We investigate the localized coupled-cavity modes in two-dimensional dielectric photonic crystals. The transmission, phase, and delay time characteristics of the various coupled-cavity structures are measured and calculated. We observed waveguiding through the coupled cavities, splitting of electromagnetic waves in waveguide ports, and switching effect in such structures. The corresponding field patterns and the transmission spectra are obtained from the finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) simulations. We also develop a theory based on the classical wave analog of the tight-binding (TB) approximation in solid state physics. Experimental results are in good agreement with the FDTD simulations and predictions of the TB approximation.