering the Beauty of Kauai’s East Side
In conclusion, Kauai’s east side is a treasure trove of natural beauty and adventure. With its stunning beaches, lush hiking trails, and exciting water activities, it offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adrenaline-pumping thrills, this region has got you covered.
From the iconic Wailua River to the hidden gems waiting to be discovered along the coast, there are endless opportunities to explore and appreciate the unique features that make Kauai’s east side so special. And with an array of lodging options and dining establishments available, visitors can fully immerse themselves in all that this area has to offer.
So why not plan your next vacation to Kauai’s east side? With its breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable experiences, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits. Don’t miss out on the chance to discover all that this beautiful region has in store for you!
Looking to explore the beautiful landscapes of Kauai? Learn about the distinctive features, unique attractions, and culture of each area with our comprehensive guide on Kauai Regions. Plan your trip now and make the most of your visit to this paradise.