Best Kauai Beaches for Families

The island of Kauai in Hawaii boasts 113 miles of shoreline and 50 of those miles are beautiful, sandy beaches. Some are ideal for snorkeling, and others are known for surf breaks and massive waves.

When traveling to Kauai with kids, getting out and exploring this beautiful island is an absolute must. So pack up a cooler, some towels and the snorkel gear and explore these best Kauai beaches for families.

Anini Beach

Located on the north side of the island near Princeville, this beach stretches for miles and is a great option for families with young children. The reef is far from shore, so here the lagoon remains calm with little to no waves or current. 

It’s simple to park on the side of the road and grab a private spot on the beach. There is a small campground with restrooms but if you continue down past this about a mile or two the beach is rarely crowded, there are some nice shade trees and you’ll also find great snorkeling here.

Salt Pond Beach

Heading over to the south side of Kauai, Salt Pond Beach is a local family favorite.  Here there are 2 protected coves again making for very safe swimming for young children, and some great snorkeling along the rocks. 

On weekends you’ll see local kids having birthday parties under the pavilion and families longing under the massive trees just enjoying some time together.

Kekaha Beach Park

Located on the far southern side of the island, just past Waimea town, this beach should surely be on the list if your older kids love jumping in waves. After our big hike to the Napili Coast, my kids literally spent hours just jumping into these waves. 

This beach stretches as far as you can see, and offers great views of Nihau, locally referred to as the “forbidden island.” You can easily park along the side of the road (the road is Hwy 50, but like most roads on Kauai it’s a simple 2 lane road not a true highway!)

Lawai Beach (also known as Beach House Beach)

Lawai is one of the best beaches on the island for snorkeling. Here the water is usually clear and calm, and sea turtles are also often spotted. It’s not really the kind of beach where you spend the day as the sandy portion of the beach is quite small, but people come and go all day long for a bit of snorkeling. There is a free parking lot across the street and public restrooms as well.

Shipwreck Beach

If you’re staying at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu, this is the beach you can walk to. But like all beaches in Kauai, it is public and there is public parking right there as well.

The day we were here the waves were massive, again much to the delight of my children (and making it a local favorite for boogie boarding and body surfing). There is also a cool cliff you can hike up (and some people were jumping off!). If you have a hammock, there are some great trees here to hang it and spend a lovely day relaxing!

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is perhaps the most well-known beach on the island and was recently named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel. This beach includes two golden sand crescents and is also great for snorkeling. The day we were there it was extremely busy, but the sand is lovely, the snorkeling very good and there were sea turtles and monk seals lounging around so definitely worth checking out.

Tip: During our time in Kauai, we found the All Trails app to be the best source of information and details on hiking and beaches. Content is crowd sourced and includes detailed access maps, other hikers photos, descriptions and tips. 

Thinking about traveling to Kauai with kids for your next warm weather getaway? Contact me today to start planning your family’s adventure! Just looking for some ideas? Sign up below for instant access to my favorite Kauai with kids itinerary.