Taking your kids on a vacation to Hawaii is a fun-filled, memorable experience. But it does require some advanced planning, especially when it comes to hitting the beach. Not every beach on Kauai is great for young swimmers and you don’t want to take them to a beach where they don’t feel comfortable swimming.

Luckily, there are fantastic kid-friendly beaches on Kauai. We’ve compiled a list of our seven favorites as well as the important details you need to know. 

  • Anini Beach (North Shore)
  • Hanalei Beach (North Shore)
  • Lydgate Beach (East Side)
  • Fuji Beach (East Side)
  • Poipu Beach (South Side)
  • Baby Beach (South Side)
  • Salt Pond Beach (West Side)

 

Kid-Friendly Beaches Kauai (Summary)

 Small waves?Shade?Lifeguard?Food and drink nearby?
Anini BeachYesYesNoYes
Hanalei BeachSummer OnlyNoNoYes
Lydgate BeachYesYesYesYes
Fuji BeachYesYesNoYes
Poipu BeachYesYesYesYes
Baby Beach (Poipu)YesNoNoNo
Salt Pond Beach ParkYesYesYesYes

 

North Shore

The north shore can be a tricky place to take kids to the beach. First, the season is important. The north shore beaches get huge waves in the winter, so if you’re heading north with kids, stick to the summer months. 

Second, many families decide to stay in Princeville on the north shore. Princeville has some beautiful beaches but you’ll need to hike down to get to them. If you’re carrying a lot of kids beach things (and possibly a kid) that can be a little tricky. 

Kauai Anini Beach Family Friendly with our Toddler

Henry and Jordan playing on Anini Beach, Kauai. I mean wow, look at those calm, clear waters!

But there are still some great options for beaches. These are two of our favorite beaches for kids: 

Anini Beach

When you first drive to Anini beach in Kilauea, you might not be sure you’re heading to the correct spot. But when you finally arrive, you realize that this beach is beautiful. White sand beach with calm, shallow water, this beach is great for kids in the summer. There’s even a big grassy beach park area, so if your little one gets tired of the sand, they can head to the grass to play.

One note: bring your own food and beverages. Unlike some of the other beaches that have food trucks or restaurants nearby, Anini beach is a bit secluded.  

Get directions to Anini beach

Anini Beach North Shore Kauai Family Friendly Beach

Erica splashing in the small waves at Anini Beach, North Shore Kauai.

Hanalei Bay Beach

Hanalei Bay has nearly two miles of beach and in the summer the water is as calm as can be. The town of Hanalei is built along the bay, so you’ll have all the amenities you need at your fingertips: food, shave ice, and SUP rentals. 

Beware in the winter, waves here get rough. There may be some days that the beach is closed and swimming here (especially with kids) is really only ideal in the summer. 

Get directions to Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Beach at Hanalei Bay in Kauai Aerial Picture

Hanalei Bay in all it’s glory, showcasing the 2-mile stretch of Hanalei Beach.

Hanalei Beach Kauai Kid friendly beach with Henry

Henry is enjoying the sand and the surf at Hanalei Beach. Our family spent a lot of time here.

 

East Side

The most populated area on Kauai also has great beach options for kids. 

Lydgate Beach

Whether you want a nice beach stroll or to splash in the water, Lydgate is a great option on the east side. There are two rock ponds that protect the beach area from larger waves, making it a great place for young swimmers to get into the water. And, it’s a great place to snorkel. The ponds don’t keep the fish out, so bring your snorkel gear.

There are lifeguards, picnic tables, and some shade here. Plus, a really cool playground kids are sure to love if they get tired of the beach. 

Get directions to Lydgate Beach

Fuji Beach 

Located in Kapa’a, Fuji Beach is also known as baby beach. It’s located near the Kauai coastal path, so once you’re done with the beach you can rent bikes and ride for miles up the coast. There is limited shade at the beach and the actual sandy beach area is narrow, so things can get crowded quickly on nice days. 

Get directions to Fuji Beach. 

Kapaa Kauai Fuji Beach Kid friendly

 

South Shore:

The main resort area of Kauai also has some great options for little swimmers. These are the two best spots to bring your kids:

Poipu Beach

This is probably my favorite beach for kids on the island. Not only is the beach calm and beautiful (and fun for adults), it has a playground that kept our son entertained when he was done on the beach. Plus, there’s a deli/market right across the street so whatever food or drink you need is easily accessible. 

Get directions to Poipu beach

Poipu Beach Kauai Best Family Friendly Beach

Poipu Beach Kauai best family friendly beach-2

Henry’s checking the surf at Poipu Beach, South Shore Kauai.

 

Baby Beach (Poipu)

This small beach is tucked between homes in Poipu. It’s small, but less crowded than Poipu beach, which is a plus. The downside is that because it’s in a residential area, there’s no option for food or drink. And there’s also no shade, so your stay at this beach may be shorter. 

Get directions to Baby Beach

south side Kauai baby beach family friendly

Baby Beach on South Shore Kauai, near Lawai.

 

West Side:

The west side doesn’t have as many family-friendly beach options as the rest of the island, but there is one really popular beach for families. 

Salt Pond Beach Park

This sandy beach offers everything you need for a family beach on the west side. You’ll find a protected swimming lagoon area, shade, picnic tables, and a grassy area to spread out. It’s located next to the only natural salt ponds on Kauai. 

Get direction to Salt Pond Beach Park

salt pond beach on west side Kauai with families

 

Beach Safety on Kauai

Though many of the beaches listed have lifeguards and protected areas that are generally safe for little swimmers, don’t forget the basics of beach safety:

  • Check conditions before entering the water
  • Never leave children unattended, even if a lifeguard is present
  • SPF and sun protection equipment is crucial
  • Bring plenty of water and for beaches with limited shade, consider bringing an umbrella or sun tent

Coming to Kauai? Pick the best area to stay (it’s kind of a complicated decision)

Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. You will most likely find me on the water on a SUP or swimming in the waves.

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