West Side Kauai

The West Side is home to a few of Kauai’s most historic places and scenic wonders, the most famous of which is the breathtaking Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

But there is even more to explore. Head north beyond the gorges and cliffs of Waimea Canyon and visit Kokee State Park where you’ll find yet another amazing view from the Kalalau Lookout. The two small towns of Waimea and Hanapepe also grace the West Side. In 1778, Captain Cook first landed in the Hawaiian Islands here at Waimea Bay. Today, a statue of Cook stands in Waimea Town commemorating this event. Hanapepe is the art capital of Kauai with galleries, shops and eateries lining small town Hanapepe Road.

Tour Map of Kauai Island

Explore Kauai by region: North ShoreEast Side (Coconut Coast)LihueSouth Shore.

Download Tour Map of Kauai Island

Island Highlights

- Napali Coast: Take an air tour or a boat tour to witness the towering cliffs along Kauai’s North Shore.
- Waimea Canyon: Enjoy the panoramic views of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
- Wailua River: Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii and Wailua is one of the most popular.
- Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse: Visit this beautiful scenic point at the northernmost tip of the island.
- Kauai Beaches: From Poipu on the South Shore to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore, explore Kauai’s amazing beaches.


Waimea Town

Waimea Town

This historic seaport town can be found not far from where British discoverer Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii in 1778. A statue of Captain Cook can be found in the center of town, a replica of the original statue found in Whitby England. 

Location: In southwest Kauai, west of Hanapepe.


Hanapepe Town

Hanapepe Town

Known as “Kauai’s biggest little town,” charming Hanapepe Town is the art capital of Kauai. Located on the south shore west of Koloa, Hanapepe Town once flourished as one of Kauai's largest communities. From World War I to the early 1950s, West Side Hanapepe was also one of Kauai's busiest towns, alive with G.I.’s and sailors training in the Pacific Theater.

Hanapepe Town celebrates its artists every Friday, from 6-9pm, as painters, sculptors and craftsmen open the doors of their galleries and studios to celebrate the arts. Visit the galleries, take a walk on the “Hanapepe Swinging Bridge” — which is always an adventure to cross — then shop and dine in one of Kauai’s most famous small towns.

Location: On the south shore west of Koloa.

Kokee State Park

Kokee State Park

The Kokee State Park features 45 miles of Kauai’s best hiking trails and is the home of the Kalalau Lookout and is covered in forest, wild flowers and hiking trails making it an excellent spot to see native plants and colorful endemic Hawaiian forest birds like the apapane, iwi and moa. 

The park also offers roughly 45 miles of the state's finest hiking trails. Some trails lead to views of Waimea Canyon, others wind through wet forests with sweeping views of valleys opening up to the North Shore. 

Location: North beyond Waimea Canyon.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon, on Kauai's West Side, is described as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Although not as big or as old as its Arizona cousin, you won’t encounter anything like this geological wonder in Hawaii. Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon Lookout provides panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles.

The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to a lower lookout point and the main Waimea Canyon Overlook, offering views of Kauai's dramatic interior. The road continues into the mountains and ends at Kokee State Park. There are numerous trails to traverse for beginners and seasoned hikers.

Location: Roughly a 45 minute drive north of LihueOn the southwest side of Kauai in Waimea.


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Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do