Kauai has around 50 miles of beautiful and fun beaches for you to enjoy, good for swimming, playing, and simply relaxing. Some of the best beaches in the world are found right here on the Garden Island. With so many options to choose from, which are the best beaches to bring the kids to? Below are recommended beaches to bring the little ones to, categorized by the activities offered.
Best Snorkeling Beaches
If you're interested in teaching your kids how to snorkel, we recommend bringing them to Anini Beach or Ke'e Beach. Both beaches are found on the North Shore. It's good to know that the best time to visit these beaches for snorkeling is during the summer, when the water is calm and there are plenty of fish around. Both of these beaches also have easy water access.
Anini Beach offers a more protected reef area for exploring and is a great place to look for sea turtles as well as fish. It is the longest protected reef in the entire state of Hawaii, so there are plenty of safe areas to explore and things to discover. There are several places to pull off the road and find your "own" place to play, including tide pools as well as lots of shady areas should you want to stay a while.
Anini Beach offers the perfect beach setting for little ones to enjoy
Ke'e Beach is the last accessible beach on Kauai's North Shore. It's commonly referred to as "the end of the road." Here you can simply walk into the water knee-deep and see tons of colorful fish. There are plenty of shaded areas to find refuge under and the view of the Na Pali Coastline is absolutely breathtaking - great for pictures and just enjoying.
Best Swimming Beaches
If you're looking for a beach with calm water, Lydgate Beach Park and Poipu Beach Park are both highly recommended. Both have man-made rock walls that protect your little ones from the ocean elements, both are pretty shallow, and both also have little fish and crabs swimming and crawling by the rocks - making these beaches an excellent choice year-round. Both beaches also have a lifeguard on-duty.
Lydgate Beach Park has two pools, a smaller one for the babies and toddlers, and a larger one for the older kids to enjoy. The two pools are located right next to each other, making it easy to keep an eye on all of your kids should they be playing in both pools. This beach is found on Kauai's East Side and also has a huge playground with plenty of shade should your kids want to run around, slide, and climb.
Lydgate Beach Park is one of the best kid beaches on Kauai
Poipu Beach, located on the South Side, is another protected beach great for kids. There is a smaller playground on the East end of the park in addition to some nice grassy areas for relaxing. Hawaiian monk seals often make an appearance at this beach and are fun to see when they're there. A real plus about this beach is that it is almost always sunny here, and there are several restaurants and shops close by should you want to walk and get some snacks.
Enjoy the sun at Poipu Beach Park - consistently ranked among the nation's top beaches
Best Beaches for Playing
Kalapaki Beach on the East Side and Hanalei Bay on the North Shore are two great places to go to if you're just wanting to play at the beach. Both offer tons of sand, perfect for building sand castles, and both are just great all around beaches for the whole family.
Kalapaki Beach is great because it can get some nice small waves for the older kids, while the younger ones play by the shore. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and a beachside bar for the adults close by, perfect for refueling or finishing up the day. This is also home to Nawiliwili Harbor, so you can see local fishing boats and big ships coming and going in the distance.
Kalapaki Beach is a great all around beach for the whole family
Hanalei Beach is a great picturesque beach that will satisfy the older kids and the younger ones, too. Hanalei Pier is enjoyable and a popular place where older kids like to jump off of. With clear water, a sandy bottom, and a ladder to climb out with, it's pretty safe as long as there is adult supervision. Hanalei Beach also has a lifeguard on-duty, which is found toward the center of the long crescent-shaped beach. There's not too much shade along this beach, so we recommend bringing a beach umbrella, hats, and plenty of sunscreen.
Hanalei Beach, North Shore, Kauai
Snorkel. Swim. Relax.
When enjoying and exploring Kauai beaches remember to always have safety as your number one priority. "If in doubt, don't go out." Be sure to always check weather and ocean conditions before you decide on which beach you want to go to.
Hawaiian monk seals can often be found lounging in the sun at Poipu Beach
To make your beach experience even more enjoyable, we recommend bringing a cooler full of snacks and drinks as well as plenty of sun protection (hats, umbrellas, sunscreen, sun shirts, etc.). Kauai beaches offer a great, affordable way to enjoy the island, and is sure to satisfy your entire family. Enjoy!