Kiahuna Beach is a crescent-shaped soft sandy beach that is located near the Sheraton Hotel and Poipu Beach. This is one of those quintessential Hawaiian beaches with palm fronds and resort chairs. If you’re looking for a place to soak in the rays and enjoy the general Hawaiian environment, then Kiahuna Beach is the place for you.
Kiahuna Beach curves like a giant crescent from the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club to the Sheraton Kauai. A far offshore reef protects the cove from the harshest of waves, however, that doesn’t mean it calms all waves. The waves here still routinely get big, which, combined with the beach’s soft sandy bottom, makes it a favorite location for surfers. You will often find beginners practicing in the calmer waters between the reef and beach while more experienced surfers try their luck out past the reefs.
Due to its closeness to the Sheraton Kauai hotel and resort, Kiahuna Beach is often called Sheraton Beach. In fact, its privacy and location to this and other resorts often gives people the impression that the beach is only open to resort guests. But that’s not true. This beach, as with all beaches in Hawaii, are open to all residents and visitors. Although its close proximity to Sheraton Kauai and the Waiohai Beach Club does make it an incredibly popular hangout spot for those resort guests.
The popularity of Kiahuna Beach means it can sometimes be hard to find a spot. Both on the beach and in the parking lot. While the resorts have their own dedicated parking for their guests, others will have to use the small public lot located at the eastern end of Poipu Beach Road on the opposite side of Sheraton Kauai.
Unfortunately, while many of the guests of these resorts go to Kiahuna Beach, neither the resorts nor the city has invested in a lifeguard station. This makes this beach a swim at your own risk beach. The reef helps to keep surf conditions near the shore calmer, but that isn’t always the case. As always, swimmers should be wary before entering the water. Look at others swimming in the water and stay away from any extra calm areas that might indicate a rip current heading out to the ocean. Parents of young children should take special caution to keep those children close to shore. And no matter what age you are, keep an eye out towards the ocean. So-called “sneaker” waves aren’t uncommon here. These are large waves that can sneak up on an unsuspecting swimmer and knock them asunder.
When the water conditions at Kiahuna Beach are calm, snorkeling is also a very popular pastime here. The water is extremely clear and the nearby reefs offer excellent viewing opportunities of underwater marine life.
Kiahuna Beach does have some amenities for beachgoers — just not a lifeguard station. You will find clean and spacious restrooms and cold showers at this location.
-Where there are crowds, there are also ne’er-do-wells. Make sure to lock your valuables up out of sight in your vehicle, and be wary of purse-snatchers on the beach itself. Even paradise, unfortunately, has its criminals and this part of Kauai is a bit infamous for it.
-A local surfing outfit holds lessons on Kiahuna Beach and often takes on the last-minute student. This tour outfit combined with the outstanding surf conditions at Kiahuna Beach makes it an ideal place to learn how to surf or to expand your existing skills.
-Nearby Poipu Beach is also a great place for snorkeling and general beach activities, with the caveat of generally being a lot more crowded. That said, Poipu Beach does have a lifeguard on duty and has one of the most protected swimming coves on the beach. This makes it an ideal place for families to hang out at. You might start your beach day at Poipu Beach and then migrate to Kiahuna Beach once everyone is done with swimming and want a more relaxing place to sunbathe or picnic.