Most people come to Kauai for sunshine and beaches…and these beaches sure don’t disappoint! Kauai’s beaches have some of the most gorgeous backdrops you’ll find anywhere in the world.
A word about Kauai’s beaches though…surprisingly, many of Kauai’s beaches aren’t considered swimmable or they have rough currents and rip tides that you need to watch out for. Always check conditions before you get in the water!
With that being said, here are 10 Kauai beaches that I think you really need to check out:
The north shore is my favorite part of the island and it’s where many of my favorite beaches are located. This is the lushest part of the island but that’s because it’s the wettest. That means beautiful beaches but not always the best beach weather.
Ke’e Beach: This is as far as you can go on the north shore. It’s a beautiful little spot but it has minimal parking (unless you arrive early you’ll have to park on the side of the road). This is an excellent snorkeling and swimming beach as it’s completely protected by a reef. It also has great amenities (restrooms, showers, picnic tables, etc.) and it’s the trailhead for the Kalalau Trail (the famed Napali Coast hike). If part of your group wants to opt out of the four-mile hike, this is an excellent place to hang out.
Ha’ena State Park: Just around the corner from Ke’e (and actually this whole stretch is one long connected beach), this may be the most picturesque spot in Kauai. The beach is wide and gorgeous and the green mountains form the perfect backdrop down at the west end. There’s a lifeguard here and a decent sized parking lot. This isn’t my favorite spot to swim, as it’s open and unprotected so pay attention to warnings before getting in.
Tunnels: A little ways down from Ha’ena State Park is what’s probably the best snorkeling on Kauai. It’s hard to find the entrances (two dirt roads with minimal parking), but what you’ll notice are all the “no parking” signs. That’s how you know you’re near. If there’s no parking (or you can’t find the entrance), park at Ha’ena State Park and walk to the right.