5. Poipu Beach (South Kauai)
This beach is famous for spotting Monk seals regularly, as well as sea turtles. It also has an unusual shape to it as it is two beaches in one. Poipu Beach has a sand spit that extends from shore to an island. This makes one side of the bay very calm and therefore child friendly.
It is a nice beach but not the best on the island. It has a great view for sunsets but it’s quite crowded and touristy. I guess this is because it is easy accessible and has plenty of parking. The south part of the island has less rain so if you end up with a lot of rain up north I recommend to drive here and most definitely it will be sunny!
4. Ke´e Beach (North Kauai)
This beach is literally located at the end of the road and as far you can get on the North Shore of Kauai. It is the gateway to the stunning Na Pali Coast and if you want to get further north you have to hike (Kalalau Trail). The best thing about this beach is the view over the spectacular landscape of Na Pali Coast and the sunsets.
The beach is set in a wild area so no restaurants are nearby (closest 7 km) but we were lucky to find some locals selling coconuts. Fresh coconut and a dive into the beautiful water of Ke´e Beach was wonderful after a 12 hour hike along Kalalau Trail. Ke´e is a popular and accessible beach so it can be a good sized crowd here. The parking can get full quickly because of the popular trail through Na Pali Coast so arrive early to be sure to get a parking lot. If you visit Ke´e Beach don’t forget to visit the Wet Cave that is located just before the parking lot.
3. Hanalei Bay (North Kauai)
Hanalei Bay is the largest bay in Kauai and is situated by the town of Hanalei. It is a picturesque and charming small town by the foot of the misty green mountains of the North Shore. If you look closely you can spot several waterfalls in the mountain range. The beach itself is more than 3 km long and offers excellent opportunities for stand up paddle boarding, surfing, swimming and bodyboarding.
I went bodyboarding for about an hour and it wasn’t a disappointment. The waves were great around the middle of the beach where they were bigger. Sometimes too big for me so I kept closer to the beach than the experienced bodyboarders. Hanalei bay is most famous and recognized for its pier at the east side och the beach. At this beach you never really get the feeling of a crowded beach even though there is a lot of people here. The reason is because it offers plenty of room for everyone along the 3.2 km long white sandy beach.
2. Haena Beach (North Kauai)
This is a piece of heaven where lush green jungles meets golden sand beaches and turquoise water. It is the most scenic beach in Kauai. The beach is situated at the edge of Na Pali Coast. The tropical lush mountains looms mysteriously above Haena Beach and offers spectacular views. This is why the beach is so popular – stunning views!
Even though the views are incredible be cautious when entering the water here. It can be extremely dangerous to swim here as the waves are big and the currents are strong. I didn’t enter the water myself, instead I enjoyed a stroll along the beach and watching the sunset. I also found people camping here and in undoubtedly looked like a great spot. Don’t miss the Dry Cave on the other side of the road.
1. Hideaway Beach (North Kauai)
This is my number one beach in Kauai! It is a lovely beach with few people, clear blue water, beautiful white sand and a nice coral reef. It also has places for sun and shade under beach almond trees. I loved the feeling of being on a small beach tucked away beneath cliffs.
As for its name, the beach isn’t as accessible because it requires a short but steep hike down to the ocean. I would say it takes around 10 minutes from the end of Ka Haku Road. The trail begins just outside the gate house to the St. Regis Hotel in Princeville. As we lived close to the beach it was an easy access for us but for those who don’t live in Princeville it can be hard to find parking. There is no lifeguard or facilities here so be mindful when entering the water.
I loved the snorkelling here even though the water wasn’t that calm. The corals had a great amount of fish and I also had the opportunity to swim with the sea turtles. This was definitely the highlight as this was the first close interaction with these peaceful animals. The Hideaway beach is definitely worth the trek as it feels like you are on a lonely island. it’s rarely crowded and is a great place to spot sea turtles!