Lumahai Beach is Kauai's equivalent of the Venus Fly Trap. A case could be made that this may perhaps be the most beautiful beach on the island. Because of its beauty Lumahai Beach was the spot that was chosen to film South Pacific and it is hard to take a photo of this beach that does not come out picture postcard perfect. By all measure Lumahai Beach is "drop dead" gorgeous. The "drop dead" portion of the description is the flip side of the coin because Lumahai Beach is also one of the deadliest beaches on the island. Though people have drowned since then, the statistics show that between 1970 and 1997 there were 18 drowning at this location. This is not a beach where you want to be lured into the water because the dangers are always present.
The Eastern Section of Lumahai Beach
Lumahai Beach is wide open to the open ocean except for the far eastern section of the beach which has a degree of protection from the open seas by a natural rock barricade. This is an area you may see people swimming in during the less wavy summer season but even then they enter the water at their own peril. There is no lifeguard at this beach which adds to the dangers. On the larger section of the beach which is directly open to the waves coming in from the north, the beautiful, lush and thick beach sand drops off almost immediately at the water's edge and forms the perfect condition for a tremendous body-slamming shore break. The power of the waves here can be tremendous and you can easily be pulled out by strong currents.
The Wide Western Portion of Lumahai Beach
On the other hand Lumahai Beach can be a fantastic beach to walk or run. The sands here are perhaps 300' wide and they are very deep. Since the beach is almost a mile long you can really get a workout and you will often see local residents making the daily trek for the purpose of exercise. It is important not to walk close to the ocean however or to walk on the rocks of the shoreline when the ocean is active as you can easily be knocked off your feet and pulled in.
Parking on the Eastern End of Lumahai is on the Road
There is a nice parking area on the western section of the beach and the eastern section requires parking on the road but otherwise there are no beach amenities. There is a stream that flows into the beach at this end however which can provide for a quick dip and a rinse with some fresh water but as is the case with all fresh water encounters in Hawaii Leptospirosis can be a factor. Check the link below for details.
(click here link to learn more about Leptospirosis)
Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including this one. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters however it is not advised that you enter the water at this location. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. There are no lifeguard towers at this location.
Anahola Beach is a great choice for a beach on Kauai. Not only is Anahola picturesque with scenic vistas and a great expanse of beautiful white sand but its protective outer reef of Anahola Bay makes it a less dangerous area in which to enjoy the water than many other beach locations.
Anini Beach is a narrow sliver of a beach that extends along Kauai's North Shore for somewhat over two miles. Anini Beach is an oddity on the North Shore because it is largely protected by a huge fringe reef that is one of the largest in the state.
Glass Beach near Port Allen is truly one of the oddest beaches you will find on Kauai, or anyplace else for that matter. Glass Beach is not a beach for swimming, or even getting into the water, but it is a beach to explore.
Hanalei Bay is by far the largest bay on Kauai and is the heart and soul of all the beaches on the North Shore. The area upon which the ocean touches the shores of the bay is what is known as Hanalei Beach the this colossal spectacle of a beach is perhaps two-miles long and in most places over 100' wide.
Hanamaulu Beach is located a short 3 miles north of Lihue and is protected from the ocean by the large Hanamaulu Bay. This bay is very picturesque and in the day served as the backdrop for the film "Donavan's Reef" starring John Wayne.
Kalihiwai Beach is one of the truly beautiful North Shore Beaches. It is scenically positioned between two prominent points of land and its perfect crescent shape is first noticeable as you get a glimpse of the bay when driving down the roadway which dead-ends at the beach itself.
Like so many beaches on the North Shore of Kauai safety is a big issue for Ke'e Beach. This remarkably beautiful beach has been the scene of many drownings over the years and everyone entering the water here needs to be able to access the dangers clearly.
The wide expanse of Kealia Beach can readily be seen when driving up the Kuhio Highway just north of the town of Kapaa. The beach is perhaps a half of a mile in length and 150 feet wide in most places.
Lawai Beach is a small but beautiful sliver of a white sand beach that is located just off the coastal road in the Poipu Resort area. Though it does not have a lifeguard tower it often has suitable conditions for snorkeling and there is plenty to see under the surface.
If you are looking for what is probably the most "family friendly" beach and beach park on Kauai you will find it at Lydgate Beach Park. You can tell that a lot of thought and caring came together at the same time in the construction of this beach area.
In many ways the Mahaulepu Beach experience is more of a hiking adventure than a traditional beach outing. The beautiful sands of Mahaulepu Beach are essentially the hiking path that will take you on a two mile journey starting from Shipwreck Beach in Poipu all the way to the cliffs on the eastern side.
Picturesque is a word that could easily be used to describe Moloa'a Bay. The few vacation rentals that dot this east side bay obviously have the same point of view, as their beachfront locations make a memorable impression in any photograph and aid in luring potential clients to their scenic ocean retreats.
One of the most popular beaches on Kauai, and one of the most "people friendly" is Poipu Beach in the midst of the Poipu Resort. It would be a safe guess that the reason the resort is even here at all is because of beautiful Poipu Beach.
Polihale Beach is spectacular by all measures of comparison and almost every description of this beach requires the use of a superlative. This is the longest beach in all of Hawaii stretching a full 12 miles in length.
The only reason we are including the Queen's Bath on our list of beaches on Kauai is to dissuade you from going there at all. At the time of this writing I am not exactly certain how many people have lost their lives here but a year has passed by since the official tally had reached 29 persons.
Rock Quarry Beach provides the visitor with a "mixed bag". The beach, which is also known as Kahili Beach, is rustic in its own way and has a certain charm as it provides a beautiful white sand beach that is rimmed with Ironwood Trees.
Another one of Kauai's spectacularly beautiful beaches is Secret Beach. This long series of gorgeous white sand beaches can be readily seen from the Kilauea Lighthouse as you look toward the Na Pali Coastline.
An incredibly beautiful white sand beach can be found at the eastern end of the Poipu Resort called "Shipwreck Beach". The beach takes its name from the ruins of an ill-fated vessel that crashed upon its shores years ago but has since been completely consumed by the sea.
If you've ever had an opportunity to see the North Shore of Kauai from the air on a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft you will have had little trouble recognizing a huge reef that protrudes outward from the coastline on the eastern side of the NaPali Coast.
Made a near fatal mistake on Lumahai beach near the lava outcroppings. Was pulled into deeper water, grabbed by a riptide and nearly drowned. My companion yelled at me to stay calm and float on my back and with the help of locals on the beach was able to make it to shore avoiding getting pulled further out to sea. Will never forget the experience and would recommend taking heed of the posted warnings. Do not venture out into water without a lifeguard.