Best of Kauai’s East Side

Exercise Ideas on the Royal Coconut Coast

Looking for ways to fit in some regular exercise while enjoying Kauai’s many amazing wonders and extraordinary food? Here are five ideas if you’re staying in or visiting the Royal Coconut Coast (Wailua to Kapaa).

Kauai Bike Path

Kauai Bike Path ©Gelston Dwight

1. Walk, run or ride Ke Ala Hele Makalai (east side bike path). It starts at Lihi Park in Kapaa and follows the coast north for 3.8 miles ending at Ahihi Point, just past Donkey Beach. There is also a 2.5 mile section about 3 miles west at Lydgate Beach Park  This very scenic path and ocean-front path is available to walkers, joggers, roller bladders, bikers, and is safe for families and strollers. Rent your own bike or enjoy a guided trip.

2. Take a historical walk from Lydgate Beach Park to Kamalanai Kai and beyond, along a popular windsurfing beach. Lydgate Beach Park features a walking (and biking path) filled with historical, cultural and environmental interpretation. The path ends at Kamalani Kai, a magnificent wooden play structure that leads down to a long beach where, on a windy day, watching kite surfers and sailboarders adds a special thrill. When on the beach keep your eye on the wave conditions (never turn your back on the ocean). Stay well above the water. Rogue waves happen.

3. Sleeping Giant TrailTake the more advanced, though shorter route up Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant), a hearty uphill jaunt on the West trail. This is a 3 mile round trip hike up through older growth forests to a spectacular 180 degree view of Kauai from Lihue to the North Shore. Wear sports or hiking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Take water. Remember to hydrate well, at least every hour.


4. Check in at Kauai Athletic Club in Kapaa for a hearty work-out on modern exercise equipment and staffed by knowledgeable trainers. Open from early morning well into the evening. A one-day membership runs $20, or a week for $60.



Major Summer Events on the Royal Coconut Coast

Kauai Culture and Arts

Heiva I Kauai Polynesia Dance Festival, photo by Mike Teruya

Three spectacular events are lined up on the Royal Coconut Coast in June, August and September. First up is the extravagant Taste of Hawaii at Smith’s Tropical Paradise on June 2nd, followed by the colorful Heiva I Kauai Polynesian Festival in Kapaa August 3-4 and moving on to the highly cultural Mokihana Festival, September 22-28 (with two events located in Kapaa). Taste of Hawaii provides what has become known around the islands as the “ultimate Sunday brunch”, offering delectable choices prepared by numerous chefs, an array of beverages, topped off by music and entertainment. Proceeds benefit youth and education. Heiva I Kauai is a Polynesian dance competition featuring dance halaus (dance troops or schools) from Hawaii and the Pacific. The Mokihana Festival features cultural entertainment and practices throughout the week, such as a Hawaiian Church Service, presentations by cultural specialists and several dance and singing competitions. For more information, check individual websites, linked to each event.