Destinations Directory

Flight Deals to Kauai Island

Best Beaches in Kauai Island

1. Hanalei Bay

Heaven-Sent Hanalei

Besides palm trees and deep blue water, Hanalei Bay adds the following features to the list: dramatic waterfalls, crashing waves and mountains covered in greenery jutting up thousands of feet into the air. Most visitors would say blissfully that it doesn't get much better than this.

Golden Sands, Priceless Views

As the largest bay on Kaua'i, Hanalei is the meeting point of three rivers—Hanalei, Wai'oli and Waipa—and is made up of four different beach sections.

If you visit in the winter months, avoid swimming and other water activities because the high surf and strong currents make it risky.

During calmer times, though, visitors love to partake in activities like kayaking, windsurfing, boating, swimming and snorkeling, or even just walking along the golden sands and enjoying the sunset.

Additional Activities

Looking for an unbeatable view? Soak it all in from a point near the Princeville Hotel, situated on a bluff above the bay's east point.

True adventurers might opt to kayak through the taro fields that follow the Hanalei River, and daring surfers should head to Pinetrees, a spot near the center of the bay where waves can get as big as 20 feet.

Don't forget to visit Hanalei town, which boasts art galleries, eclectic restaurants and some historical sites too.

Hanalei Bay at a glance

City: Hanalei, Kaua'i

Country or State: Hawaii

Length of Beach: 2 miles

Access: By car

Best time to visit: September to November

High Season: December to March

Low Season: April to November


  • Nearby restaurants
  • Surfboard, bodyboards rentals
  • Lifeguards
  • Public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • Golden Sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

2. Poipu Beach

Fun, Friendly Beach

Poipu Beach is a bustling, family-friendly escape on Kauai, and one of the best-loved and safest beaches on all of the island. This sandy stretch offers variety not only in its resorts, activities and amenities, but also in its landscape. The area comprises golden sand, a large sandbar, black rocks, tall palms and lush hills off in the distance.

If it's a genuine Hawaiian beach experience you're looking for, Poipu Beach won't disappoint.

Stellar Snorkeling

The serene water allows great views of aquatic life and even the chance to see an endangered monk seal that might come to shore for a rest. Travelers rave about the species of fish they've spotted through their snorkeling masks at Poipu Beach. Parrotfish, triggerfish, wrasses and flounder, among others, often make an appearance.

You might also find yourself swimming alongside sea turtles, and in the winter and spring months, you might catch a glimpse of a humpback whale far off in the distance. Besides snorkeling, boogie-boarding, swimming and surfing are popular beach activities.

Eclectic Fare

Plenty of dining options are scattered near the beachfront and along Poipu Road — everything from elegant dinner clubs to more laid-back joints with impressive oceanfront views.

For dessert, head to Old Koloa Town, with its interesting sugar-industry history and plantation-era buildings. Order a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pie from Lappert's Ice Cream Store, a local favorite that makes its pies daily.

Top it off with a fresh cup of coffee and get ready to head back to the beach to watch the sunset.

Poipu Beach at a glance

City: Koloa

Country or State: Hawaii

Length of Beach: .5 miles

Access: By car, by taxi

Best time to visit: Between September and November: best hotel rates

High Season: December to March

Low Season: April to November


  • Restaurants
  • Rentals: snorkeling gear
  • Lifeguards
  • Public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

Weather in Kauai Island °F°CAverage monthly temperatures

 11 days
 8 days
 6 days
 1 day
 2 days
 3 days
 0 day
 2 days
 4 days
 3 days
 5 days
 2 days
Sunny or mostly sunny days
Powered by DarkSky