Please heed all beach safety signs and be aware of changing conditions, strong currents and reefs. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a particular beach is appropriate for you and your ability level. Updates are available at Hawaii Beach Safety and Hawaii Ocean Safety. A few pointers before you hit the beach.
Polihale is framed on the west end by the Na Pali Cliffs and offers sweeping sand dunes and a 7-mile stretch of white sand beach. Polihale is typically hot and sunny and offers amazing sunset views over Niihau and is excellent for stargazing. Surfing and swimming should be left to those who are familiar with Poihale as there are some strong offshore currents that make swimming dangerous. Camping by permit only. Dirt parking lot. Public bathrooms and showers. No lifeguard on duty.
Kekaha Beach offers a long stretch of white sand, great for sunbathing and beachcombing. This is a local surf spot for experienced surfers, beware of strong currents when swimming. Enjoy a beautiful Niihau sunset view. Lifeguard and facilities available.
SALT POND BEACH PARK
Salt Pond Beach Park is almost always sunny and perfect for families with shade pavilions and shallow pool areas for keiki to swim. Picnic or BBQ in the park. Lifeguard and facilities available.
The Poipu Kai Resort Area is linked by a green-belt pathway that leads from Brenneke`s Beach and Poipu Beach Park to Shipwreck Beach in front of the Grand Hyatt.
POIPU BEACH PARK
The most popular beach on the South Shore is Poipu Beach which is fronted by Poipu Beach Park and a few resorts. Poipu Beach was names America's Best Beach by The Travel Channel, ranking top among the 10 "best" beaches selected nationwide. This beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will find snorkeling, swimming, a natural ocean wading pool, boogie-boarding and surfing. Lifeguards and facilities available.
Located at the eastern end of Poipu Beach Park, Brennecke's Beach is known for it's easy to catch body boarding and body surfing waves. In 2015 the sand was depleted so it is very rocky. As time goes by the sand could fill up again to make it a safer spot to boogie board. It is a favorite with Kauai residents and visitors alike. There is a great protected area for swimming and snorkeling - with surf breaks offshore (for experienced surfers. Lifeguard not available. Facilities nearby at Poipu Beach Park.
Shipwrecks Beach is a long stretch of golden sand on the eastern end of Poipu fronting the Grand Hyatt resort. During most of the year, the waters are best for advanced surfers due to a short shore-break. This is a great beach, however, to walk along, wade a little, sunbathe or hook up with a spectacular shoreline trail that goes east for a couple of miles. The trail leads along the ocean side of Poipu Bay Golf Course. Facilities available but no lifeguard.
Baby Beach is a sweet little protected cove perfect for very young children. This tiny crescent shaped beach has very calm and shallow waters making it an ideal choice for babies. For the adults you will be able to relax as your little ones splash around the ankle-deep waters. Take Lawai Road, aka Sputing Horn Road, to Hoona Road. Public beach access is located between the homes at #5142 and #5152. No Lifeguards or Facilities available.
EAST SIDE BEACHES
The East side is known as the Coconut Coast and offers miles of coastline with popular golden sand beaches at Kalapaki Bay, Lydgate Beach Park, and Kealia beach. Head further North and discover beautiful Anahola Bay.
LYDGATE BEACH PARK
Lydgate Beach Park in Wailua has two lava rock enclosed ocean pools that are perfect for inexperienced swimmers and snorkelers. Lydgate has numerous amenities including the Kamalani Playground for the kids, shade pavilions and picnic areas. Lifeguard and facilities are available.
Kealia Beach is a wide, sandy beach located on the northern end of Kapaa and offers shade pavilions to picnic and grill. Kealia Beach is very popular for surfering and body-boarding. Inexperienced swimmers should stay to the left (North) side of the beach where the waves are not as strong and be aware of swimming too far out as Kealia is known for having strong rip currents. Lifeguard and facilities are available.
Anini beach is a narrow reef protected beach that stretches for over 2 miles. The reef off of Anini is said to be the largest in Hawaii and as a result Anini Beach has the calmest ocean conditions on the North Shore and is one of the few beaches that can offer swimming during large winter waves. Always be aware that channels in the reef may have strong rip currents so try to snorkel and swim in the inside sections of the reef close to the shore. Facilities are available but there is no Lifeguard.
A steep path leads to Hideaways beach in Princeville. The path is located beside the tennis court of the Puu Poa Condominiums. The staircase and path can be difficult to navigate. Hideaways offers good snorkeling in the summer months. No facilities or Lifeguard.
Hanalei Bay is over 2 miles long and in winter has great waves for surfing. It is calm in the summer. Towards the right is Hanalei Pier and Black Pot Beach Park. This is where the river flows into the bay. Hanalei Pavilion is located west of the pier. Facilities and Lifeguard are available. Further north down the beach is Pinetrees and Waioli Beach Park popular for surfing. The winter surf typically arrives Mid-October on the North Shore. Facilities and Lifeguard are available.
Tunnels beach is one of the best snorkeling beaches on Kauai especially during the summer months when the ocean is calm. It is also one of the most scenic beaches on the island with a beautiful mountain backdrop and views of Bali Hai. This is a popular surfing and kite-surfing area for experienced surfers. Be aware of strong rip currents in the winter months and also in the Summer when the ocean appears to be calm. Tunnels Beach meets up with Haena Beach Park where facilities and a Lifeguard are available.
Kee beach is located at the start of the Kalalau Trail at the end of the highway. Ke'e beach is very beautiful with the backdrop of Bali Hai and emerald green waters. The snorkeling at Ke'e beach is good during the summer when the ocean is calm. In the winter months be prepared for large swells and rough conditions. Facilities and Lifeguard are available.