Kalihiwai Beach

Kalihiwai Beach — A Stellar Spot for Wave Jumping, Boogie Boarding, and So Much More
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

A definite local favorite, Kalihiwai Beach serves as the top place to go for wave jumping, boogie boarding, paddleboarding, and just generally relaxing on the sandy shores. Although it lacks bathrooms, showers, and other amenities, it’s easy to spend the entire day here, playing in the bay and nearby river. There are no lifeguards on duty either, so be careful in the water, especially if you’re using the rope swing.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Set along the southern edge of the bay, Kalihiwai Beach is definitely a hidden gem in North Shore Kauai. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles found at other nearby beaches, this little spot is a favorite of the locals. Many community members jet down here on the daily to enjoy its quiet atmosphere, relatively calm bay waters, and soft sandy shores. The river along the backside of the beach also serves as a beloved spot to play, especially for the younger crowd.

If you’d like to enjoy this treasured beach, you just have to meander down to the end of Kalihiwai Road. You can then park your car and walk just a few feet to reach the water’s edge, making it easy to bring all your gear. At Kalihiwai Beach, you have your choice of awesome activities, ranging from swimming and boogie boarding to paddleboarding and surfing. As the waves gently caress the beach, don’t miss the chance to go wave jumping and see how many you can conquer.  

Once you’re all tuckered out, it’s easy to find a cozy spot to rest in the shade under the tall Ironwood trees. You can also just plop down next to the water and try your hand at building an impressive sandcastle. With just a little bit of water, the soft sand sticks together perfectly, letting you put your building skills to the test.

Fun things to do at Kalihiwai Beach include:

Play on the Rope Swing
When you want to go back to a simpler time, just take a leap off the rope swing and into the river below. With each swing, you’ll get to feel the wind in your hair before landing in the cool waters, taking you back to the good old days. Since there are never very many people at this beach, you can go on the swing again and again without a long wait.

Try Paddleboarding
If you want to see if paddleboarding suits your fancy, simply head to the river, and hop on your board. The calm waters at Kalihiwai Beach let you paddle around to your heart’s content without a big risk of taking a dive. As you get more confident on your board, you can try to paddle around the bay, too, and see all the gorgeous sights all around.

Go Boogie Boarding
With its gentle waves near the shore, this beach is the prime spot for boogie boarding. All you have to do is kick out toward the start of the waves, and then let them bring you back to shore. With each repetition, you’ll not only get a great workout, but find yourself feeling rejuvenated by the beautiful rolling waters.

As you enjoy all there is to do at Kalihiwai Beach, aim to leave it better than how you found it. Look around for opportunities to pick up a bit of trash and trek it back out with you. Your efforts will go a long way in preserving this little piece of paradise for future generations.

Insider Tips:
-The water gets deep very fast, so watch your step as you explore the bay. Also, avoid swimming in the mouth of the river, especially after heavy rainfall.
-Don’t drive onto the sand or your wheels will quickly get stuck. Park in the small area out front or along Kalihiwai Road if that lot is full.  
-If you need to use the bathroom, you’ll have to drive into town, so plan your day accordingly. It’s also wise to bring along your own bottled water to drink and rinse off with when you’re done playing.