After looking at our Kauai vacation rentals, the next question for first time visitors is what part of the island to stay. It can be a difficult decision when your options include everything from dreamy Poipu Beach to spectacular Hanalei Bay. Here are five ways to make it easier.
First Tip: Plan your Kauai vacation in two locations.
This way you can base yourself in two places and see where you fit in best. This will reduce your driving time too. It can take up to 90 minutes to travel between Poipu and where the road ends on the North Shore at Kee Beach. We make it easy to split your stay by offering a 3 night minimum on Kauai condos and 5 nights on Kauai homes.
Second Tip: Ocean conditions change by season.
Do you want to spend more time enjoying Kauai snorkeling or be adventurous and surf? Consider that South Shore Kauai has larger waves in Summer and the North Shore can exceed 30 feet in winter. That means Tunnels Beach is best for snorkeling from May-September and Poipu Beach enjoys calmer conditions from October-April.
Third Tip: Kauai weather varies by side of island.
Poipu is usually sunny throughout the year and North Shore weather is somewhat more variable during the winter. You can always expect warm days whenever you visit and cooler nights from November through February.
Fourth Tip: Kauai activities on both shores are similar and also unique.
Kauai Golf: You’ll find no shortage of world class golf courses to play including public and private. The majority are on the South Shore like Poipu Bay, Kihauna, Kukuiolono and the very private Golf Course at Kukuiula. On the North Shore you’ll find the top ranked Makai Course at Princeville Resort. Between them is the Wailua Golf Course on the East Side.
Kauai Beaches: Hanalei is often ranked Number 1 in the USA by Dr. Beach. Just one look and you’ll see why. Poipu is equally famous with its white sand beaches, snorkeling and diving. It’s a great place for kids of all ages and ranked a Top 10 Beach by The Travel Channel.
Kauai Gardens: On the North Shore, visit Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Or stop at Na ‘Āina Botanical Garden-Kauai. On the South Shore you’ll find the exquisite Allerton and McBryde Gardens where Jurassic Park was filmed.
Kauai Hiking: Na Pali Coast features the Kalalau Trail on the North Shore and Poipu has its Mahualepu Trail to keep day hikers busy. The Westside also offers renowned hiking spots like the Waimea Canyon Trail and others at Kokee State Park.
Fifth Tip: Do you relate more to a North Shore or South Shore vibe?
North Shore: More rural and relaxed. Edged by miles of golden sand and nestled against lush emerald mountains. Explore sleepy Hanalei town or you may find yourself standing still just to absorb it all. Take the challenge and see who can count the most waterfall tracks on the valley walls. There’s also Princeville Resort nearby.
South Shore: Old Koloa town offers quaint shops in historic plantation buildings while Poipu offers world class golf, tennis, walking trails, designer shops, Anara Spa and superlative dining. The Shops at Kukuiula is a mecca of upscale stores and unique dining places.
Now it’s your turn to comment and add your favorite tips. We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to The Parrish Collection Kauai. For additional help on where to stay, we invite you to call us at 800-325-5701.