Kapa’a is a captivating Hawaiian island community blending historic charm with new restaurants, retail and resorts. It is conveniently located just an eight-mile drive from Lihue airport between the North and South Shore areas of Hawaii’s fourth largest island of Kauai. Depending on your itinerary and interests, Kapa’a offers a welcome destination if you are visiting for the day or a taking a longer vacation. We had the benefit of four days to enjoy this island paradise.


Literally steps from the shore (65 steps to be exact – we counted), our stay at the Coral Reef Resort was like visiting longtime friends. With just 21 rooms, this boutique-style hotel provided a friendly and picturesque home-base. Many sunrises and sunsets were enjoyed from our lanai (veranda) providing a peaceful and happy halo to start and end the day. The daily continental breakfast provided not only an important boost of nourishment and caffeine, but an opportunity to chat with staff and fellow travelers sharing recent adventures and suggestions.


Visitors to Kapa’a can enjoy an array of nearby dining options, ranging from food trucks, ocean view restaurants to quaint local venues. We enjoyed a leisurely brunch at Café Hemingway, featuring fresh salads, omelets, sandwiches and coffee and tea selections. Over the course of our week, several happy hours and meals were enjoyed at Sam’s Ocean View. True to it’s name, the restaurant and bar features open air dining overlooking the beach and sea. If you literally want your toes in the sand while enjoying a tasty treat and fruity drink, then Lava Lava Beach Club is your spot. Somehow, my mahi-mahi tacos and pina-colada tasted even better that way!

Opaeka'a Falls, Kapa'a, Kauai, Hawaii (c) Joy Steinberg. FWT Magazine.

Opaeka’a Falls, Kapa’a, Kauai, Hawaii (c) Joy Steinberg. FWT Magazine.


If you seek a respite from the sun, the historic district of Kapa’a is home to some delightful shopping. Also, a short drive from the downtown area, the majestic beauty of Opaeka’a Falls is a ‘must see’ while you are in the area.


A couple tips to consider before you go to Kapa’a.

  1. Don’t be surprised by a sudden appearance of rain. You’ll find the sometimes daily showers end as quickly as they start. But do keep a travel-size umbrella in your daypack to ensure you don’t miss a beat.
  2. The roads are narrow on Kapa’a and can be rugged. If you’re planning to rent a car, opt for an SUV or Jeep (we were glad we did).

It’s only been a short while since our island get-away, but I’m already looking forward to a future visit. You will not be disappointed with the Aloha spirit and beauty of this island paradise.


Oceanview, Kapa'a, Kauai (c) Joy Steinberg. FWT Magazine.

Oceanview, Kapa’a, Kauai (c) Joy Steinberg. FWT Magazine.