West Side of Kauai | Go Hawaii

West Side

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Kauai West Side

About an hour's drive from Lihue and other major towns on the Coconut Coast, Kauai’s West Side feels like it’s a world away. Here, spectacular natural wonders and historic sites meet funky small towns, rewarding visitors with a glimpse of Kauai mainly seen by locals.

The most famous attraction on the West Side is breathtaking Waimea Canyon, also called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Hiking trails and scenic overlooks offer sweeping views of rugged crags and plunging valleys dipping more than 3,600 feet into the earth. There’s nothing else in Hawaii quite like it.
Neighboring Kokee State Park offers 45 miles of trails and endless opportunities to see native plants and wildlife. At the north edge of the park, Kalalau Lookout and Puu O Kila Lookout provide panoramic views of the vibrant, green cliffs of one of the valleys of the Napali Coast—two of the best (and safest) ways to see Kalalau Valley from land.

The two small towns of Waimea and Hanapepe are also worth a visit on the West Side. In 1778, Captain James Cook first landed in the Hawaiian Islands here at Waimea Bay. Today, a statue of Cook stands in Waimea Town commemorating this historic event. About seven miles south of Waimea, Hanapepe is the island’s art capital, with eclectic galleries, shops and eateries lining the streets of “Kauai’s biggest little town”—a perfect place to shop for made-in-Hawaii gifts and souvenirs.

West Side Highlights

Waimea Canyon

The scenic vistas at the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" are truly beyond belief.


Waimea Town

The oceanfront town at the gateway to Waimea Canyon is a fun stop during your West Side adventure.


Kokee State Park

This beautiful state park has dozens of miles of trails and incredible overlooks.


Hanapepe Town

Hanapepe Town offers interesting local galleries, boutiques and more.


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