‘ANINI BEACH PARK
This beautiful white sand beach has one of the largest coral reefs in
Hawai‘i and has some of the best snorkeling in Kaua‘i for all levels.
Swimming is among the safest on the North Shore and a good place to
learn how to windsurf. You can see magnificent sunsets from here. Grills,
camping, restrooms and showers are available. No lifeguards. Located
off Kühiö Hwy. Turn west on the second Kalihiwai Rd between the 25
and 26 mile markers. Take ‘Anini Road to beach.
One of the most majestic places on earth is also a great place to learn
to surf, frolic in the water, jump off the pier or just enjoy the incredible
scenery. The sunsets are spectacular and the moonlight over Hanalei Bay
is magical. There are four beach parks included in the two-mile sandy
crescent shaped bay and all have lifeguards on duty except Waikoko
Beach. Black Pot Park is located next to the Hanalei River mouth
with tropical foliage along the river’s edge and is a local gathering place
with a variety of water activities. The Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a
popular spot for picnics. The water is generally calmer near the pier.
Wai‘oli Beach Park is near the center of the bay set in an ironwood grove.
Waikoko Beach is located on the westernmost section and is protected by
Waikoko Reef so it’s popular with snorkelers and families. Picnic area,
tables, pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms are available. Located off
Kühiö Hwy in Hanalei. Access beaches off Aku Rd or Weke Rd.
KAUPEA “SECRET” BEACH
This exquisite, long and wide sandy beach with great views of Lighthouse
Point is stunning. Swimming and snorkeling can be good when the
ocean is calm. Swimming can be hazardous so observe the ocean before
entering. Look for the small waterfall flowing over the side of the cliff.
You can see Moku‘ae‘ae Island, which is a bird sanctuary. Located off
Kühiö Hwy on the same turnoff as Kalihiwai beach. Take a right onto
the first dirt road, drive to the end of the road and park. The hike down
takes about 10-15 minutes.
The Thornbirds and Lord of the Flies were filmed at this exquisite
and very popular beach. With views of the Näpali Coast, it is great for
snorkeling and swimming in the protected lagoon in calm conditions.
Snorkelers and scuba divers can expect to see teems of tropical fish and
honu (green sea turtles) on calm, clear days. Stay inside the reef for
calmer waters. Beware of strong currents and dangerous waves breaking
on rocks and ledges. The currents are deceptively strong even on days
when the water looks calm so it’s best to stay in the reef-protected lagoon.
The beach gets crowded with hikers and beachgoers, so get there early for
a parking space. You may want to stay for the magnificent Näpali sunsets
from the point. The trailhead for Kalalau Trail begins here. Bathrooms
and showers are available. Located at the end of the road on Hwy 56.
One of the most stunning and most photographed beaches in Kaua‘i, it
was made famous as the location for the movie South Pacific. This large
and wide, beautiful golden sand beach is popular with a background of
verdant foliage cliffs. Swimming is not recommended here since there
is no protective reef barrier to guard you against the tumultuous sea.
Dangers include powerful waves sweeping up unsuspecting beachgoers
off the rocks into the sea, strong undertow and dangerous shorebreaks.
It’s a great beach to sunbathe and take in the incredible scenery. Access
to the western part of the beach is located off Hwy 560 at Wainiha near
mile marker 5. The eastern part of the beach separated by a lava rock
of Lumaha‘i is Kahalahala Beach. In calm conditions (summer), this
beach can be a picturesque beach to swim in crystal clear warm water and
explore the tidepools. No facilities or lifeguards. Park in the dirt parking
lot. To access, hike down a steep jungle trail from the top of the lookout.
M;KUA BEACH (TUNNELS)
This is one of the best snorkeling beaches due to the wide-fringing reef
with a huge variety of fish swimming around in the shallow inner and
outer reefs. The exceptional beach is surrounded by gently sloping sand
and is well protected with incredible mountain scenery popular with
swimmers, surfers, windsurfers and beachcombers. The best snorkeling
is in the center by the crescent shaped reef. Scuba divers can explore the
underwater caverns near the shore. Beware of sharp reefs, rip currents
and dangerous water conditions. No facilities at this beach but the
facilities at Hä‘ena State Park are nearby. Lifeguard on duty. Take one
of two dirt roads off Hwy 56 north of Hanalei near the 8-mile marker.
LIFE’S A BEACH
With warm crystal clear azure waters and breathtaking vistas, the beaches on Kaua‘i are simply unmatched with any other
destination in the world. Whether you seek seclusion on a hidden beach fit for romantic movie scenes or desire quality playtime
with the family at a safe swimming beach equipped with a lifeguard, there are 50 miles of silky white sand beaches on the
coastline of Kaua‘i. Since the beach options are almost endless, we’ve narrowed down the list to our top picks.