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Best Beaches on Kauai

Best Beaches on Kauai

Sleepy Kauai is the antithesis of bustling Oahu. The island’s laid-back surfer vibe, lush interior jungles, and uncrowded beaches make for the peaceful retreat most visitors anticipate on their Hawaii vacation. Looking for a good spot to stretch out on the sand? Here’s a list of Kauai’s best beaches.

Hanalei Bay

The gorgeous curve of Hanalei Bay on the island’s North Shore has two unobstructed miles (3.2 kilometers) of golden sand. Four beach parks along this stretch provide water access, amenities such as showers and lifeguards, and varying ocean conditions. Be sure to walk down Hanalei Pier and take in the panorama, or try out a surf lesson. If you already know how to surf (or enjoy watching those who do) you’ll find expert waves at Wai’oli (Pine Trees) Beach Park.

Waikoko Beach

Just around the western edge of Hanalei Bay and past Makahoa Point, you’ll find Waikoko Beach. Stop there for excellent snorkeling; there are also beginner surf breaks great for boogie boarding.

Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach)

Further west along Kauai’s North Shore is Makua Beach, also known as Tunnels Beach. Edged out in the west by the start of the wild, green Na Pali Coast, Tunnels is a golden sand beach with coral reef just offshore. It’s reportedly called Tunnels for both the underwater caverns that make it such an interesting snorkeling spot and the barrel waves seen in winter.

Ke’e Beach

Popular with hikers fresh off the Kalalau Trail, the historically spiritual Ke’e Beach has attracted Hawaiians coming to practice hula for years. It continues to be a great place to catch gorgeous sunsets.

Anini Beach

Though the white sand strip at Anini Beach is relatively narrow, it’s one of Kauai’s calmest ocean entries for swimming in summer. The beach park, east of Hanalei, is usually less crowded than other North Shore spots and boasts restrooms, picnic tables, shady trees, and campsites.

Poipu Beach Park

Not all of Kauai’s best beaches are on the North Shore. The golden arches of Poipu Beach Park, on the island’s South Shore, has been dubbed America’s best beach by the Travel Channel. A sandbar divides the beach in two parts, and both sides are close to many of Kauai’s best resorts and great for year-round swimming.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Na Pali Sunset & Sightsee Boat Tour

Na Pali Sunset & Sightsee Boat Tour

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556
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Kauai’s Napali Coast during the most romantic time of day on this sunset dinner cruise. Feel the fresh island breeze while cruising alongside towering cathedral spires, emerald valleys, waterfalls, and sea caves aboard a deluxe sailing catamaran. Enjoy a delicious onboard buffet dinner complete with Mai Tais, beer, wine, and fresh juices, and toast the end of another day in paradise with a glass of champagne as the golden hues of sunset wash across this legendary landscape.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$183.35
From
$183.35

Hanalei River Paddle and Bay - Snorkel Tour

Hanalei River Paddle and Bay - Snorkel Tour

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84
Explore the tropical waters of the Hanalei River and Hanalei Bay on this guided kayak and snorkeling tour. Paddle through the lush tropical surroundings as you make your way down the Hanalei River out into the open Hanalei Bay, where you can glimpse the famous cliffs of Makana Peak (also known as Bali Hai). Snorkel through the marvelous underwater world of the Bay Reef Lagoon, home to sea turtles and brightly colored tropical fish.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
From
$135.00

Ni'ihau and Na Pali Coast Snorkel Boat Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Ni'ihau and Na Pali Coast Snorkel Boat Tour

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161
Uncover the ancient legends and dramatic landscapes of the Na Pali Coast and the  ‘Forbidden Island’ of Ni’ihau on this sailing and snorkeling adventure. Cruise alongside the towering emerald spires and remote beaches of Kauai’s breathtaking, rugged shore in a state-of-the-art catamaran, and snorkel among native marine life in the reefs just off Ni’ihau’s mysterious shores. Hear tales of Hawaiian history and mythology from the friendly crew, and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch onboard.
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  • 7 hours
From
$310.20
From
$310.20

Kauai Learn to Surf Private /semi privates (2 or 3) /Full group (4)Lessons

Kauai Learn to Surf Private /semi privates (2 or 3) /Full group (4)Lessons

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Learn to surf Kauai’s famous waves with this 2-hour surf lesson on the shores of beautiful Hanalei Bay. Your instructor, a local surfing expert, will teach you fundamentals of paddling, reading the waves and standing up. It’s a great introduction to surfing for beginners, and group size limited to four people to ensure a personalized experience. Toward the end of your lesson, enjoy free time in the mellow waters of Hanalei Bay to practice your new surf skills.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$157.06
From
$157.06

Private Luxury Tour of Kauai: North & East Shores

Private Luxury Tour of Kauai: North & East Shores

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32
Make the most of your time on Kauai with a private tour tailored to suit your interests. Select from an East and North Shore itinerary or a tour of the island’s West and South Shores. Your private guide takes you to numerous local highlights, including charming towns, the best beaches, secluded waterfalls, and other natural attractions.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$334.68
From
$334.68

Private Kauai North Shore Tour

Private Kauai North Shore Tour

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Discover Kauai’s highlights and hidden gems on a full-day private tour that offer a personal glimpse of the island’s local culture and history. Navigate the Garden Isle in a private minivan, and feel the mist from a pair of beautiful waterfalls. Look out to sea from the Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei Bay, and watch for whales and endangered geese at a wildlife refuge. Visit Kauai hidden beaches and ancient sites and learn about Kauai's history and local culture along the way.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$270.00
Price varies by group size
From
$270.00
Price varies by group size

Kauai Learn to Surf Private and Semi Private Lessons

Kauai Learn to Surf Private and Semi Private Lessons

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Not only is Hanalei Bay on Kauai one of the most beautiful spots in Hawaii, but it’s also one of Kauai’s best places for first learning how to surf. On this private Kauai surf lesson, your expert instructor will teach you how to paddle and pop up on waves, and will have you up and riding faster than you ever thought was possible. With the sun on your shoulders and the green mountains in front of you, you’ll experience the thrill, joy, and beauty of surfing on Kauai.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$157.00
per group
From
$157.00
per group

Kauai Yoga on the Beach

Kauai Yoga on the Beach

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Invigorate your mind and body with a 1.5-hour beach yoga session in Kauai. Practice right on the sand of glorious Kapaa beach with a friendly, certified instructor, letting the gentle ocean waves and balmy island air inspire guided breathing and stretching. Conclude this morning class with a brief meditation for perfect balance. Namaste.
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  • 1 hour
From
$30.00
From
$30.00