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Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

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Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

My husband & I are traveling for our first time to Hawaii May 09. We do not know what side of Kauai to rent on. Any ideas would be great. Thanks.

Tucson, Arizona
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11. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

There are lots of activities on the north shore. Here are just a few:

- Hiking (Search on this forum for more info)

- Kayaking

- Ziplining

- Horseback riding

- Great snorkeling (in the summer)

Boise, ID
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12. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

If you do decide on the South shore -- I can recommend Kuhio Shores. Gorgeous views! I mean, they are breathtaking -- and the sound of the waves crashing is heavenly (it drowns out the road traffic and the roosters also). We stayed in 406 -- the views from the 4th floor were fabulous. There are many beautiful units to choose from. You can check out my review to see pics of the condo.

The North shore is gorgeous. We didn't stay there, but did check out some of the sites and beaches there also. You've gotten some good North shore recommendations.

Just know, wherever you stay, you can drive to visit the other parts of the island. Just leave early in the morning to give yourself time. We didn't particulary care for the East side, I don't think I would ever stay on that side. But that's just us.

Have fun planning!

Moorpark, California
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13. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

Last June, we spent one week in Poipu and one week in Haena. Both rentals were homes since we wanted to be right on the water and we like the extra room. We stayed on Baby's Beach on Ho'ona Road in Poipu and then on Alamoo Road in Haena. We rented from www.ParrishKauai.com in Poipu and www.KauaiVacationRentals.com in Haena. We loved splitting the two weeks between the two shores. It gave us some extended time in each area without having to drive too far. On the north shore, we mostly hiked, snorkeled and spent time on the beach. We also celebrated Independence Day on the north shore. Loads of fun!

My husband has stayed in Kuhio Shores on business several times. His only complaint was that on several occasions, folks in the condos above, below or next to him either made a lot of noise or smoked on their balconies. There is also no pool and the closest beach (Lawai Beach) gets quite crowded at times. The location is perfect to enjoy the ocean from your unit. He especially likes the corner units for the panorami views.

If you don't mind researching two properties, putting deposits on two properties and spending part of one day moving, splitting your trip is a great idea. We enjoyed it last summer but next June, we are staying in once location in Poipu and just driving to the north shore one day to see the sites.

Here are the websites I use for Poipu. They are folks on the forum that know the north shore better than I. May is gorgeous on both shores.





THe first two have most of the houses and cottages for rent in Poipu but the 3rd website has some nice surprises, as well. Good Luck!

Las Vegas
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14. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

We stayed on the north shore for 10 days, at the Hanalei Bay Resort. We drove all over the island and felt it was a good base to go from. We spent a day on the south shore, and did not feel like we missed out. Loved the Jurassic Park-ness of the north shore, the storms rolling in, 5 minutes of rain per day, rainbows every morning over Hanalei Bay.

Kama'aina Wannabe...
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15. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

With 2 weeks, especially in May -good weather all around- I'd split the stay, one week on the North shore in a rental cottage and one at the beautiful Hyatt in Poipu. Best of both worlds.

Kaua'i, HI
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16. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

Aloha from Kaua'i!

North ,South Shore, East or West Side? Each one has something to recommend it in May -- weather isn't really a factor to worry about so it is more about what you enjoy.

The North Shore is beautiful, green and lush - it has the wonderful little town of Hanalei that has lots of shops and restaurants to browse in. There are lots of beautiful beaches as well to enjoy. There is hiking, but do be aware that you can hike many places all over Kaua'i - Waimea Canyon on the West Side for instance has incredible hiking trails and has several for any type of ability level. It does get more rain than the other areas here on Kaua'i, but in May, I don't think you need to worry about that usually. You will need to drive a little further to visit other part of the island, but usually folks don't mind that.

The South Shore is more concentrated - lots of lovely beaches (Po'ipu Beach Park, Maha'ulepu Beach for a "deserted" type beach) - Old Koloa Town, and Po'ipu Shopping Village for restaurants and shopping.

It is an easy drive to the West Side (Waimea Canyon, Polihale State Park) and the East Side also - about an hour and a half drive to the North Shore, depending on traffic conditions. We are experiencing a lot of construction in this area, so when you are looking at properties, be aware of how close they are to any construction zones - just educate yourself in advance so you don't have any unexpected situations. The accessability to the ocean is one of the best things about this area. Lots of properties are either right on, or next to the beaches and ocean.

The East Side is the commercial heart of Kaua'i -- there are lots of condos, hotels and vacation rentals there also - not as many swimmable beaches (other than Lydgate Park and Kalapaki Beach) are to be found there. It is the most central part of the island and it is an easy drive to either the North Shore or South or West Sides of the island from there.

The West Side should also be mentioned - altho' it doesn't have as many visitor accomodations or attractions - it is a beautiful, reliably sunny part of Kaua'i and there are lots of vacation rentals in Waimea or Kekaha - also the wonderful Waimea Plantation Cottages. It is obviously an easy drive up to Waimea Canyon for views and hiking. It is a much more residential part of the island and doesn't feel as much like a resort area as the others. If you want a really laid-back, local feel and the sunniest weather on Kaua'i - this is the part of the island for you!

Good luck in choosing - it is all about what your preferences are - each part of the island is very different from one another. As to whether to split up your vacation - with a couple of weeks it is certainly possible and would give you a good "feel" for those parts of the island you choose.

Malama Pono,


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17. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

i stayed north shore 2 weeks 3 years ago.investigated/researched many different day hikes of different difficulties/lengths and did several of them (maybe about 6). the ones we liked the best were near the north shore , but also a couple in the Waimea Canyon area/Kokee Park, which is on the south/southwest side, which was about a 45 minute drive each way from our north shore accomodations. but those hikes were definitely worth the drives ! we plan on going back this Sept. and are planning on doing the entire 10+ mile hike(hopefully in one day) to Kalalau Beach , camping there a couple nites before returning.

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18. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

You must have flown in your car because it takes me 1 hour and 30 minutes from Princeville to the West side. One hour if no traffic early in the morning. From Haena longer.

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19. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

We drive fast in Chicago, if there is no traffic the gas pedal is all the way down. :) Have to make up for time wasted sitting in traffic jams. Keeping this on topic I would mention that Google Maps says it's an hour and a half from Princeville to Waimea, and that's before you even get anywhere up near the state park.

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20. Re: Kauai--North, South, What is the best side to stay on???

yes you guys are right, i was mistaken a bit with that 45 minute travel time estimate that i posted the other day ... actually we were staying about 15 minutes drive east of princeville (at a small private 'cottage' in a gated community, i forget the exact name of the community...the cottage is called "Hawaiian Romantic Cottage" ) and i think it was probably over an hour's drive, but still worth it !