The Clever Girl's Guide to Kauai's Beaches

Hey Clever Girls!

While I do like to get out on my trips for some excursions, the real meaning of vacation to me is doing absolutely nothing at a pool or a beach.  So, of course, I spent a ton of time checking out Kauai’s beaches on my latest visit to the Garden Island.  Keep scrolling for a run-down of my favorites!

Coconut Beach- We got in a day earlier than my family had originally planned, so we spent the first night at this beach near the airport before meeting up with the rest of the group.  It left a nice impression, but we didn’t get much time to enjoy it with the late arrival, jet lag, trips to the airport to pick up family, etc. We did see locals fishing on the beach, which was fine until they caught several massive fish that you could see flopping around in their coolers. One guy even came over and smacked the fish so hard you could hear it two floors up. Traumatic! I’ve talked about my vegan journey before, so I admit I’m not a full-fledged animal activist yet, but that was hard to watch. So if that would disturb you too, maybe try a different spot?

 

 

Lae Nani Beach- We went to Lava Lava Beach Club for lunch and were pleasantly surprised they had yard games right on the beach. The beach itself was also stunning. A little grassy area leading up to the sand with a pretty little rock formation towards the edge. I definitely recommend it for a meal or happy hour situation.

 

 

Hideaways Beach- This was our first beach on the north side of the island.  It’s hidden (obvi) in Princeville near the St. Regis and requires a bit of a steep hike to get to. I’ll tell you a little more about getting to it in my next blog post, but this was one of my favorites.  I’m not sure if it’s because we went in the early morning and the sun hit the waters juuuust right or that it really is that clear and calm all the time, but this one is a must-see…as long as the trek isn’t too much for you. My parents both stayed back, but the 6 of us adult “kids” made it without a problem.

 

 

Anini Beach- It was a bit overcast the day we came here and started to rain so we couldn’t stay long.  The water was nice and calm. (Can you tell I had a traumatic experience with rough waters in Hawaii before?) The beach was lined with trees that while beautiful, left lots of needles and seeds all the way up to the water.  As someone who likes to just lie in the sand, this was one of my least favorite beaches.

 

 

Kalihiwai Beach- It was huge! Such a big area of sand, though not crazy to trek out to the water like others. This beach also has trees lining it, but it’s back a way where you park so there’s plenty of room to enjoy the sand and water.  And bonus, it’s a small cove so the waters are manageable. However, we didn’t find any restrooms so that limited our time here.

 

 

Hanalei Bay- The drive down to this area is breathtaking.  Besides the end of the roads being closed (with my favorite beaches and trails!), you couldn’t even tell the floods even hit this part of the island. This is another huge beach. So big, it was pretty crowded, but didn’t feel like it at all.  I love this one for the views of the mountains and waterfalls that no matter how hard I tried, just couldn’t pick up in the camera. It seems like later in the day is better to try and capture it without all the clouds. 

 

 

Moloaa Bay- I wish we had more time at this one.  We stopped by on our drive from the north to the south side of the island just to see it.  It’s hidden behind some private residences, but super pretty with trees, a rock formation, plenty of sand, and a little run-off to swim in. 

 

 

Shipwreck’s Beach- Just outside of the Grand Hyatt Resort, this beach is another favorite.  We came here for family pictures and it was the perfect backdrop.  There’s a little grassy knoll that leads up to the sand with a cliff on one end where people actually jump off of. There were also plenty of surfers all over the water. There’s a rock formation that breaks up the cliff/surfing area with the resort side, but both sides have plenty of beach room.  If you’re not staying at the Hyatt, however, the bathrooms were a bit unruly. We didn’t stay at Hyatt this trip, but I did last time and totally recommend it.  Their pools and landscapes are unreal. It’s even nice just to walk around for a visit.

 

Kauai Beach Resort- I’m not sure of the actual name of this beach, but it’s super pretty.  There is green space between the resort and the beach with nicely placed logs and trees for sitting to admire the waters.  They don’t recommend swimming here due to the intense undercurrents and jellyfish, but if you’re at the resort, both pools are awesome. Not quite Grand Hyatt level, but still awesome.

 

 

Lydgate State Park- I was excited to see a rock wall built to make a swimming area at this beach, but was totally turned off by the Portuguese man-of-war signs.  My brother was stung on a previous trip and seeing that was enough to make me skip getting in the water. 

 

Salt Pond Beach Park- A family favorite loved so much we went back twice! This beach has a rock wall on one side of a cove-like beach area.  They warn of the waves being dangerous by the rocks, but we didn’t have any trouble swimming in the open area.  It had manageable waters, but we did have a strong gust of wind nearly lift up our tent on the beach.  Overall, the decent facilities, nice mix of grass and sand, and a swimmable water area kept our group of eight happy.

 

 

Fuji Beach + Kapa’a Beach- We drove by these on our last full day while it was raining. They had very small sand areas, but a nice bike path I wish we had time to use.  It’s a place to go for activities along the coastline for sure.

 

 

That may have seemed like a lot, but I didn’t even touch on some of my favorites from past trips and there were many I didn’t get to for various reasons. Kauai is a magical place that everyone needs to see at least once.  Are you going to Kauai or do you have favorites from a past trip? Let me know in the comments!

Happy travels!

Love. Inspire. Grow. Enjoy.

Jordan

PS- Enjoy this last sunrise video + check out our Instagram highlight @theblingsling "Kauai" for more video clips and photos of the trip!


4 comments

  • I wanted to go to Poliholi so bad! I was imagining it to be like Ke’e, which I loooooved! But it kept raining the days we were going to go and we heard our rental cars would have a hard time. :-( Too bad, I guess I have to go back!

    Jordan Krouse
  • Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed them :-)

    Jordan Krouse
  • You missed the best beach on Kauai. Poliholi beathtaking. Part of the Napoli coast.
    Hope you ate at The Beach House. Our favorite.

    Paula Leone
  • Loved watching the videos and reading your summaries.

    Maureen Schreiber

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