Kauai Beaches

There are 50 or 60 named and accessible beaches on Kauai's 143 miles of shoreline. Some, although pretty, may be treacherous for swimming, so conditions must be assessed with a good deal of caution if you're going in the water. We'll just mention a few favorite beaches here.


Most of the west side of the island's coast line is miles and miles of beaches: Lucy Wright Beach (where Captain Cook first landed in the Islands), Polihale, Kekaha, and Barking Sands Beaches. They extend North to the Napali cliffs and are great for long strolls on beautiful pristine sand. But these beaches are exposed to the open ocean and strong currents so swimming is not recommended. However, if you are looking for sun on an otherwise rainy day, heading to the west side beaches is a great idea. In Port Allen check out Glass Beach which was the site of an old dump. It's not for bare feet, but lots of tumbled glass sherds make for a pretty sight. In nearby Hanapepe check out Salt Pond Beach, where Hawaiians still make sea salt during the Summer. This is one of the few west side spots for swimming and snorkeling.


Kiahuna Beach is gorgeous and usually safe for swimming inside the reef. Good snorkeling at the east end and good advanced surfing outside the reef, all make this one of the top all around beaches on the island.

Poipu Beach State Park is within walking distance of our condos and is also good swimming and snorkeling location.


Brenneke Beach in Poipu is known for good boogie boarding, but conditions vary here. A good place to see turtles.


Mahaulepu Beach, while not a good swimming area, is just a beautiful, undeveloped area worth exploring.


Lydgate State Park, with fabulous snorkeling in two large protected sea water pools, it is a great place for children. It's the most popular place to feed fish, morning is best.


Moloa Beach is gorgeous. Good swimming and boogie boarding when seas aren't too high.


Kauapea or Secret Beach is accessible with a 1/2 mile trail hike off Kalihiwai Road. Not generally swimable in the winter, but it is good in calm seas. Rinse off in one of the personal sized waterfalls on the cliff's edge. This spot is a picture of paradise and popular with some nude sun bathers.


Pali Ke Kua or Hideaways is down a flight of stairs and a trail right next to the Princeville Hotel. It's a lovely spot edged with shade trees. Good snorkeling in calm seas, but go elsewhere when rough seas prevail.


Tunnels or Makua Beach is renowned for it's snorkeling. The enormous reef is habitat for an abundance of sea life. It's popular with wind surfers too. Get here early to find a parking place.


Ke'e Beach is at the end of the road where the Na Pali cliffs begin. Conditions here are quite variable, but it is a very popular swimming and snorkeling spot. The water is incredibly clear here, I have been told, due to under water springs. It's safest to stay in the lagoon area and swim with caution around the opening in the reef where water can surge through.