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Waimea is a seaport village that offers a relaxed atmosphere. It’s also the site where Captain James Cook first stepped onto Hawaiian soil in 1778, a moment commemorated by a statue in the town’s center. The main street is lined with pretty historic buildings, and the town is only minutes away from the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
Waimea is one of the few towns in West Kauaʻi that has not been transformed by the tourist industry. It retains its authentic character, making it an ideal destination for visitors who want to enjoy a slow-paced getaway. Check into one of the hotels or beach cottages that dot the coastline and wake up to the sight of the shimmering Pacific Ocean each morning. Many resorts host luaus throughout the week, offering an opportunity to enjoy regional dishes and traditional dance performances.
Head to Waimea Beach and sunbathe on its distinctive black sand. Before making your way back into town for dinner, stop by the Waimea State Recreation Pier. Stretching into the Pacific, it is the village’s most popular gathering place to watch the sun set over the ocean. Then, sample local cuisine at one of Waimea’s seafood restaurants.
Set aside an afternoon to explore West Kauaʻi Technology & Visitor Center. Whether looking at the historical exhibits or attending a concert or performance, the institution is an ideal place to learn more about the traditions and culture of Kauaʻi.
Drive 13 miles (20 kilometers) outside town to Waimea Canyon. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” this natural landmark is one of Kauaʻi’s most popular destinations. Standing in stark contrast to the lush, rainforest landscape that defines Waimea, the canyon features 14 miles (16 kilometers) of cavernous red rocks 3,600 feet (1,097 meters) high. Travel along Canyon Drive to enjoy the view from afar or hike down into the heart of the canyon.
Waimea is a 45-minute drive west of Lihue Airport. Public transportation is limited, so it’s advisable to rent a car or motorcycle to get the most out of the region.
Accommodation in Waimea
It is recommended that you make reservations for a hotel room as soon as your dates are confirmed, since Expedia's Waimea hotels page currently doesn't show a big range of accommodations.
Coconut trees rustle amid the black-sand beaches of East Kauai, and pretty gardens surround this former sugar plantation; set on 27 acres, cottages offer quiet respite close to the entrance of Waimea Canyon.
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of West Kauai Technology and Visitor Center and Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park. One Ali'i Fishpond and Kauai Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated near the beach, this vacation home is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park and 10.7 mi (17.2 km) from Waimea Canyon. Polihale State Park and Koke'e State Park are also within 20 mi (32 km).
Situated in Waimea, this cabin is steps from Kokee Natural History Museum and Koke'e State Park. Na Pali Coast State Park and Waimea Canyon are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Set on an isolated stretch of beach with an adjacent sunning lawn, the 25-acre Kauai Beach Resort- an Aqua Boutique offers complimentary shuttle service to area golf courses.
Nestled on the beach, this Wailua hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Smith Family Garden Luau and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Golf Course and Sleeping Giant Trailhead are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Poipu, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Brennecke Beach and Poipu Beach. Poipu Bay Golf Course and Shipwreck Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Just 1.5 miles from Lihue Airport on Kauai's east coast, this Hawaiian resort drops down a lush hillside to a crescent beach on Kalapaki Bay and is adjacent to 2 golf courses and a tennis center.