East Side Kauai
The East side (sometimes referred to as the “Coconut Coast”) is where roughly 18,000 of Kauai’s 72,000 inhabitants reside and is the commercial hub of the island, featuring plenty of restaurants, shops, schools, and of course, real estate.
In addition to hosting the island’s international airport (LIH), Lihue is the county seat of Kauai and is the location of the government offices. While Kauai doesn’t have its own university, Kauai Community College offers lower-division courses for its students and enjoys a beautiful campus just outside of Lihue town center. Down by the water, the Marriott towers over Kalapaki beach and is one of the most consistently busy stretches of sand as a mix of tourists and locals make good use of the beginner-friendly surf and one of the only two beach volleyball courts on the island (the other being in Hanalei Bay on the north shore).
Just outside of Lihue there is a housing development from D.R. Horton going up in Hanamaulu, and when completed will feature 151 affordable housing and single-family homes. These homes are first being offered to residents of Kauai but as they are being re-sold, keep an eye out for some great deals in a centrally-located division of the island.
Continue up the coast and you will be greeted by thousands of coconut and palm trees on the way into Kapaa and Wailua, two side-by-side towns that are nearly always full of tourists as this is one of the only areas you can explore on foot. This is where you would live if you wanted your finger on the pulse of the island as there are dozens of restaurants, boutique shops, and bars (some of which even stay open past 8pm!) Traffic can be difficult here as a result of the number of people and stores so the country has installed a beautiful bike trail stretching from Lydgate Beach to Donkey Beach, and bike rentals are easy to find along many parts of the trail. When finished, the trail will eventually run to Anahola and will be 17 miles long.
There is some excellent yet inconsistent surf along the east shore as shifting winds can wash out some of the swell, but the beach break along Kealia beach has been known to produce large waves - watch out for the rip currents!
Anahola, Kapaa, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Wailua, Kealia, Kapahi
Wilcox Elementary (K to 5th grade)
Island School (private, K to 12th grade)
Kauai High School (9th to 12th grade)
Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School (6th to 8th grade)
Kapaa Middle School (6th to 8th grade)
Kapaa High School (9th to 12th grade)
King Kaumualii Elementary School (K to 5th grade)
Wailua Golf Course (public)
The Ocean Course at Hokuala (resort)
Pua’kea Golf Course (public)