Kauai Towns

Kauai Cities MapEven though Lihue is the county seat of Kauai, it is not the largest town on the island. Its population (6,455) is quite a bit less than Kapaa (10,699), the island's main residential area.

Wailua, Anahola, Waimea and Hanalei are other smaller towns. The main tourist areas on Kauai are around Poipu, Princeville and Kapaa. The island's north shore, where the Na Pali Coast is located, is undeveloped since it is difficult to access. Kauai's total population is 67,091 (2010 Census)

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Anahola is designated Hawaiian Homelands, a residential area available to Native Hawaiian people. The old part of Anahola is located along the bay, and the newer commercial part is located along the highway.
There used to be many sugarcane fields in this area in the past, but today, it is coffee that is produced here. In fact, Ele'ele is home to the largest coffee producer in the state of Hawaii.
Backed by green mountains and waterfalls Ha'ena is at the beginning of the 11-mile (18 km) hike to Kauai's remote and scenic Na Pali Cost. Near Ha'ena is Tunnels Beach, one of the best snorkeling and diving beaches in Hawaii.

Hanalei is the main town on Kauai's north shore. There are two shopping centers and several smaller stores where you can find several shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
Hanapepe bills itself as "Kauai’s Biggest Little Town" (look for the welcome sign with this slogan on it as you enter the town). It is mainly known for its art scene with the greatest concentration of artists on the island.
One of Kalaheo's main attractions is the Kukuiolono Park & Golf Course, which is a good place to learn to play golf at an affordable daily rate. There is a small Japanese garden located on the golf course.
With a population of around 10,700, Kapa'a is the largest town on Kauai. It offers a variety of shopping opportunities, from small boutique stores to a large shopping center.
In the Hawaiian language, Kaumakani means "place in the wind." For more than 40 years, however, the town was called Makaweli, which literally means "fearful features."
Kekaha is the last town along Highway 50 on Kauai's west shore. The highway runs right along the ocean and two-mile (3.2 km) long beach, which offers only fair swimming conditions, but the views from here to neighboring Ni'ihau are nice.
A major attraction of the town is the Kilauea Lighthouse, built in 1913 by the U.S. government on a narrow peninsula that forms the northernmost point of Kauai.
A visit to the Koloa History Center and a tour of the nearby Koloa Heritage Trail will give you an insight into the Kauai's sugar industry. You can also see the remains of an old sugar mill there.
Lawa'i is a small town with a restaurant, church and few shops at the Menehune Food Mart and Lawai General Store. Continue driving down on Koloa Road and you can get a good overview of the town and the beautiful green surroundings.
Lihu'e is Kauai's capital and mainly a residential community. Places of interest are the Nawiliwili Harbor (where cruise ships dock), Menehune Fishpond, Kalapaki Beach and the Kauai Museum.
Po'ipu is the most popular tourist area on Kauai, located on the island's south shore. It is a resort community featuring numerous fine accommodation options facing the ocean.
Princeville is a master-planned luxury resort community overlooking Hanalei Bay on Kauai's north shore. There are many accommodation options in Princeville, from vacation condos and villas to large resorts.
The main attractions in Wailua are the Wailua River and Fern Grotto (accessible by boat or kayak). Also, there are two popular waterfalls in Wailua River State Park – Wailua Falls and Opaeka'a Falls.
Even though this side of the island is not as lush as the rest of Kauai, Waimea has other attractions that are worth visiting. There are old buildings, churches, sugar mill ruins, as well as the Captain Cook landing site.
Wainiha is a small community located on the north shore of Kauai, between Hanalei and Ha'ena on Kuhio Highway 560. There are a few accommodation options as well as shops and eateries.