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Wailuā

With towering waterfalls, perfect beaches and the state’s only navigable river, this eastern Kauaʻi town is a top destination for adventurers and dreamers alike.

Located on the east coast of Kauaʻi, Wailuā is famous for its close proximity to some of the island’s most popular outdoor attractions. The town is divided into two sections, separated by Nounou Mountain, nicknamed the "Sleeping Giant" because of its distinctive shape. Take the Nounou Trail up to the peak to enjoy panoramic views of Wailuā and the surrounding landscape, before exploring the area’s many other outdoor attractions.

Much of the area’s outdoor fun revolves around the Wailuā River, the only navigable river in Hawaiʻi. Rent a kayak and paddle along a shoreline dotted with ruins and archaeological sites that provide a glimpse into Hawaii’s ancient past. Take a boat tour to explore Fern Grotto. With ferns hanging overhead and waterfall mist hanging in the air, it’s easy to see why this lava cave is a popular filming location. 

Nearby are Wailuā Falls, a towering 80-foot (25-meter) high triple waterfall that creates a dramatic effect in its heavily forested setting. Adventurous visitors can walk down a short trail to the base of the falls. If you’re traveling by car, admire the view from an overlook along the road. Pack a picnic lunch and head to Opaekaʻa Falls, another natural wonder that sits along the Wailuā River. 

After exploring the lush rain forest landscapes of the inland, head to the coast to enjoy the attractions of the Pacific. Lydgate Beach Park features clean shores and prime oceanfront access. The calm waters make it a popular snorkeling spot for beginners. Head a little bit further out to surf the area’s waves. Rock walls were built into the beach, creating small swimming pools that are ideal for children. 

After enjoying the sun for the afternoon, ride along the bike path to coastal Wailuā, where you can enjoy a fresh-caught seafood dinner. Bars often feature live music and offer a relaxed nightlife setting. 

Wailuā is about a 10-minute drive north of Lihue Airport. Public transportation is limited, so renting a car or motorbike will ensure you get the most from your visit.


Guide to Exploring Wailua


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See all 169 Hotels in Wailua
£83
Kauai Shores Hotel

Kauai Shores Hotel

420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
3.9
of 5, from 941 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Wailua hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Smith Family Garden Luau and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Golf Course and Sleeping Giant Trailhead are also within 3 miles (5 km).

Waipouli Beach Resort F201 by RedAwning

Waipouli Beach Resort F201 by RedAwning

4 820 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Wailua, this beach condo is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Ho'olalaea Waterfall and 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Town Park and Smith Family Garden Luau are also within 3 miles (5 km).

Waipouli Beach Resort G 404 by RedAwning

Waipouli Beach Resort G 404 by RedAwning

4-820 Kuhio Highway, Unit G404, Kapaa
4.5 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Wailua condo is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Ho'olalaea Waterfall and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Kealia Beach and Wailua Golf Course are also within 3 miles (5 km).

2 Bedroom Kauai Vacation Rental

2 Bedroom Kauai Vacation Rental

4-856 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa
3.2
of 5, from 8 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Offering direct access to the beach, this Wailua condo is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Ho'olalaea Waterfall and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Kealia Beach and Town Park are also within 3 miles (5 km).

£102
Aston Islander on the Beach

Aston Islander on the Beach

440 Aleka Place, Kapaa
4.2
of 5, from 2,432 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Wailua hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Smith Family Garden Luau and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Golf Course and Sleeping Giant Trailhead are also within 3 miles (5 km).

£102
Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach

Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach

650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa
4.1
of 5, from 2,257 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Wailua hotel is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Ho'olalaea Waterfall and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Town Park and Smith Family Garden Luau are also within 2 miles (3 km).

Waipouli Beach Resort A302 by RedAwning

Waipouli Beach Resort A302 by RedAwning

4 820 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Wailua, this beach condo is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Ho'olalaea Waterfall and 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Town Park and Smith Family Garden Luau are also within 3 miles (5 km).

Lae Nani 314 by RedAwning

Lae Nani 314 by RedAwning

410 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Wailua, this beach condo is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Smith Family Garden Luau and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Sleeping Giant Trailhead and Ho'olalaea Waterfall are also within 3 miles (5 km).

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