Hawaii Guide

Kauai Beaches Kauai

Kauai's Beaches Top Beaches by Region


The Kauai shoreline is blessed with many beautiful beaches. Some of the beaches are easily accessible by car or on foot while others are tucked away in hidden locations. In general the best beaches are considered to be on the south coast, however it really depends what you are looking for in terms of activities, safety or scenery.

Even when the seas are calm, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are safe. Some of Kauai's beaches have lifeguards, so be sure to enquire about the water conditions if you are unsure. Failing that, the locals may be able to advise you.

North Shore Beaches

  • Kee Beach is great for swimming and snorkeling. This beach has facilities.
  • Tunnels or Makua Beach is fantastic for snorkeling or scuba diving with its profuse marine life. Surfing and windsurfing is also popular here.
  • Pali Ke Kua (Hideaways) is near the Princeville Hotel with ten minute walk to get there. It offers good snorkeling and is a lovely beach to spend a day on.
  • Queen's Bath is a natural pool formed from lava rock which is great for swimming.
  • Sealodge Beach is accessible from the end of the Keoniana Road. It is usually empty and has plenty of shade.
  • Secret Beach is a stunning beach accessible after a ten to fifteen minute hike, which proves to be well worth it. Great snorkeling id on offer and there is small waterfall where you can rinse yourself and your gear after going in the sea.
  • Larsen's beach is very isolated and often empty. Its attractions are its phenomenally clear waters and its good beachcombing.
  • Moloaa Beach is a wonderful beach on calm days but not good for swimming when it isn't calm.

Generally speaking, north shore beaches are calmer during the summer months than in the winter (October to May). The surf is higher on the north shore than it is over the rest of the island all year round.

East Shore

  • Lydgate State Park is located near Wailua River in Lydgate and boasts a picnic area, toilet facilities, showers, playgrounds, a lifeguard and ponds making it a great place to take the kids. You are allowed to feed the fish that get stranded in the ponds.

South Shore

  • Mahaulepu Beaches are three beaches on a wild, undeveloped stretch of coastline located on Poipu Road past the Hyatt Regency Resort. Swimming tends to be hazardous in this area but it is an interesting area to visit.
  • Poipu Beach Park offers safe swimming and good snorkeling.
  • Kiahuna Beach in front of the Sheraton Kauai Resort is very pretty and great for surfing.

The south shore tends to be calmer during the winter than during the summer.

Tips for going in the water are: don't go in on your own; keep a close eye on children in the water; and use fins and a snorkel if possible. Fins give you more power and when the ocean is choppy and using a snorkel makes it is easier to breathe. Wearing shoes on the beach can protect your feet from cuts, particularly if you are delving in a bit of rock climbing, and can protect you from any invisible rocks and urchins in the ocean.