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 lifeguarded beach. For more on beach conditions, go to HAWAIIBEACHSAFETY.COM. 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 Kauai 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 beach for swimming and surfing. 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.