How to get to Princeville and Anini Beach Kauai

Copyright 2004 by Stephen Vermeulen
Updated 25 Oct 2004

For more information on Kauai see my Kauai page.

The maps are screen captures from Nasa's World Wind program and are scans of old USGS topo maps, which are supposed to be in the public domain.

North is at the top of all maps, as Lihue is in the south and Princeville is in the north you'll be generally travelling from the bottom to the top of each map (except when the road turns...).

You'll be landing at the Lihue Airport (code is LIH), you can see it in this map (you'll also note Vidinha Stadium near the airport, if you see it you are going the wrong way, there is a large farmer's market here once a week, the Walmart is near the "Lihue" on the map, but on the other side of the road):

Lihue Airport

There's only one road (the 570) out of the airport but this map is pretty old, so it does not show the #51 heading north to Kapaa (which I've sketched in with a mauve marker). So when you reach the #51 turn right and head north. If you miss this, then just stay on the 570 until you get to the #56 and turn right onto it.  The 51 rejoins the 56 just north of the "H" in Hanamaulu on the following map:


You then keep going north following the red line (the 56):

On the way to Kapaa

On the way you get to pass the County Correctional Facility and on the other side of the road is a golf course (see above)...  Then you reach Wailua, where the bridges over the Wailua river always seem to be being worked on:


After you cross the bridge the road briefly runs besides a beach (which is a favourite radar trap). And then you have a brief run besides some cane fields before reaching the Coconut Grove Shopping Mall (which was built about where the "56" is on the following map, long after the map was made) and than Kapaa.


Apparently the big private road that goes around Kapaa and ends at the Armory is on lands owned by Bette Middler and is/was open as a public bypass most of the day, its quite a bit faster if there is a traffic jam in Kapaa. There is a good farmer's market once a week at the park by the Armory.  Leaving the top right corner of the above map, you get to the next:

Kapaa and Kaelia

and quickly pass a large surfing spot just before before reaching Kealia, then you head onto the next map:

North of Kapaa

Now the road runs fairly straight but moves in land a bit passing through open country side. You have left the last "large" town (and the last traffic light?), the rest will be really small. Just stay on the red road...


Now the road passes through Anahola (above in the middle of the map) and then moves on

Papaa bay

past Papaa bay and you'll pass some farms that are along the road, then pass through Moloao (near the top of the map), and moving north:


Now the road starts to turn west as you have pretty much reached the north most shore of the island.  Leaving the above map on the left edge you get to the Anini Beach turnoff on the next map:

Anini Beach turn off

in the above map you have been driving west (so you came in on the bottom edge near the right hand side) and passed through Kilauea about in the middle of the map (which has two farmer's markets and a nice light house and bird sanctuary) then you go down a steep hill to a large bridge (marked on the map) over a rather senic valley. As you climb out of the valley and what looks like a large river on the map (just shortly after leaving the bridge) you will come to the turnoff (on your right, marked on the map) that takes you down a narrow paved road to Anini beach. This road forks a few hundred yards after leaving the main road, you want to take the left fork. After a few tight bends you will be at the sea shore. Then you follow the road along Anini beach for the next few miles (there are no side roads so you cannot get lost). You leave this map near the top of the left edge on the sea shore. The following map shows this in more detail:

End of Anini beach

the road keeps getting smaller, and after you pass the state park (which is about where it says "Kalihikai") the road drops to a single lane and then turns into an unpaved road along the beach from Honono point on. The road dead ends just before the Anini Stream  enters the sea (just to the left of where the map says "Anini Beach").

If you miss the Anini beach turn off the next things you'll see are the Princeville airport (a grass landing strip on the left and a cafe called Amelia's) and then the golf course at Princeville and then the Princeville turnoff. See the following map:


There is a gas station, small shopping mall and a Foodland grocery store just after the Princeville turn off. On this map this is just before you reach the point where the road does a sharp zig zag. If you stay on the road through the zig zag you will drop down a step hill and over a one lane bridge to Hanalei (where Puff the Magic Dragon once lived). There is a nice senic look out at the zig zag.

And that's about 1/3 of the main road that does not go all the way around Kauai.

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