Pick a BeachKaua‘i

Nearly circular in shape, Kaua‘i is ringed by 113 miles of shoreline, with almost half giving way to sugar-fine GOLDEN-SAND BEACHES. For the record, that’s more beach per mile of shoreline than any other of the seven inhabited islands of the Hawaiian chain.

Perhaps the best way to sort out Kaua‘i’s beaches is to consider water safety factors.

The waters off the island’s drop-dead gorgeous beaches are as unpredictable as they are inviting. To be safe, pick a guarded beach.

Here are a few suggestions:

SOUTH SHORE:

PO‘IPU BEACH PARK, located past Koloa on Po‘ipu Road, is a predictably sunny, user-friendly beach. It’s equipped with lifeguards, restrooms and showers, picnic tables and a convenience store where snorkel and beach equipment rentals are available.

MAHA‘ULEPU, near the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa, is a beautiful swimming, snorkeling, walking and kiteboarding beach.

SALT POND, near Hanapepe, is a popular, nearly rain-free spot for family outings. To find the beach, turn makai (toward the ocean) off Kaumuali‘i Highway at the west end of HANAPEPE and drive on Lolokai Road toward the coast.

EAST SIDE:

LYDGATE BEACH PARK is located just south of the WAILUA RIVER, near Kapa‘a. The park features a wide sand beach and a pair of rock-rimmed pools. A good family beach, Lydgate has a children’s play area as well as walking and biking paths.

KALAPAKI BEACH at Nawiliwili Bay in Lihu‘e fronts the KAUA‘I MARRIOTT RESORT and is a good swimming and surfing beach.

KEALIA BEACH PARK, just north of KAPA‘A on Highway 56, is a popular surfing and sunning beach.

FUJI BEACH on Moanakai Street in Kapa‘a, known locally as BABY BEACH, is a small neighborhood beach protected by a sandstone breakwater. Kiteboarders often appear offshore.

NORTH SHORE:

KE‘E BEACH, located at the north end of the island where the highway ends at the KALALAU TRAILHEAD, is a long stretch of sand with an inviting lagoon.

ANINI BEACH has shallow waters that are generally safe and warm, and a long reef. It is located off Kuhio Highway between KILAUEA and PRINCEVILLE. Turn off the highway at Kalihiwai Road and take the next left to the beach.

MAKUA BEACH, commonly referred to as TUNNELS, is a long, wide beach good for snorkeling. This beach begins at HANALEI COLONY RESORT; however, parking there is tight.

HIDEAWAY’S BEACH, near the ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE,, is a gem of a beach. Postcard-sized and secluded, its pristine beauty and clear waters will steal your heart. To get there, you’ll have to navigate a steep, stair-stepped trail that begins in the hotel’s parking lot.