This small, narrow beach was given it’s name because it’s both small, and calm. In Hawaiian, this beach is known as Ho’ona Beach. The very shallow waters are protected by large rocks, so the waves are usually small. Since the waters are shallow, wading (or sitting) is about all you can do in the water, depending on tide levels. It’s usually not crowded and access is easy. Parking is limited but usually adequate on the road.
This beach is next to Poipu Beach on Kauai’s south shore. Brennecke’s Beach is a small sandy cove right off the road and is popular for body boarding. The waves are pretty consistent here and break both close and further from the shore which suits both beginning and advanced body boarders. Surfing is not allowed near the shore so body boarders don’t have to compete for waves with surfers.
There is not much room for other beach activities, but mom and dad, friends or your spouse can catch some rays as they watch from the shore. There is no lifeguard, so it’s nice to have someone keeping an eye on you. This beach is also a short walk from Poipu Beach, which is packed on nearly all days of the week. Split your time between the calm waters of Poipu and the waves at Brennecke’s without moving the car.
You can drive by and get a good feel for the waves without leaving your car. If the waves are good, don’t waste any time, get your fins, sunblock and board and hit the water. The waves can be epic, however, be careful to watch for fellow wave riders, since it can it crowded. Also steer clear of the rocks to the right of the beach, as the sandy shore is a much more forgiving landing area after a long amazing body board ride.
It’s very common to see turtles. In fact sometimes it’s a challenge to make sure you don’t bump into them, or catch their wave (kidding about their wave). Sea turtles hang out among the body boarders, and sometimes will surprise you when they surface.
Make sure to grab hold of your gear. If you loose a fin or a wedding ring, there is no chance you’ll get them back.
Facilities: Head on over to nearby Poipu Beach Park for showers, restrooms and more.
This small pocket beach sits at the center of a large cove with a low, flat, rock shelf fronting the rest of the beach. Behind the beach are the highest sand dunes on the south shore. Adding to the rugged beauty of the area, waves have cut jagged edges, spires and caves into the lithified dunes and sea cliffs.
The rocky offshore bottom and surf preclude swimming in the cove. This shoreline is prized for its beauty and solitude. The beach is occasionally visited by fishermen, trail riders from CJM Stables and Hawaiian monk seals looking for a quiet place to rest.
Often there are local families here for picnics and fishing. The shoreline is covered with active and lithified sand dunes. Waves have deeply undercut the sea cliffs below the dunes. A small mushroom-shaped sea stack projects above a shallow reef next to the outer point.
A great place to take toddlers and babies is Keiki Cove just down the road from Lawai Beach. In Hawaiian Keiki means children. A small strip of white sand, this little cove and beach are rarely used, have ample parking across the street, and have lava rock steps for easy access. Its shallow water and typically small lapping waves are perfect for the little one to learn about the ocean. Older kids will find all the tide pools fascinating. Adultsâ€¦please be sure to always check the water before allowing kids to play.
Kiahuna Beach is a section near the popular Poipu Beach, right in front of Kiahuna Plantation Condos and the Sheraton Resort. Poipu Beach park is on one site and Brennecke’s Beach is on the other. Not to be confused Brennecke’s Beach on the other side. This beach is sometimes also called Sheraton Beach, or by mistake Poipu Beach. It may seem private due to the nature of nearby resorts, but it’s not.
The waters tend to be very rough, not suitable for kids despite some off shore reefs. Strong swimmers and snorkelers generally do fine. For experienced surfers or body boarders, try the breaks near the Sheraton Resort. Watch out for rouge “sneakers”, waves that come out of the blue and crash with amazing force. In this case you may end up on rocks.
This beach is a popular beach for beginner surfers, snorkelers and body boarders. You may see others getting first time lessons. The water is usually fairly clam inside the reef. Outside the reef surfers ride the waves, and the water gets much more chopping. This beach doesn’t have shade, but you can bring an umbrella to stay out of the sun.
There is rocky outcropping at the west end calls Cowshead, and the nearby surf break called First Break is known to be extremely challenging even for experts. You’ll find another expert spot on the end of the beach near the Marriott Waihoai Beach Club, with large swells when conditions are right.
It’s easiest to park at Poipu Beach Park.
This is a very small beach but also as mall boat harbor that is popular with both recreational and commercial boaters. At the back of the harbor is a sheltered, sandy beach. However most of the sand came from somewhere else. This was one of the conditions imposed by Kauai County on the Kukuiâ€˜ula Development Co. before they could build a planned resort and residential development was to improve the beach at the harbor. This planned luxury resort is just up the road towards Kolo’a.
This beach backs up to the Allerton Garden, or sometimes called the National Botanical Garden and is a breathtaking view of the south. Sunsets are great here. Access is tricky as you have to cross private property in order to access the beach. You can also kayak from the Kukui’ula Harbor which is only about a mile east.
This beach fronts the Lawai Beach Resort and the Beach House Restaurant. Sometimes this is called the Beach House Beach. The Beach House restaurant is reason enough to visit this beach. But make sure you make reservations far in advance of your trip and try to time your meal with the sunset, they are amazing.
The beach offers protection from the surf in parts and can be great for swimming. Fossils of extinct birds have been found in sand dunes along the shoreline.
Mahaulepu Beach is great spot for exploring. The water is usually calm due to a protective reef and shallow water. The name Mahaulepu means “falling together,” as in two warriors falling in battle.
When King Kamehameha attempted to invade Kauai in 1796, many of his war canoes were sunk during a storm in the channel between Oahu and Kauai. However, a few managed to land here on the beach. The warriors who made it to shore were exhausted. Kauai’s defenders caught them sleeping near their canoes just before dawn, and slaughtered all but a few. Those who escaped, fearful of facing Kamehameha’s wrath, paddled all the way to the Big Island.
Nomilu Fishpond is bordered by Palama Beach. it is one of the largest fishponds in Hawaii and was created by a volcanic cinder cone (called Nomilu Cone). It’s over 20 acres. Nomilu Fishpond is actually a natural saltwater lake fed by natural springs, which turns the water brackish. However the water rises and falls with the tide. The fishpond was famous throughout Hawaii and the mullet raised there was said to be especially delicate. For some reason mullet would not reproduce in this pond, so they had to be stocked as fry.
The Palama family has owned the fishpond for many years and has lent their name to the nearby beach. They maintain the pond as family recreation area.
Poipu literally means “crashing waves” in Hawaiian. Poipu beach park is also sometimes confused with Sheraton Beach or Kiahuna Beach or Brennecke’s Beach but is actually just the Beach Park area. This beach is located near the southern-most tip of Kauai and is a family favorite for calm, safe and friendly beach. The beaches in this area are favorites for snorkeling and scuba diving. Water is shallow here and hard to swim in some areas. Surfing can be seen off the western break, and is close enough to watch from the shore. Overall you’ll find shallow gentle waters great for beginners right near the shore.
This is certainly the south shore’s busiest beach and the space is compact, so you will be very close to your fellow sun seekers. With parking, facilities and nearby resorts, this beach is most likely packed any day of the week but always on weekends. You can always enjoy a picnic on the nearby grass area and tables, check out the children’s playground and covered pavilions.
A protruding sand bar with rocks is a neat place to explore. However watch for crashing waves.
This beach consistently receives national and worldwide awards and is know for it’s calm waters. But pack a lunch, food choices are limited, and there aren’t many options.
This beach is a favorite for surfers. When the water is calm, snorkeling can be really nice (usually in the winter). Shore is small and narrow and thus not a good beach for shore activities. Some times of the year the sand is nearly all under water. However it’s a great place to sit for a while and watch surfers catch a few waves.
This isn’t as much a beach, as a parking and landing location for surfer catching waves on the break known as PK’s. This break runs from PK’s beach to the Lawai Beach. The best place to watch surfers is from the Beach House Lawn, just along the sidewalk from Lawai Beach.
This sandy beach also known as Keoneloa Beach has a step shore break which makes it a popular body boarding beach. It’s usually sunny and a good family beach. The movie “6 Days and 7 Nights” was filmed in part at this location which is right in front of the Hyatt Regency. Just on the other side of the lithified sand dune called Makawehi Point (a popular fishing site) is Mahaulepu Beach.
Shipwreck’s beach was nick named for an old, wooden shipwreck that has long since disappeared. Hiking in this area is excellent along the cliffs and beach. Swimming, however, should be left to only the most skilled due to strong currents and high surf. Surfers, boogie boarders, body surfers and windsurfers greatly enjoy the challenge that this beach presents.