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Island Favorites
Directory Listing for Kauai Beaches
Kauai Beaches

North shore
  • Anini Beach - County beach, protected reef is the largest in Hawaii. Snorkeling, swimming. Turn west on the 2nd Kalihiwai Rd. (off the Kuhio Hwy.) if you're coming from the south. It's the 2nd Kalihiwai Rd. if you're coming from the north.
  • Hanalei Bay - Beautiful spot for watching the sun set. Swimming is safe year-round. Access via Aku Rd. or Weke Rd. (off Kuhio Hwy.) at either end of Hanalei.
  • Lumaha'i Beach - One of the most photographed beaches, best known for its starring role in the movie South Pacific. Swimming. Access at the western end is directly off Kuhio Hwy. At the eastern end, there's a trail that descends a steep slope (you'll see lots of cars there).
  • Ke'e Beach - Small beach, protected and calm. Swimming, excellent snorkeling, fishing. Located at the end of the road (next to parking lot) at the trailhead for Kalalau.
  • Tunnels Beach - Great snorkeling. Scuba diving & windsurfing too. Look for all the cars as you drive past Lumaha'i, but before Ke'e beaches. Take Hwy. 56 north past Hanalei. Go past the YMCA camp and turn right after the yellow "Narrow Bridge" sign.
  • Kauapea Beach- Commonly known as Secret Beach, this long expanse of white sand is also a popular nude beach (public nudity is illegal in Hawaii). Swim with dolphins in the summer or enjoy body boarding among the waves. From here you'll see the Kilauea lighthouse and Moku'ae'ae Island. If heading north, turn right on the first Kalihiwai road, then right on the first dirt right you see. Follow that dirt road to the bottom and you'll find the trailhead.
  • Kahili Quarry Beach - Known to some as Rock Quarry Beach, this is where Kilauea Stream meets the ocean. Kayaking, fishing (on the Kilauea River), body boarding, surfing. Turn off Kuhio Hwy. at Wailapa. Turn left on the dirt road (about 1/2 way down Wailapa).
  • Kalalau Beach -Can only be reached by boat or on foot (11-mile trail). For the adventurous that wish to hike in, be prepared for wet, muddy conditions. It's a long haul, but it's worth the effort once you get there. Head down the Kuhio Hwy. to the end of the road (Ha'ena State Park) and you'll find the trail that takes you there.



East Shore
  • Hanama'ulu Beach - Popular camping area. Hanama'ulu Stream empties into the bay, making the water murky. Swimming, fishing. Turn toward the sea off Kuhio Hwy (56) at Hanama'ulu, bear right at the fork and follow the road to the end.
  • Kalapaki Beach - A sheltered cove allows for excellent swimming, windsurfing & body boarding year-round. Access at the bottom of Wa'apa Road in Lihu'e.
  • Ninini Beach/Running Waters - Located below the Mariott. Walk through the 13th green and take the steep trail to the bottom. Good snorkeling on calm days.
  • Wailua Beach - Popular with the surfers, the Wailua River flows into the ocean here sometimes causing hazardous conditions. Access it by pulling off the Kuhio Hwy. once you've crossed the river (if you're coming from the south).
  • Nukoli'i Beach Park - Less crowded than most, this 2-mile beach runs from along the front of the Wailua Golf Course. Swimming, snorkeling (when water is calm). Access the southern portion of the beach by driving up the dirt road between the golf course and the Outrigger Kaua'i Beach Hotel entrance.
  • Lydgate State Park - Excellent swimming, snorkeling (beware of strong currents), lava pool. Playground, picnic area, shallow water area great for kids. Access is off Leho Drive just north of the Wailua Golf Course.

South Shore
  • Po'ipu Beach - A long stretch of sandy shoreline. Lifeguards on duty. Great snorkeling, body boarding & swimming. Follow 520 to Koloa Rd. (530) to Koloa Town. Take Po'ipu Road toward the sea to the coast.
  • Keoneloa Beach/Shipwreck Beach - Unshaded (wear a hat). Good surfing and body surfing in summer. Popular windsurfing spot year-round. Fish off Makawehi Point. At the end of the paved portion of Poipu Road, turn left on the dirt road (between the Hyatt and the Poipu Bay Resort golf course). Then turn right at the first opportunity.
  • Maha'ulepu Beach - Calm waters for swimming and snorkeling at the western end. Area is subject to strong currents. Access is possible only by crossing private land. Drive down Poipu Rd. (past the Hyatt Hotel) and you'll come to a stop sign. Turn right and stop at the gatehouse where you'll need to sign in.
  • Kipu Kai Beach - Behind the mountain at Kipu, this beach is accessible only by water. An isolated beach, it's a favorite for boat outings.

West Shore
  • Polihale State Park - Sand dunes, 15-mile beach. Surfing for experts only. Access is through the military reserve.
  • Kekaha Beach - A continuation of the beach that starts beneath the cliffs at Polihale. Subject to strong currents. Swimming, body boarding & surfing. Access directly off Kaumuali'i Hwy (50).
  • Salt Pond Beach Park - A protective reef makes this one of the island's popular swimming spots. Windsurfing access at Hanapepe, turn toward the see at the sign pointing to the Veterans' Cemetery, then turn right onto Lolokai Rd.
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