Family Getaway in Kauai: Moanakai Beach Cottage in Kapa’a

We agonized over where we would stay for our week-long Kauai getaway back in November 2012.  The north end of the island was calling our name with it’s lushness and proximity to amazing beaches, hikes, and other natural wonders.  At the same time, we knew the south end was perfect for families with several beaches suitable for swimming, and kid-friendly restaurants.

We ultimately decided to meet in the middle, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.  On the east side of Kauai is the town of Kapa’a.  It’s the islands largest town by population, and even though it’s busier than the other areas, we knew it would provide us with the best base for our adventures.  From here we could easily enjoy the sites of the east side, and could then do day trips to the north and south sides without too much driving. The west side of the island is only accessible by hiking, helicopter, or boat.

When we travel, we seek out the experience of finding a “home away from home”.  We love getting to know new towns, and calling them our own for the duration of our stay even if it’s only for a day or a weekend.  When looking for lodging, we want to be close to the action.  I love getting up in the morning and walking to the coffee shop or breakfast spot.  I also love being able to walk off the dinner, and take the time to enjoy the ins and outs and uniqueness of the locale in which we are staying.  When we decided that Kapa’a would become our “home away from home”, deciding where to rest our tired selves after long days of exploring was easy once we discovered the Moankai Beach Cottage.

Moanakai Beach Cottage: Kapa'a, Kauai |

The Home

We found the cottage easily accessible from the main area of town, but situated on a quiet street on the back side of the property.  The owner and all-around great guy, Larry,  lives on the property in the front house.  He was there when we needed him, always up for a chat if he was around, but he never bothered us unnecessarily, and he was full of great suggestions and insights on the island.

The house is small, but perfect for our family of three.  The master bedroom in the back of the cottage has a queen-size bed, ample closet space, and a dresser with plenty of drawers for storing our clothes to make us feel at home.  Inside this bedroom there is an air-conditioning unit mounted on the wall.  This kept us cool and comfortable throughout the night, and also did a great job of drowning out the crows of the roosters who haven’t yet learned the concept of sleeping in.

The second bedroom located just down the hall in the front of the house is also outfitted with a queen-size bed, another closet, and dresser to organize all of Bergen’s (our son, 15-months at the time) beach attire.  There was enough space in front of the bed to set up the travel crib.  Bergen was a champion sleeper in this room.  In fact, on more than one morning, we were waiting for him to get up so that we could get going on an adventure!  The two windows facing the east and south allowed for good airflow throughout the space, and with the help of a sound machine, he too was able to sleep through our noisy rooster friends.

Between the two bedrooms is a small bathroom with a nice-sized shower.  It was also stocked with extras like beach towels, ear plugs, and other toiletries, even sunscreen.

The kitchen and living area are situated together creating one large space.  While we didn’t cook meals at home other than macaroni and cheese, and warming up our leftovers in the microwave, we found the kitchen to be supplied with everything you might need to do so.  We also found lots of kid/baby friendly items like spoons, plates, and cups suitable for children, even a portable high chair for Bergen that we could attach to any chair.  The living room was a comfortable place for Slaed and I to hang out while Bergen was asleep for the night, and had plenty of room for Bergen to play on the off-chance we might be lingering around the house.  Books (including great guidebooks on the area), DVDs, and CDs were provided.

Moanakai Beach Cottage: Kapa'a, Kauai |

View of the kitchen from the living room as Slaed signs the guest book.

The Beach

One of the greatest amenities of the Moanakai Beach Cottage is it’s proximity to one of our favorite beaches on the island.  Just a few hundred feet away (really just down the driveway) and across the quiet road is Kapa’a’s “Baby Beach”.  A natural rock wall keeps the surf at bay providing a safe, quiet, and peaceful swimming space for babies, toddlers, kids, nervous adult swimmers, and their families.  Even though we explored the entire island, we always found time during each of our days to spend here whether it was just a sunrise or sunset, a quick dip of the toes, or a full-on beach day set-up complete with umbrellas, chairs, and toys galore (all provided at the house by the way).

Slaed and I even got to spend time here without Bergen.  Our baby monitor was in range of the beach so while Bergen was napping or asleep for the night, we enjoyed some alone time.  We came here in the morning before he woke up to watch the sunrise (tough life being morning people when clearly our kid is not), had takeout from Bubba’s Burgers at the picnic table, and celebrated our own happy hour all while the little guy was snoozing away.  And with our trusty monitor in hand, we were always just a few steps away from getting to Bergen if he needed us.

Sunrise Moanakai Beach Cottage: Kapa'a, Kauai |

Sunrise at Kapa’a’s Baby Beach

Baby Beach at Moanakai Beach Cottage: Kapa'a, Kauai |

Endless Beach Fun

More to Love:

  • As a runner training for an upcoming half marathon, I loved that the house was also just steps away from the start of the phase 2 Ke Ala Hele Makalae, an amazing shared-use path that runs along the coastline.  I was able to keep up with my training and didn’t have to venture far or on a busy highway to do it.
  • Since the house is situated near town, we weren’t far from restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other local shopping spots.  On a couple of occasions, Slaed was able to go off on foot to find lunch to bring back while I manned the monitor or enjoyed some beach play with Bergen.  Some of our favorite spots:
    • Bubba’s Burgers
    • Kountry Kitchen
    • Mermaids
    • Small Town Coffee

Info to Know:

  • Moanakai Beach Cottage on Vacation Rental By Owner (
  • Located in the town of Kapa’a, Kauai on the east side of the island
  • 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, outside shower great for cleaning up after fun at the beach
  • Washer/dryer on the property
  • Equipped with air conditioning units and ceiling fans
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Linens and beach towels provided
  • Plenty of beach supplies provided including beach toys, umbrellas, and chairs
  • Owner lives on property in a separate home
  • No pets

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

Looking for more information on our Kauai Adventure? Check out our Hawaii page.  It’s full of posts about the fun we got into exploring the island.


11 thoughts on “Family Getaway in Kauai: Moanakai Beach Cottage in Kapa’a

    • Ha! I know I was feeling really nostalgic as I wrote, and wanted to book a return trip, but then I realized at the same time…hey, look outside–we live in an amazing place too 🙂

    • Have fun with the planning process! Let me know if I can help with other questions about the island–The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook by Andrew Doughty (a Kauai local) is an excellent resource.

  1. Wow, what great details! Thanks for the rundown. It sounds like you had a great little home-base set up for your trip! I’m similar when my husband and I are traveling, we like to have an area that we kind of “get to know” and then spur off for other activities. Sounds like you had a great trip! I’ll be adding this place to my list of must-stay accommodations.

  2. Pingback: Family Accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore: Haleiwa Getaway | Wild Tales of...

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