East Kauai Region Sights, Tours, & Information

Things to Do & Visitor Tips for East Kauai

There are many people who will call East Kaua'i the Coconut Coast, and once you visit you'll see why. For miles along the shoreline there are hundreds of coconut trees.

John Derrick
Published on: 01-18-2020
Published by: John C. Derrick
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East Kaua'i will also be where rain chances increase as the trade winds blow in from the Pacific. The average rainfall varies along the coastline, but you can expect to see a little more than on the south and west sides - between 45 and 60 inches a year. Head mauka (inland) towards Wai'ale'ale or Kawaikini, though, rain increases by the foot, literally. The average temperature is much cooler in this region than the south or west at around 70F.

The east coast is probably the second most popular part of the island, including for accommodations, and thus most of the resorts are along this stretch, especially in Kapa'a. Plus, there are plenty of attractions gracing the region, from Wailua Falls and Opaeka'a Falls to the Fern Grotto, all near the Wailua River.

In East Kauai, you'll pass through the popular resort area of Kapa'a. It is a small oceanfront town that's getting ever so close to the North Shore. It is also right on the edge of Wailua River State Park and Lydgate Beach Park.

Other towns you'll find on the east coast include Wailua, Hanamaulu, and Anahola.

East Kauai Top 5 Things to Do

Best Things to See in East Kauai

Fern Grotto

#5 Rated in East Kauai

The Wailua River is said to be the only navigable river in Hawaii (depending on how you define 'navigable'). In the case of taking a boat a few miles inland to a lovely mecca of ferns and tropical plants - the Fern Grotto, it means Wailua River.

The Fern Grotto is a large natural amphitheater with hundreds of ferns draped from it. The gardens leading up to the amphitheater are full of tropical plants and flowers, including the incredible split-leaf philodendrons or swiss-cheese plant - one of our personal favorites.

The tour is about 30-minutes up the river in the large passenger boats, usually accompanied by entertainment, mele (song), and dance. The visit to the Grotto itself is usually between 30-45 minutes. 

Lydgate Beach

#4 Rated in East Kauai

Lydgate Beach Park is one of the most family-friendly public places on the island of Kauai. The beach park has plenty of amenities and one of the park's biggest highlights is the large, double-sectioned rock enclosed pools. This enclosed pool allows for a nice dip without being exposed to the ocean's pull.

The smaller pool, to the left, is perfect for toddlers and even babies; the larger pool is great for children of all ages and one can often see fish that swim in and out through the holes in the man-made rock walls.

Swimming outside the pools can be tricky; so be very mindful before going in the water; even though a lifeguard tower is nearby. 

Nounou East Trail - 'Sleeping Giant'

#3 Rated in East Kauai

This is a great hike in East Kauai. The Nounou East or Sleeping Giant trail will take you on a journey of 1,000 ft., but the views at the top certainly are grand.

You'll be rewarded with a view of all of the east side of the island and a good look inland towards Waialeale, as well. The trail can be hot if you start too late in the day, so try to get an early start.

Be careful at the top because some of the dropoffs are pretty steep, but enjoy the view; it's unlike anything else in East Kauai.

Opaeka'a Falls

#2 Rated in East Kauai

Head up Kuamo'o Road until you see a pullout for Opaeka'a Falls on your right, shortly before the second mile marker. From the overlook, you can get a spectacular view of 150+ foot Opaeka'a Falls.

The falls are at their best in full sunlight (late morning usually). If you visit on a cloudy day, definitely try to return at a sunnier hour.

Best of all, the falls are flowing year-round so you're always certain to see it in action.

Anahola Beach

#1 Rated in East Kauai

Anahola Beach is a 1/2-mile long curve of white sand tucked into the back of Anahola Bay. Multiple access points to Anahola Bay exist. The most common is at Anahola Beach Park on Anahola Road, which is where the restrooms, lifeguards, and campground are located.  

At the far right end of the beach park, where the sand meets the rocks, there is an excellent protected area for children to play and swim in the shallows. Because of the bounding reef, this is one of the safest swimming places on Kauai.

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