Ah, Kauai – even the name's enough to conjure up images of tropical cliffs and black-sand coves. Welcome to the wild and untamed corner of the Aloha State, where rock-ribbed canyons converge on lush valleys. If you're looking to book your spot between the Hawaiian wonders here, this guide to finding the very best beach houses in Kauai could be just what's needed.
Different features of beach houses in Kauai
There are a few things that make beach houses in Kauai something to really look forward to. Of course, proximity to the shores is right up there, but what about somewhere to laze and soak up the tropical sun, fire up the grill, and watch the surf roll in?
A beach house in Kauai that's right on the sand
Oceanfront beach houses in Kauai promise some of the best proximity to Hawaii's powdery sands of any in the Aloha State. That's because this spot is one of the least developed of the major islands in the archipelago, meaning it's possible to wedge those cabanas, treehouses, and villas between the coconut palms and sea grapes to offer unrivalled views of the Pacific.
Outdoor living in your beach house in Kauai
Be sure to pack the deck shoes and BBQ recipes – outdoor living is an essential part of many a beach house in Kauai. You'll unearth places with panoramic patios spilling into lush palm gardens in Poipu, or condos with balconies that command sweeping views of the roaring surf and craggy headlands of Kalapaki Bay.
Some of the top areas to find beach houses in Kauai
With all its soaring peaks and volcanic ridges, its dense jungles and cove-cut shoreline, Kauai can be a tricky place to navigate. Use the guide below to discover what corner of this fabled island suites you and your fellow vacationers the most.
A beach house near Poipu
There are loads of reasons why Poipu reigns as the hub of the south coast of Kauai. Most will come for the weather – there's generally more sun in these parts than up north. Lagoon-like beaches are all around, too, so there's a chance you could score a pad with its sights set on stunning Poipu Beach or powdery Brennecke's Beach. For something more untamed, consider heading to the wave-smashed Makawehi Lithified Cliffs, where ancient petroglyphs and fossils fall from the rock faces.
Princeville beach houses
Princeville might just be the most exclusive corner of all Kauai. Between sheer-cut cliffs and lonely beaches on the north shore of the island, it's host to sprawling mansions and opulent homes. It's normal to have huge gardens, private pools, and even championship golf courses in the backyard in these parts.
A place to stay in Wailua
There's also a luxury edge to many of the vacation rentals in Wailua. The place itself is a jewel of the east coast, with more resorts and clusters of condominiums than you can shake a Tiki carving at. It's a great place to go if you're looking for a beach house in Kauai with a shared swimming pool, access to a fitness center, private gardens, and the like.
With its small airport and clutch of visitor facilities, little Lihue is likely to be your first introduction to Kauai. Some folk might want to linger some, though. The town's surrounded by historic sugarcane plantations and has an immersive Polynesian history museum with mentions of Hawaiian royalty. But best of all? There are beach homes spilling down to the waves all along Lydgate Park, where you'll also find protected snorkeling reefs and calm swimming spots.
What sorts of beach houses in Kauai can I choose?
There's no hard and fast rule about what travelers are best suited to beach houses in Kauai. In fact, with everything from uber-luxurious mansions to simple condos by the shores of this Hawaiian isle, there should be plenty for all types.
Romantic beach houses in Kauai
The Aloha State certainly doesn't let honeymooners down when it comes to beach houses in Kauai. All along the east and south coasts are places where you can escape to your own space by the sands. And it's not just walking access to stunning beaches that's on offer. Lots of vacation rentals here tout sunset-viewing balconies, entry to communal spa facilities for those couple's pampering sessions, and proximity to beautiful clifftop walking paths where you can be all alone.
Family beach houses in Kauai
Amid the mix of loved-up escapes for duos, there's also a range of family beach houses in Kauai. These come with multiple bedrooms, self-catering kitchen spaces, large gardens, and their own dining rooms. A good place to look for them is around Lihue and the south, where the beaches tend to be better suited for beginner swimmers and younger ones.
Luxurious beach houses in Kauai
Head north to Princeville and you'll be in no doubt that luxury by the coast of Kauai is in abundance. Gardens laced with waxy palms and blooming hibiscus trees conceal babbling swimming pools there, while prestigious country clubs tout golf courses. Inside, there are stunning sun rooms that sit just yards from the sea, designer kitchens, and lounges with flat-screen TVs.