If you truly seek a tropical island getaway and experience the Hawaiian aloha experience, look no further than a beach house rental in Kauai. Kauai’s lush jungle, white-sand beaches, wild canyons, and abundant marine life make it a top choice for travelers from all over the world.
Of course, you’ll first want to find a comfortable and well-situated beach house on Kauai, but the real question is: where to stay for the next few weeks while visiting Kauai, and where is the best location to book your vacation rental?
Whether it’s your first time on the garden island or you’ve been here ten times before, it’s worth doing your research to figure out which area will best suit your needs.
This guide is designed to help you understand the island of Kauai, the different neighborhoods, and the best places to find a beach house depending on what you’re after.
Once you’ve read this guide, I hope you walk away with what you need to know exactly where to find a Kauai beach house rental for your next trip, and start planning your vacation itinerary.
Where to stay in Kauai?
No matter what, you’ll want to find a vacation rental near the beach. Whether it’s oceanfront or a few blocks from the beach, that’s the best way to get the most out of this stunning island. Kauai is known for its towering green cliffs, which are fun to explore during the day. But, hands down, your best bet for a Kauai accommodation rental is to seek out house rentals or cottage rentals near the beach.
Get familiar with the types of beach front and beach access vacation rentals are available in the different communities across the island.
- Anini beach house rentals
- Haena beach house rentals (North shore)
- Hanalei beach house rentals (North shore)
- Kapaa beach house rentals (East shore)
- Poipu beach house rentals (South shore)
Despite Kauai being a relatively small island, there is actually a pretty long list of options for areas to stay in –– and they’re all pretty different. Let’s go through some of the main neighborhoods which visitors to Kauai tend to choose as a base.
Here are a few of the best areas to find beach house rentals in Kauai.
Kilauea is one of the main three towns on the island – along with Princetown and Hanalei – but is perhaps the most laid-back of the three. Expect to find streets lined with trendy cafes, health-food stores, juice bars, yoga studios, and surf shops.
Surprisingly, it’s often bypassed by tourists on the way to Hanalei but is well worth a status as a destination of its own. And if pictures are worth a thousand words, check out the views and amenities of these Kilauea vacation rentals.
For those traveling to Hawaii to lace up their walking shoes and get exploring, Kilauea’s Wai Koa Loop Trail is an absolute must-do. A five-minute drive from the main street, it’s a stunning five-mile loop trail through Kauai’s lush green forest. The trail passes through the Stone Dam which has been transformed into a garden oasis complete with a cascading waterfall and a Buddha statue.
A secret Beach Kauai house rental is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to be wowed by ocean views, all day every day. The beach is known for its seclusion and beauty, and a beachfront vacation rental is the best way to truly soak up the atmosphere. Officially named Kauapea Beach, our beach house rentals are just a short drive from Kilauea town.
Poipu is a beach town down on the south shore of the island. It’s one of the most popular resort towns on the island, thanks to its gentle, family-friendly beaches, and its generally drier weather.
Much of the coastline around Poipu has been left undeveloped, so it’s a great place for adventurers to use a vacation rental as a base to explore the surrounding regions. Put Makawehi Lithified Cliffs high on your list: it feels straight out of Jurassic Park. Hike around the area to see ancient petroglyphs and fossils that have straight-up fallen from the rock faces.
Poipu beach itself is an absolute must-see, as it’s one of the spots on Kauai where you’re almost guaranteed to spot turtles and seals.
There are plenty of beach house rentals in Poipu, so there’s a great chance you’ll score a stunning home with ocean views.
Hanalei is a textbook surf town, through and through. Thanks to the excellent surf break on Hanalei Bay, the area is a beloved spot for locals and travelers alike. Even if you’re not a surfer, it’s still fun to perch on the beach or atop a cliff to watch the surfers defy gravity and tackle the huge waves.
If you’re keen to get out on a board, there are plenty of surf shops around Hanalei that offer surf lessons for beginners.
Hanalei beachfront rentals all offer a stunning view of the ocean, while still being surrounded by the lush greenery that’s so typical to Kauai. Being right on the beach means sunrise ocean dips without having to deal with driving or parking.
For travelers who want a chilled-out vacation but still want to be near the action, you can’t go past a Hanalei beach house rental or cottage. The town is full of great cafes and restaurants, local boutiques, and there are a ton of nearby hikes. You wouldn’t even have to leave the area if you don’t want to!
The beach aside, it’s a beautiful place to spend time. Surrounded by Hawaii’s trademark green cliffs, it’s simply one of the most gorgeous places on Kauai.
Say you want to stay somewhere a little more remote, Haena beachfront villas could be a perfect option. Situated right next to the Haena state park, it’s just a short 20-minute drive from Hanalei –– but feels remote and incredibly tranquil. Haena beach is right next to the world-famous Tunnels beach, so be sure to spend a day checking that out.
It’s a small town, but don’t be fooled –– Kapaa (Kapa’a) is one of the busier spots on east side of Kauai. It’s the perfect place for travelers who want to indulge in island living but still want a bit of hustle and bustle. With a population of just over 10,000, it is the biggest “city” on Kauai.
The historic beachside community is nestled at the base of Nounou (the Sleeping Giant) Mountain and is full of fun eateries, cute shops, and boutique hotels. A perfect blend of old charm and new amenities, it’s no wonder that many people call it Kauai’s most charming town.
There are plenty of activities in Kapaa to fill your days, including waterskiing, kayaking, hiking, swimming, and just walking around the local neighborhood. The beachfront rentals in Kapaa neighborhoods are perfect –– you get a taste of the local town, but still wake up to ocean views every morning
Whatever you do, any trip to Kapaa has to include a visit to Wailua Shave Ice. Be sure to try the passionfruit flavor… it’ll change your life.
Choosing a Kauai beach house
Once you’ve found the ideal neighbourhood for your trip, it’s then time to secure the perfect Kauai beach house rental as your home base.
Consider the type of activities you want to be doing: do you want to be in town near the action, or in a beach house with a pool?
After all, it’s going to be your home for a week or two, so you’re going to want to make sure you’re getting the best of the best.