What Side of Kauai Is the Best to Stay On?


Generally, tourists choose between either the North or South side of Kauai when deciding to holiday on the island. Both offer stunning views of mountains, beaches and lush foliage, but there are other aspects to consider when deciding which side of Kauai to explore.

Before you head off to Kauai for your vacation, you should know what each side of the island has to offer. To help you with this, we have put together our top considerations below for both sides of the stunning Garden Isle.

The North Shore

The North Shore of Kauai is renowned among both locals and tourists for its vast valleys, emerald scenery and laid back atmosphere. Anyone who has been to this side of Kauai will tell you how incredible the scenery is, providing perfect backdrops for the entirety of your holiday.

North Shore Kauai Coast


The North Shore of Kauai is known for having more rainfall than the south, which has resulted in much denser and green scenery than the south side of the island. However, this does mean that staying here brings a higher chance of rain, although we wouldn’t let this put you off visiting some of the most beautiful places on the island.

The summer months in Kauai have high temperatures of around 84°F, rarely dropping below 74°F. As July is in the midst of the island's summer, and is a great time to visit the north side if you want to bask in the sun and spend most of your time in the great outdoors.

Temperatures drop slightly in winter, with highs of 80°F and lows of 70°F, which presents more of a pleasant climate, as the days are still warm but the humidity is less oppressive.


Many iconic beaches can be found on the north side of Kauai, which makes it a great choice if you want to spend time on the coast. Some of the better-known stretches of sand include Tunnels Beach, Anini Beach and Hanalei Bay.

If you choose to stay on the North Shore of Kauai, Pure Kauai offers a stunning range of rental properties that are situated right on the coastline, some located next to the most popular beaches on the island.


There are many activities on the North Shore of Kauai which can be enjoyed on either land or water. From zip-line adventures to some of the best hiking, as well as mountain tubing and ATV Off-Road Tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you are looking to partake in water activities, the north of Kauai offers specialities in surfing, paddle-boarding, boat tours, kayaking, snorkeling and much more!

The South Shore

The South Shore is known as the sunny side of Kauai and is most attractive to those looking for serene beaches and great little towns. If you are looking to visit tourist spots such as the Spouting Horn, or simply relax with a day of shopping and a stroll through the streets, then this is the place to be!

Spouting Horn Kauai


If you are seeking less rain and more sun, then you will find that on the south side of Kauai, although this does mean that the scenery isn’t quite as lush and impressive in comparison to the north. The temperatures on the south shore tend to average around 72°F throughout the winter months, with the summer temperature averages increasing to 73°F.

If you are hoping to spend most of your time in Kauai outdoors, then there is more opportunity to do this on the south side as the days are usually slightly drier, allowing for more uninterrupted time outside.

Being on the sunnier side of the island means that the south shore of Kauai generally gets more tourist traffic, making it busier than the north. If you are seeking out more of a peaceful trip to Kauai, then the north may be better suited to you, with much fewer visitors throughout the year.


The sunnier and drier weather in the South of Kauai means that the beaches here are perfect if you are hoping to relax on the sandy shores and soak up the picturesque scenery. However, if you are looking to ride the waves while visiting Kauai, you will want to head to the north where the swells are much better for surfers.

There are a few different beaches on the south coast that all offer something different, some catering better to families, such as Poipu Beach or Keiki Cove Beach. For those who are looking to test the waves, the popular north beach of Hanalei Bay is where you want to head!


If you are hoping to sightsee and visit local towns and attractions, then the south of Kauai is great for this, with places such as Poipu and Kapa’a offering great shopping and dining opportunities. There is also the option to visit the landmark known as Spouting Horn, which is a spectacular blowhole and has a great legend associated with it.


If you are looking for more tourist attractions and slightly more sunshine, then the south of Kauai is probably the area to visit. However, if you are seeking to experience the raw authenticity of the island and its stunning scenery, then the north is definitely the best place to visit for a proper Kauai experience.

If you decide that the north side of Kauai is the one for you, Pure Kauai can make your trip extra special with our stunning range of rental properties. You can browse our properties here or contact our team for more information on the services we offer.

Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2022