Kauai Beaches

A trip to Kaua‘i isn’t complete without a little time spent at one of the many splendid shorelines that decorate the island. Nick-named for its dense vegetation and ornate plant life, the Garden Isle is also notorious for its vast stretches of golden beaches and blue Pacific water.

Whether it’s just digging your feet into the creamy sand or dunking your entire body into the ocean, there are many ways to enjoy the perks of Kaua‘i beaches. You can even sit under a tree in the shade, cozy up with a good book and let the waves serenade you. The good news is that no matter what part of the island you’re staying, there’s at least one celebrated beach nearby.

If you do decide to participate in water recreation, make sure to visit one of the island’s lifeguarded beaches — Kē‘ē, Hanalei, Hā‘ena, Anahola, Lydgate, Keālia, Kekaha, Po‘ipū and Salt Pond — and check ocean conditions before grabbing your snorkeling gear. Due to its isolated, northwestern location along the Hawaiian archipelago, the waters along Kaua‘i’s coasts can get treacherous.
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During the summer months, the sea is typically calmer on the north shore. This is also where you’ll find the crème de la crème of Kaua‘i beaches, Hanalei Bay. Gorgeous mountain scenery is only part of what makes this beach one of the most popular on the island, along with several spots that are safe for swimming, as well as beginner-style surfing near the pier.On the opposite end of the island, winter is the season when ocean conditions are most friendly. Po‘ipū Beach is superb for families, as there is an enclave aptly named Baby Beach where the littlest ones get a safe chance to splash in the water.

Along the east side are two prominent places to lounge or swim – Lydgate, which is also ideal for families, as there is a rock-lined enclosure that keeps waves out, and the north end of Kealia where more advanced swimmers can bring a boogie board and have fun wrestling with the tide.

Salt Pond Beach, located in Hanapēpē, is a great west side option, protected by a small bay that makes the water here calm. Plus, you can almost always guarantee sunshine on this side of the island.

Of course, there are other lovely beaches worth visiting, like ‘Anini, Tunnels, Shipwreck and Lumaha‘i, but are only advisable for swimming when the conditions are right. Nonetheless, they make for great picnic locales and places to kick back and appreciate the scenery. You really don’t have to get in the water to reap all the nourishing benefits Kaua‘i beaches have to offer.

Poipu Beach, Kauai Beaches

Poipu Beach. Photo courtesy of Trevor Russell.

Beaches

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