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Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

San Francisco
Level Contributor
30 posts
1 review
Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

We're traveling to Kauai next July for 2 weeks. We have two kids, ages 6 and 4. We're staying the first week at the Westin Villas in Princeville. We're looking for a place to stay the second week. I know everyone raves about Poipu, but I've also heard it gets crowded. What do folks think of Lae Nani or Kapaa for traveling with kids? Is it less hectic than Poipu? Are the beaches as kid-friendly as Poipu? We're looking to stay in a 2-bedroom condo that's clean, on the beach and family-friendly. I was also looking for vacation rentals on sites like vrbo.com Any suggestions?

San Diego...
Level Contributor
5,801 posts
49 reviews
1. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

Poipu beaches are nicer in general, but can be smaller and more crowded. Might want to look at Kaha Lani condos. They're right on Lydgate so you have a short walk to the rock pool, the playground, the bridge play structure etc. They seem pretty nice thought it's been 5 years since I've been inside one. Or pay up for the Waipouli BR pool.

In rush hour Kapaa traffic is worse. In off hours, no big difference. Kapaa restaurants might seem a shade cheaper. In July, weather won't be very different between the two locations.

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
Level Contributor
15,793 posts
59 reviews
2. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

jnmama,

I posted this on another thread but thought I would share my comments with you here.

I'm personally not fond of the east side for various reasons. Also, as "jebett" mentioned, there are not a lot of cottages or homes for rent on the east side. I've rented on both south and north shores and there are some lovely places to choose from on either of those shores. The island is small enough that you can get around the island pretty easily. From Poipu, it's about 1 1/2 hours to Princeville and the drive is wonderful. We stayed in Poipu a few weeks ago. We were able to get around and see everything we wanted to see very easily from the end of the road on the west side to the end of the road at Ke'e (north). Again, just my opinion.

jnmama,

Koloagirl has giver you some great recommendations on Poipu. I also wanted to let you know that Parrish Kauai is an excellent rental agency. We have used them exclusively for Poipu rentals since 2000. The two properties I especially like with kids (mine are now 6 & 9) are Nihi Kai and Poipu Kai, mostly because of the access to a nice pool. Look at either Manualoha Building in Poipu Kai OR Building 200 of Nihi Kai. These buildings are the closest to Poipu Beach Park and have easy access to a pool. I also really like Poipu Sands (Poipu Kai) since it also has a nice pool and is close to the Hyatt. we'll be there in June/July next summer. We rent a house on Baby's Beach (Ho'ona Road) but we seriously looking at Nihi Kai for part of the trip.

Marti

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
45,109 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

Just wanted to add that you may not know that the beaches on the northshore are going to be the calmest for small children . . . surf will be higher/rougher on the south shore beaches. Lydgate is one of the good beaches almost any time of year for kids and that is on the east side. I think I would just stay north to enjoy the best beaches that time of year. :)

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3,837 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

whatever you pick you will be happy with but my vote is for Poipu. We took our son there at 4 and 5 years old and it's great. However the Poipu area is expensive.. but we loved it. We will be returning there this Feb, our son is 13 now.

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
Level Contributor
17,990 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

While the North Shore beaches are undeniably beautiful and generally calm during the summer months - the ocean conditions on the South Shore are also usually calm and swimmable during the summer - there are occasional swells (nothing like the North Shore winter wells however), but the Po'ipu Beach area is a year-round swimming spot. South swells are generally mild when we have them and don't impede people being able to swim at the approved beach areas except on rare occasions.

Of course ocean conditions can change on any part of the island at any time - you should always be aware of them wherever you are on Kaua'i at any time of the year.

The safest places for keiki are always the lifeguard monitored beaches with areas for keiki to swim - Lydgate Park with its rock walled swimming area - Po'ipu Beach Park with a slightly smaller and shallower swimming area for keiki - and Salt Pond Park in Hanapepe with its shallow tidal pools for youngsters. These 3 County Parks have lifeguards, showers, bathrooms, pavillions and areas specifically for keiki.

Malama Pono,

Janet

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
45,109 posts
44 reviews
6. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

Janet - thanks for the specific clarifications - you are wonderful! :)

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
Level Contributor
15,793 posts
59 reviews
7. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

<<However the Poipu area is expensive.. but we loved it.>>

I have to totally disagree with this comment. There are great bargains to be had all over the island. But in my personal experience since 1990, I found that the condos in Poipu were extremely reasonable! we paid a lot more for a place in Haena in 2007 than the place we normally rent on Baby's Beach. And it was a lot smaller with less amenities. Just one example. Yes, there are great bargains in Princeville, too.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3,837 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

thanks for the correction, it was just my experience when we rented a condo that there was more to be had on the east coast for less $$$ than in the Poipu area. But that was just my experience and I am particular about what I will rent and I like to be oceanfront. I am sure there are less expensive condos if you are fine being off the water.

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
Level Contributor
15,793 posts
59 reviews
9. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

I totally understand about wanting to be on the ocean. That is all we rent now, as well. I was really surprised about the house in Haena compared with the place we normally rent in Poipu. Hubby will NOT stay on the east side. He has had too many bad experiences over there (he travels to Kauai 4X a year on business).

Menifee, California
Level Contributor
1,378 posts
17 reviews
10. Re: Poipu or Kapaa with kids?

Aloha!

I have 4 kids. We have stayed on both the east and south shore. I know it is "busier", but we find the east side more convenient. We usually stay at the Kauai Coast Resort, but Outrigger Waipouli would be good, too. We like the closeness to Safeway, Lydgate beach park, restaurants, etc.

Bryan Brown

BBrown9825@aol.com

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