Lydgate State Park
This is by far the best family beach park on Kauai. The waters off the beach are protected by a hand-built breakwater creating two boulder-enclosed saltwater pools for safe swimming and snorkeling year-round. A recent dredging finds the pools in a recovery stage as sand had to be removed, leaving mud offshore. But the numerous schools of fish are slowly returning. The smaller of the two pools is perfect for keiki (children). Behind the beach is Kamalani Playground; children of all ages—that includes you—enjoy the swings, lava-tube slides, tree house, and more. Picnic tables abound in the park, and a large covered pavilion is available by permit for celebrations. The Kamalani Kai Bridge is a second playground, south of the original. (The two are united by a bike and pedestrian path that is part of the Nawiliwili-to-Anahola multi-use path project currently under construction.) This park system is perennially popular; the quietest times to visit are early mornings and weekdays. If you want to witness a "baby luau," Lydgate State Park attracts them year-round, especially in summers.Amenities: lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets. Best For: partiers; walking; swimming; sunrise.