Kauai Beaches are quite different than beaches on the other islands. The beaches here are very tropical and look more like beaches in Bora Bora or Tahiti. Here are a few really nice beaches you may like to try.
1. Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach is located on the sunny south shore of Kauai. Kauai beaches are often shrouded in clouds or rainy and many times Poipu Beach is the only sunny spot on the island. For that reason, Poipu is a main tourist beach park. The beach itself is a beautiful sandy beach which consists of an area to the left of a sandbar which is a nice place for children and families.
This are has a sandy floor and has a lava rock jetty which protects it from rough waves. The right side of the sandbar has little protection and the waves allow a nice spot for body surfing and surfing. A nice steady breeze makes it a great place for windsurfing. There are some great reef area that make it a great place to snorkel or dive. Closer to the shore, there are some small tide pools to explore local sea life. If you are lucky, you may spot a few Hawaiian Monk Seals that also like this beach for sunning themselves.
2. Anini Beach Park
Anini Beach Park is located on the north shore. This beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in all of the islands. Anini Beach has a three mile stretch of golden sand and the water is a color of blue that you only see in pictures. This beach sits in front of tall towering dark green sea cliffs. This beach looks more like Bora Bora or Moorea.
The beach park is shielded by on o Hawaii’s longest and widest fringing reefs which protects it from high surf. The shallow water of only 4-5 feet deep make it one of the safest swimming and snorkeling beaches on the island. To the west of this area is a 60 foot drop off into deep cobalt blue water that is a perfect spot for experienced divers. All in all, this Kauai beach has something for everybody. If you are lucky, you will find some of the small rare Ni’ihau seashells that wash up on this beach.
3. Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park is located on Kauai’s west side. This Kauai Beach is Hawaii’s largest beach, it is approximately 17 miles long and more than 3 football fields wide. Polihale Beach usually has plenty of sunshine and beautiful white sand and deep blue water. If you like walking along the beach, this is the beach for you. You will have views of Ni’ihau across the sea and at the far end you will see the cliffs along the Na’Pali Coast. The other direction is the small plantation town of Kekaha.
This State Park is also home to Ancient Hawaiian burial grounds and an ancient Heiau (temple). You can also walk to the famous barking sands beach, where each footstep sound like the sand is a dog barking at you. According to scientists, the granules’ of sand are perforated and the perforations act like tiny echo chambers. When the sand granules rub together they make a barking sound. This beach has a very strong current and quick drop-offs, so it is not safe for swimming or snorkeling.
4. Hanalei Bay Beach Park
Hanalei Bay Beach Park is located on the north shore of Kauai. This Kauai beach is true Hawaiian tropical beauty. This beautiful bay has been featured on travel posters, celebrated with hula and had songs written about. One such song is the famous “Puff The Magic Dragon”. The beach park sits on a three mile golden sand crescent shaped bay. In the summer months the waters are very calm, making it a perfect swimming beach. With coral reefs surrounding the bay, it is a perfect beach for snorkeling.
The calm water also allows for kayaking, and “stand up” paddle boarding. The thing that makes Hanalei bay so beautiful is the blue pacific in front of the sheer emerald green 4,000 foot volcanic cliffs full of waterfalls behind you. This is a true tropical paradise.
5. Kalapaki Beach
This Kauai Beach is located on the eastern (windward) side of Kauai in front of the Marriot Resort and Beach Club. This beautiful ¼ mile golden sand beach is protected by a jetty that makes it very safe for swimmers. The views of the Majestic 2200 foot peaks of the Haupu Mountain range are breathtaking. The Haupu ridge shields Nawiliwili bay which is where the cruise ships dock.
When the cruise ships are in port, the beach gets a little more crowded. This beach is also a great place to play volleyball. There are numerous volleyball courts on this beach. There is also a rental stand to rent waterspout equipment. This is truly a magnificent beach on the eastern shore.
6. Ha’ena Beach Park
Haena Beach Park is another north shore beauty. This Kauai beach, like Hanalei Bay, also has a view of the jagged green lava cliffs laced with waterfalls. This beach as other north shore beaches, becomes a surf Mecca in the winter. During the summer months, this beautiful beach offers calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Ha’ena beach is perfect for families offering shady picnic areas, restrooms and showers. Ha’ena beach is also a favorite of Hollywood film makers. Many films such as “South Pacific” were filmed here on this gorgeous white sand beach. Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach) is just a short walk down the sand. This is one of Kauai’s best snorkeling beaches.
Ha'ena Beach Park is located on Highway 560 west near mile marker 9. Parking is makai (towards the ocean). A great shave ice and smoothie vendor usually sets up in the parking lot, so be sure to stop by.
7. Lumahai Beach
As you leave Hanalei you'll drive around the far end of Hanalei Bay and up the cliff. Just past the 4-mile marker you'll likely see cars parked along the side of the road. These cars belong to people who have decided to take the short hike 150 feet down to one of Kauai's most beautiful beaches, Lumaha'i Beach. If you can't find a place to park you can drive down the hill and park in the parking area under the ironwood trees that is located right before the bridge over the Lumaha'i River.
The lava formations on the beach act like a waterfall when the waves break over them. This Kauai beach was made famous by the movie “South Pacific”. Often called “Nurses Beach”, this is the beach where Mitzi Gaynor sang “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair”. This is on of Kauai’s most photographed beaches for good reason, it is beautiful. The ocean current at this beach is ferocious and swimming is unadvisable. There are no lifeguards on the beach and there is a huge undertow. There is fresh cool water from Lumahai stream that you can cool off in. There is plenty of shade, but no facilities. This is a great beach for the photographer.
8. Lydgate Beach
Lydgate Beach is a great beach for small children that is located on the eastern shore.
The beach has two protected sandy swimming areas as well as an elaborate children’s playground. Locals love bringing their children to this beach on weekends.
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