Kaua’i is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Known as the “Garden Island” its lush greenery comes from being home to one of the wettest spots on earth, Mount Wai’ale’ale. Even with all the rain, this island is home to some gorgeous beaches. We love Poipu Beach and Kekaha Beach! Which is our favorite?
Kekaha Beach vs Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach is located on the South side of Kaua’i. The drive to Poipu will take you down Maliuhi Road, known as the tree tunnel, for the canopy of Eucalyptus trees that cover a portion of the road. Around Poipu Beach are several hotels including the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club, Kiahuna Plantation & the Beach Bungalows and Sheraton Kauai Resort.
The beach has two bays with a patch of sand that divides them. This division offers ideal conditions for the entire family since one side, or one bay, will have waves, while the other is calm.
To appreciate Poipu Beach head out first thing in the morning. Stop by Nukumoi Surf to rent beach essentials like masks, snorkels and umbrella’s, or schedule a surf lesson. Once at the beach, find a spot and prepare to spend a glorious day soaking up the sun! After a shower and maybe a nap, put on your best aloha attire and head to Red Salt restaurant to enjoy an unforgettable meal prepared by executive chef and Kaua’i girl, Noelani Planas.
Kekaha Beach is located on the West side of the island, the driest and hottest side of Kaua’i. Ocean conditions at Kekaha Beach can vary depending on the time of year. However, the beach is diverse enough that even with larger swells there are area’s safe for swimming.
While there are no hotels near Kekaha Beach, there are many vacation rentals across the street or a couple of blocks away. Accessing the beach is easy by car. You’ll see the beach right off the main road. There are plenty of dirt/sand parking areas. Restroom facilities are available at either Kekaha Beach Park or nearby Faye Park.
The best time to head to Kekaha is afternoon. Being on the west side of the island, the beach offers incredible views of the Hawaiian sunset. Before heading out make sure to pack a beach chair, sunblock, hat and camera. On the way stop by JoJo’s for shave ice, specifically the Rainbow or Tropical Breeze! Prior to sunset take some time to walk the long stretch of white sand, taking in the surrounding sites. Looking back on land the old Kekaha Sugar Mill is visible and out to sea is Ni’ihau, the forbidden island. When your legs have had enough, take a seat and enjoy the show as the colors change and the sun sets.
Poipu Beach vs Kekaha Beach
Kaua’i has some of the most rugged and varied terrain in the Hawaiian Island chain. Its natural beauty is on display at every turn. Between these two beaches, Kekaha wins my favor. Gazing at Ni’ihau and the old Sugar Mill as I await the sunset always seems to put my life in perspective. With each visit, I leave with a deeper appreciation for just how fortunate I am to have been witness to Kekaha’s beauty.