Friday, May 2, 2014

kauai beaches

at Poipu beach in the south, our first {windy} day
Before we left for Kauai, we made a list of all the things we wanted to do when we were there. Many of those things just didn't happen (there were a variety of reasons for this, but the primary one was lack of time), but ,lots of beach time and snorkeling were two things we were NOT going to skip!
We are HUGE dorks. We have accepted this fact.
Believe it or not, the weather was pretty terrible when we went to Kauai--incredibly windy, high swells, lots of chilly rain. It was warmer and sunnier back home! We only had two sunny days while we were there: our first day and our last day! In that time, though, we'd managed to visit Poipu beach, Waimea beach, Kapa'a beach, Queen's pond (a beach in Polihale state park), Ke'e Beach, and Tunnels Beach. The weather was pretty bad when we tried to go to Hanalei Bay, which was also on our list, so that one didn't happen. Still. I feel pretty good about what we got done :)
Poipu beach on a WINDY day
Poipu beach is down in the south near where many hotels are located, and it was lauded by our concierge as great snorkeling. We had fun there, to be sure, but it wasn't our favorite! The swells were pretty high this particular day and it was intermittently rainy (we were in the water so we didn't know until we found our stuff wet!), and the water as a result was very cloudy. There were some fun fish to see but overall it wasn't the best snorkeling on the island. We did have fun, though!
Poipu Beach snorkel
Snorkel at Poipu beach
 I was most impressed by Polihale in the West and the beaches we visited in the North; all the southern and eastern beaches were either crowded, the swell was too high to swim, or the weather was bad.
the dirt road to Polihale State Park on the Western side of the island
Polihale State park is only accessible by dirt roads, and it's a good forty minutes from other towns? Our little compact rental struggled a little over the roads, but the end view was so worth it. Stretches of white sand, almost deserted, framed by the gorgeous Na'Pali coast.
Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park
We went out to Polihale at the end of a very long day, and we weren't able to stay very long because we had a good two hour drive back to a dinner reservation, but it is definitely a spot that we would recommend to anyone heading to Kauai in the future.
Queen's Pond in Polihale
Our favorite part of Polihale (aside from the lack of people!) was Queen's pond, a huge sandbar under the water that protects the beach from the pounding surf. The swell was quite high the day we went, and yet the Queen's Pond area was quite calm, not to mention gorgeous!

We finally made it to the North Shore on our last day (darn weather!), and were so glad we went! Our camera died partway through the day so we only got pictures from Ke'e beach, but we were so impressed with the beauty of the North Shore.
Snorkeling at Ke'e Beach
Perhaps we had a good day because the storm had cleared, but the waves were calm (ish), there was little wind, no rain, and the water was crystal clear. Lots to see!

Have you ever been to Kauai? 
What is your favorite beach?


  1. I'm so jealous, it looks beautiful and I would have loved to play on that deserted beach! I love hidden gems like that. :) Hopefully someday I'll get to go back to Hawaii.

  2. This just made me so excited as were in the process of booking Maui

  3. These beaches are gorgeous! Makes me want to jump on a plane and head to Kauai!


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