Hey, aloha, and welcome to some of our favorite beaches around Kauai! Kauai is known for its stunning natural beauty and amazing beaches that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for surfing, snorkeling, swimming, or relaxing on the sand, you’ll find it on Kauai. Here are some of the best beaches around Kauai that you should check out on your next trip.
These are just some of the beaches around Kauai that we love to visit. There are many more to explore and enjoy, so don’t miss out on this paradise. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about Kauai beaches. Mahalo for reading, and see you there!
Anini Beach – North Shore
There is no lifeguard posted at Anini Beach, but is still considered to be one of the safer beaches on Kauai’s North Shore during the summer months.
Anahola – East Side
This is a beautiful white sand fringed bay, with good swimming and decent snorkeling most of the year due to a protective outlying reef. Anahola Beach Park is located just south of Anahola Bay. This family-friendly beach is tucked away and hidden from the main road. This secluded beach is an easy beach to drive up to and enjoy without having to carry your beach gear too far. From the shore, you can see the beautiful mountains of Kalalea.
Brennecke's Beach – South Shore
Located adjacent to Poipu Beach Park, Brennecke’s Beach is a very popular boogie boarding and body surfing spot. You can always find a wave at Brennecke’s beach. The small strip of sand is a good spot to watch the waves and occasional rider crash on the shore. This small stretch of beach is popular with the locals and visitors.
Fuji Beach – East Side
This is a great place for children to swim and explore tide pools. Located near the beginning of the Kauai Coastal Path in Kapaa town.
This beach is best during light trade wind days. There is not much shade and is best at lower tides. Kite surfing and diving are enjoyed beyond the protection of the reef and shallow wading area.
Haena Beach – North Shore
This beach combines lush tropical jungle, white-sand beaches, and turquoise waters. The popular and very recognizable Mount Makana (Bali Hai) offers a spectacular backdrop for sunsets and photo opportunities.
In the summer months, Haena Beach Park offers good swimming and snorkeling. During the winter months, the surf can be extremely large causing dangerous shore breaks and strong currents which are awesome for experienced surfers who crave the giant waves.
The beach park offers a lifeguard station, restrooms, showers, and campsites. Camping permits are required and in short supply due to Covid protocols. The Maniniholo dry cave is across the street and is a popular North Shore attraction in its own right.
Lydgate Beach Park – East Side
Located on the East side of Kauai adjacent to the Wailua River. The two rock-enclosed ponds create a safe haven from the open ocean waves, while still allowing the small reef fish to move into the pond through the crevices. This spot will almost guarantee that you will see a variety of tropical fish. The protected calm waters posted lifeguards, and variety of fish make this the perfect beginner beach for snorkeling.
Hanalei Pier – North Shore
The Hanalei Pier is located at the mouth of the Hanalei River. This section of beach fronts Black Pot Beach Park, a popular camping area for local families. There is a small boat ramp where you can launch kayaks to paddle the Hanalei River.
The Hanalei Pier is a landmark and favorite recreation spot for water sports and watching the sunset over Bali Hai. Because of its popularity with the locals and visitors, parking can be difficult on holidays and weekends.
Hanalei Bay – North Shore
This two-mile-long crescent-shaped bay offers activities for the whole family. The center of the bay is known as Pavilions and is a popular beach for swimming, surfing, and boogie boarding. Lifeguards man this section of the beach. A large pavilion, restrooms, showers, and BBQ areas make this an easy spot for the whole family to enjoy a day at the beach.
Hideaway Beach – North Shore
Tucked away on Kauai’s north shore is a beautiful spot for snorkeling during calm weather. Typically a summertime beach, this spot can be accessed by a steep path near the Pali Ke Kua Condos. True to its name, this secluded beach is worth the trek, but it is advisable to use extreme caution and is probably best left to those who are in good health and physical condition. Parking and access to Hideaways are found at the public parking lot just before the gatehouse of the Princeville St Regis Hotel.
Kiahuna Beach – South Shore
While technically part of Poipu Beach Kiahuna Beach is a popular beach on Kauai’s sunny south shore. This beach fronts the Kiahuna Plantation condominiums and falls between Poipu Beach Park and Lawai Beach. This beach is good for beginning surf lessons, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. There isn’t a lot of shade so bring your umbrellas. Parking is limited but available at Poipu Beach Park.
Lawai Beach – South Shore
This is a small strip of beach fronting the Lawai Beach resort and the Beach House Restaurant. Not visible at high tide and better suited for snorkeling in calm weather. This is a favorite spot for spotting turtles and the rare Hawaiian monk seal. It is also great for capturing the sunset. Located across from the Lawai Beach Resort and adjacent to the Beach House Restaurant.
Mahaulepu Beach – South Shore
This beach is located along an isolated and windswept coast just east past the Hyatt Resort. The Mahaulepu Beach Heritage Trail leads you from the East end of Shipwrecks beach along a coastline of sandstone cliffs, lava tubes, isolated coves, blowholes, and stretches of white-sand beaches. The stronger trade winds on this stretch of coastline make it a haven for windsurfers and experienced kite-boarders. Tread lightly as you discover this secret and sacred part of the island.
Poipu – South Shore
Voted the number one beach in America, Poipu Beach Park is actually two beaches in one. A tombola (known as Nukumoi Point) separates the two bays. It is the favorite spot for the napping, endangered Hawaiian monk seals. The area on the western side of the beach is a favorite for beginning bodyboarders. Small waves break gently on the shallow sandbar and create a fun area for children to play in. To the left of the sandbar is a lava rock protected and shallow area for swimming. This is usually the play area for families with small children. A small public parking lot is available nearby.
Shipwreck Beach – South Shore
Definitely not a swimming beach, Shipwreck Beach is a favorite for surfing, body surfing, and sunsets. This is also the start of the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, a great hike to explore the otherwise inaccessible coastline.
If you are a strong swimmer and into cliff diving, here is your shot. Do it at your own risk and watch out for turtles below.
Salt Pond Beach – West Side
Adjacent to the only natural salt ponds on Kauai, Salt Pond Beach Park near Hanapepe has a number of protected pools that offer great snorkeling for young swimmers. The water is generally clear and the natural fringing reefs help keep the water fairly calm. The tide pools on the East side of the beach are a great place to discover additional Hawaiian marine life. This beach has a lifeguard is posted here and you will find restrooms, showers, and shade pavilions in the park.