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Beaches

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Total Number of Articles - 52
  • Lawai Kai

    One of the most spectacular beaches on the South Shore is inaccessible by land unless you tour the National Tropical Botanical Garden's Allerton Garden, which we highly recommend, or trespass behind locked fences, which we don't recommend. On the tour, you'll see the beach, but you won't lounge on it or frolic in the calm water behind the promontory on the eastern point of the beach. One way to legally access the beach on your own is by paddling a kayak 1 mi from Kukuiula Harbor. However, you have to rent the kayaks elsewhere and haul them on top of your car to the harbor. Also, the wind and waves usually run westward, making the in-trip a breeze but the return trip a workout against Mother Nature. Another way is to boulder-hop along the coast from Spouting Horn—a long trek over sharp lava rock that we do not recommend. Do not attempt this beach in any manner during a south swell. Amenities: none. Best For: solitude; sunrise.

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  • Larsen's Beach

    The long, wide fringing reef here is this beach's trademark. The waters near shore are often too shallow for swimming; if you go in, wear a rash guard to protect against prickly sea urchins and sharp coral on the bottom. High surf during the winter of 2009 blew out a section of reef, creating some tricky currents for the novice oceangoer. And there have been a number of drownings and near-drownings here. A recent land disagreement cut off the traditional trail down to the beach. Now, like many other North Shore beaches, this one requires a hike along a steep, rocky trail.Slippery when wet. Amenities: parking. Best For: solitude; sunrise; nudists.

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  • Kukuiula Small Boat Harbor

    This is a great beach to sit and people-watch as diving and fishing boats, kayakers, and canoe paddlers head out to sea. Shore and throw-net fishermen frequent this harbor as well. It's not a particularly large harbor, so it retains a quaint sense of charm, unlike Nawiliwili Harbor or Port Allen. The bay is a nice, protected area for limited swimming, but with all the boat traffic kicking up sand and clouding the water, it's probably not good for snorkeling. Outside the breakwater, there is a decent surf spot. Amenities: showers; toilets; parking. Best For: solitude; swimming; sunrise.

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  • Keoniloa Beach

    Few—except the public relations specialists at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, which backs the beach—refer to this beach by anything other than its common name: Shipwreck Beach. Its Hawaiian name means "long beach." Both make sense. It is a long stretch of crescent-shape beach punctuated by cliffs on both ends, and, yes, a ship once wrecked here. With its onshore break, the waters off Shipwreck are best for body boarding and bodysurfing; however, the beach itself is plenty big for sunbathing, sand-castle building, Frisbee, and other beach-related fun. The eastern edge of the beach is the start of an interpretive dune walk (complimentary) held by the hotel staff; check with the concierge for dates and times. Amenities: parking, showers, toilets; food and drink. Best for: surfing; walking; sunrise

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  • Kee Beach

    Highway 560 on the North Shore literally dead-ends at this beach, which is also the trailhead for the famous Kalalau Trail and the site of an ancient heiau dedicated to hula. The beach is protected by a reef—except during high surf—creating a small sandy-bottom lagoon and making it a popular snorkeling destination. If there's a current, it's usually found on the western edge of the beach as the incoming tide ebbs back out to sea. Makana (a prominent peak also known as Bali Hai after the blockbuster musical South Pacific) is so artfully arranged that you'll want to capture the memory, so don't forget your camera. The popularity of this beach often makes parking difficult. Start extra early or, better yet, arrive at the end of the day, in time to witness otherworldly sunsets sidelighting Napali Coast. Amenities: lifeguards; parking; showers, toilets. Best For: swimming; snorkeling; sunset; walking.

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