Hawaii Guide

Kapaa, Kauai Coconut Coast Kauai

Kapaa on the Coconut Coast Kauai

Kapaa is Kauai's main social centre on the east coast, is part of the Coconut Coast called so because it once used to be a coconut plantation. Kapaa has only recently been fully restored to show its heritage as a plantation town after it was devastated by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. A high percentage of the local population lives on the east coast which is recognized as the island's main commercial centre. This is the best place to find affordable accommodation of all types and is therefore popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There is great shopping and dining in this region with many shopping villages and restaurants.

Shopping and eating aren't the only activities this part of the island has to offer. To the far north of the region, there are waterfalls which you can hike to. The Hoopii Falls can be found along Kapaa Stream and is well worth hiking to. Watch out for mosquitoes and make sure you bring plenty of water to avoid possible dehydration. There are other trails in this region for more seasoned hikers. The Powerline Trail goes from north of Kapaa to southern Princeville. It is easy to find your way as this trail is marked by the power line poles, so as long as you stay near them you should not get lost. Another interesting trail is the Nounou Trail which is a tough hike up Nounou Mountain, also known as the Sleeping Giant, to the west of Kapaa. The best view of the Sleeping Giant is from the Kuhio Highway in the centre of Waipouli.

There are plenty of beaches in the area. Kealia beach, north of Kapaa, is a good spot for boogie boarding and surfing. Beware though of fierce currents and backwash. On a calm day, this can be a good place for snorkeling but when the waves are high, steer clear unless you are a very experienced surfer. Kapaa Kauai Beach Park is very popular with the locals and tends to be quite busy. There are areas where it is possible to swim when the waters are calmer, but in instances where this is not possible the beach park also hosts a swimming pool for days when the ocean is too rough. Kite surfers can also be found here on a windy day.

Continuing south, Waipouli Beach Park (aka Fuji Beach or Baby Beach) offers a safe environment for children to swim and play in the ocean. The next beach along, Waipouli Beach, is very picturesque but no good for swimming due to strong currents and rough waters. It is ideal for walkers or joggers. Wailua Beach, next to the mouth of the Wailua River, is easily accessible and is used by surfers and boogie boarders except during rough weather in the winter. There are rip currents so swimmers need to be careful.