The East Side…

On our previous blogs, we have ventured from the magnificent Ke’e Beach and Haena area all the way down to the serene ocean bluff estate lots of Kealia Kai. On this chapter of our grand tour of Kauai, we will look into the areas that make up the East side of the island, Kapaa and Wailua.

Wailua Falls aka “Fantasy Island waterfall”. Photo by Adrian Sear

The Eastside is an area that is somewhat centrally located. Drives to the North (Princeville and beyond) or to the South (Poipu and beyond) are similar in distance.  Due to the sheer and towering cliffs of the Na Pali coastline, the only way to circumnavigate Kauai is either by flight or float. Driving around it is simply not an option, and this is what makes the Kapaa-Lihue location so special and convenient.

Kapaa is home to most of the residents of Kauai and has a local charm and an unassuming feel to it. If a down to earth and relaxed vibe is what you’re looking for, you’ll love Kapaa.  A great selection of local eateries and bars can be enjoyed here and should definitely not be missed. The area also boosts some of the island’s best amenities. Four large grocery stores and three gas stations are located here, along with several banks and a centrally located Post Office.

The coastal area of Kapaa benefits from an exceptionally scenic coastal bike path. This makes for a great way to leisurely walk, ride a bike or rollerblade alongside the surf, or to stop in and peruse the charming Old Town Kapaa area. Speaking of Old Town, on the first Saturday night of each month, you will be in for a real treat. Local musicians and artists line the

Every first Saturday night in Kapa’a Town is festive with food vendors, bands, crafts, etc. Photo by Adrian Sear

sidewalks and display their amazing talents and gifts. It is not something to be missed.

As with the previous sections of the island that we have covered, the homes surrounding Kapaa are very diverse in both price and quality, along with differing climate zones. To simplify, we’ll look at Kapaa and Wailua’s offerings and break it down between inland vs. coastal.

The inland area of Kapaa (Kapahi and the Wailua Homesteads) offer some of the most incredible mountain, river or waterfall views homes on the island.  Another benefit of this inland, upcountry area is a cooler climate than the coastline.  As a resident of this part of

Wailua Homesteads as seen from Sleeping Giant. Photo by Adrian Sear

the island, it is hard for me not to be biased, but the convenience of being a short 15 minute drive away from the airport and Costco while feeling very far removed from it all is a great combination. Hiking and water recreation are just minutes away, too. Three differing hiking options will take you through the Nounou Forest and up to the multiple lookouts of the Sleeping Giant. At the base of Kuamoo Road, you can jump into a kayak or onto a paddle board and make your way upstream to yet another hike. This one has little elevation gain to it but can be a little muddy at times. It will bring you to a gorgeous hidden waterfall and pool that is off the northern fork of the Wailua River. Along the way, you may recognize the Hawaiian Village of Kamokila. This area was utilized in the 1994 movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman.

Wailua River, one of the few navigable rivers in all of Hawaii. Photo by Adrian Sear.

Home prices in this upcountry area vary dramatically and can range from multi-million dollar custom estates lined with marble and incredible woodwork to exceptional starter homes that are in the $350-450k range. The convenience, cooler temperatures, amazing vistas and closeness to Lihue are a big draw to this special area.

The Kapaa and Wailua coastline contain a diverse mix of condominiums and primarily older plantation homes. The convenience of walking or biking into town is great. Whereas the inland area is cooler and receives more precipitation, the coastal area can be warmer and dryer, and offers incredible sunrise views almost every morning.

Koa enjoying a sunrise stroll at the beach. Photo by Adrian Sear.

A lot of the condominiums down here are in what’s known as a “Visitor Destination Area”. This provides the option of vacation renting your property while you’re away. Speak with your real estate agent to confirm your property’s zoning. These condos primarily run along the shoreline and range from the low $300s to just under $2M for a 2,200sq ft.ocean front unit with 23’ ceilings.

The Wailua Houselots reside at the base of the Sleeping Giant and are generally smaller in lot size than the inland Homestead parcels. The access to the beach and Wailua River is closer, though, and these single family residences frequently possess a lot of character to them. Much like a lot of the homes near Old Town, they have a nostalgic Plantation –Style to them. As with most of the island, prices are slowly on the rise but a home can still be attained here between the $300k-400k range.

To summarize, if you like to be within close proximity to most of the islands commercial centers and the airport, combined with the ability to explore the whole island from an almost centralized location, the East Side may just fit you like a glove. Next stop is Lihue…

Kauai Real Estate Services and Vacation Accommodations

If you are considering buying a home on Kauai you can see some of the island’s best real estate deals by browsing through the Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty Kauai Real Estate Galleries, or use the Map-Based Kauai Home Search.

For the finest quality Kauai vacation rentals including luxury estates, condos, cottages and beach villas, see our Kauai Vacation Rental Galleries or use our new Map-Based Vacation Rental Search feature.

Also please feel free to give us a call. The Bali Hai Realty staff will be happy to help you find the perfect Kauai vacation rental or assist you in the process of buying or selling a Kauai home. We also offer the highest level of personalized Concierge Services to help you plan your Kauai vacation activities.

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