Where to Stay on Kauai for the Best Weather

Kauai Bali Hai Rainbow

Kauai is known as the garden isle because of it’s lush green cliffs and valleys. Anyone with a green thumb knows that sunshine and rain are two essentials for growing a healthy garden.  Kauai is blessed with a nice balance of both.

In comparison to the large resort areas on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island, Kauai does experience a bit more rain. Is that a problem? Not usually and your reward after a rain shower is a beautiful rainbow!

As you plan your Kauai vacation, you’ll probably want to know where the sunniest spots are. This consideration is probably more important in the wetter, winter months, than it is in the significantly more sunny summer months.  Here are the major resort areas listed in order of most sunshine.

  1. Poipu and Waimea on the South is by far your best bet for dry sunny days, as it averages around 35 inches of rain per year.
  2. Kapaa and Lihue on the eastern side of Kauai would be your second best choice with an average rainfall of 48 inches per year.
  3. The North Shore (including Princeville and Hanalei) is gorgeous and very lush for a reason, it gets around 85 inches of rain annually. Even though it does get more rain, the North Shore is actually one of my favorite places to stay on the island.

On Kauai is that it’s pretty easy to navigate your way from one end of the island around to the other in just over an hour.  So, if you find yourself in a rain shower on the North Shore, just drive around to the South Shore where you’re more likely to find the sun.

If you’ve been to Kauai, please tell us what your weather experience was like.

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About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. Hi there
    We were in Kapaa, Kauai from August 16 to 23. The weather was great for the most part! The first few days were warm but the consistent breeze cooled things off. The last couple of days the wind dropped and it was quite hot – about 90 F – it rained in the afternoon for a short period a few afternoons – but it wasn’t a bother – we were usually in the pool.

    We went ziplining up in Princeville and it rained a bit at the beginning but we soon dried off – it kept us cool.

    We were fortunate to have a monk seal beach on our beach one day! It was awesome to see him – I was impressed with the volunteer organization that is in charge of protecting them! They were there quickly and watched over him all day. They had loads of info about him – including how old he was and that it was a male.

    Kauai is one of our favorite places in Hawaii!

  2. Thanks for this blog! Questions: Are the rains in the Princeville area in December steady or intermittent?

    Are there issues with flash flooding on the hiking trails in that area?

    Is there hiking out of Poipu?


  3. Claudia –

    I think the best way to describe the rain is too look at past rain charts:
    – Here’s the December 2008 chartfrom Princeville http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/hydro/pages/rra_graphs.php?station=PRIH1&mo=122008 Notice that there are a couple days of heavy rain and then lots of days with no rain or just a trace.

    – Here’s the December 2007 from Princeville: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/hydro/pages/rra_graphs.php?station=PRIH1&mo=122007 Notice that the rain is more evenly distributed.

    To see more charts from December, use the pull down menu from those charts.

    Here’s a couple of trails in Poipu:

    Also, there’s tons and tons of great hiking in Kokee & Waimea Canyon State Parks that’s not too far away from Poipu.

    Hope this helps.http://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/08/23/kauais-waimea-canyon-and-kokee-state-parks/

  4. Today is our last day in Kauai. The weather has been so inconsistent. Our first 2 days were overcast and windy. Then we had 2 beautifully sunny days followed by an evening of crazy hard rain during our luau. Then a cold and ugly day followed by a sunny day which turned windy and overcast by 2pm. Seems to me that your best bet is to arrive at the beaches early before the wind and clouds take over midday.

    • It seems that you may have visited during an unfortunate weather time. I see that a large storm system came through the islands and then stalled in the path of the wind patterns. 🙁

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