Where to stay in Kauai

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There is no one answer for where you should stay in Kauai. The best answer you could get would be- it depends! It will depend on your personal preference & travel style based on the type of accommodation you prefer, what activities you want to do while there and the overall vibe of the area you’d like to experience.

Overview of the areas/regions of Kauai island

There are four main regions to the island of Kauai:

North Shore

South Shore

East Coast &

West Side

Each area of the island has its own unique vibe, typical weather & sights to see.

Keep reading for details on each area to help you choose where to stay in Kauai.

North Shore

South Shore

East Coast

West Side

Hanalei Bay











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Where to stay in Kauai


✔ beautiful, lush greenery & mountain backdrops

✔ waterfalls

rainy from November through March


Most well known for Hanalei Bay, the north shore area of Kauai is the most verdant on the island. Upon entering this area you’ll see waterfalls and mountainscapes as your backdrop, and be well within the more popular beaches such as Kee & Haena.

*Keep in mind that ‘rainy’ weather in Hawaii can often mean rain for a few hours & then sunshine soon after.

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✔ sunny & dry year round

✔ plenty of beaches to enjoy

✔ lots of dining available

beaches are popular with visitors, so they can feel crowded compared to other parts of the island


The south shore of Kauai is home to the warmest & driest parts of Kauai. It’s definitely popular with travelers, but you can’t beat the stunning beaches here.

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✔ more affordable lodging compared to other areas of the island

✔ in between the North Shore & West Side, so is convenient to access most of the island

many beaches here are local – some think they are less beautiful/accessible compared to the North & South parts of the island


The east coast of Kauai is the second most popular area of the island which means there are lots of accommodation options. It’s also close to many beautiful areas such as Wailua Falls & Wailua River and the Fern Grotto


✔ great home base for those looking to do lots of hiking

much more isolated than the other parts of Kauai


You could technically split the west side into northwest & southwest.

The northwest area, also known as the Napali coast, is essentially inaccessible save for boats, which makes it a beautiful place to experience as there is no infrastructure there. Whereas the southwest part of the west side is dryer and has beaches like the stunning Polihale beach.

This area isn’t built for tourists, so it still maintains that local Hawaiin vibe.

With so many beautiful options to choose from where would you choose to stay in Kauai?


Hi! I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing online brand strategist. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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