Living in Waimea, Kauai
The historic seaport town of Waimea is situated on the southwest corner of Kauai. Waimea is well known as the landing site of the European explorer, Captain James Cook, who made port in Waimea Bay in 1778. Waimea remains a popular destination not just for its history, but also its natural beauty.
Waimea is home to the rare black sand beach of Waimea Beach Park while the Waimea Pier offers a unique vantage point of the island of Ni'ihau. Along the nearby shore, the Waimea Plantation Cottages, a collection of vintage, plantation-era vacation rentals, transport you to Kauai's plantation era.
Hikers and thrill-seekers will find that there's plenty to explore around the town of Waimea. The town itself is considered the gateway community for Waimea Canyon. This geological wonder has been hailed as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
There are plenty of valleys and hiking trails to discover along the canyon drive. Venturing further will lead you to Koke'e State Park, and, finally, to the Na Pali Coast, where charters and boat tours begin their excursions. The journey through Waimea is virtually endless.
For those looking to stay on the beaten path, the West Kauai Visitor Center is located in the center of town at Hapokele Park, just off of Kaumualii Highway. Exhibits, daily programs, and weekly activities, the Visitor Center is an ideal place to learn about Kauai's agricultural history.
Local restaurants, markets, and shops; nearly everything can be found just off of Kaumualii Highway. Waimea Canyon Middle School sits near Hapokele Park, and the high school lies just down the road. Churches are scattered across town, and the Waimea Theatre - the restored landmark movie house - is another historic gathering place for the community. Initially opened in 1938, the theatre was the first of its kind. It was severely damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and was doomed to be torn down until it was purchased by the county. The theatre was then reopened in 1996 and continues to thrive to this day.
A stroll through Waimea may reveal how small of a town it appears to be, but it will also show how tight-knit and supportive this community is of each other. Waimea's natural beauty and rich history make it an attraction worth considering and exploring. Adventurer or not, you are sure to find much to explore and enjoy.