Poipu Beach Park

Poipu Beach Park -- Popular Family-Friendly County Park in South Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Poipu Beach Park is a popular county park located in South Kauai in the heart of the Poipu Beach resort area. This beach does boast a lifeguard and is renowned for its unique sandbar that conveniently separates the beach into two areas: one with calmer waters ideal for children and one with deeper waters ideal for snorkeling adventures.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Located on the southernmost tip of Kauai, Poipu Beach Park is perhaps the most popular place on the island for visitors to check out the shoreline and relax beneath the Hawaiian sun. The shoreline here isn’t huge, but it doesn’t have to be. Hundreds of beachgoers come here every week thanks to its calm waters, soft golden sand, and, of course, its convenient location in the center of Poipu’s resort area. 

What is unique about Poipu Beach Park is that the beach here is split into two sections by a long stretch of raised sand and shoreline. This sandbar looks sort of like a peninsula and so visitors can sit on this stretch and be surrounded on three sides by the ocean.

What is really interesting is that the Poipu Beah sandbar neatly separates two distinct types of swimming environments. The left side is characterized by shallower and calmer waters. Here is where you will find families with young kids primarily enjoying the waters, as well as those who simply want to relax in the waters have a heavy lunch or afternoon drinks. Meanwhile, the right side of the sandbar is characterized as having a swifter current and stronger waves, but its deeper waters also boast more wildlife habitats. Here, you will mostly find older teenagers and adults swimming and snorkeling.

You will find parking for the Poipu Beach Park on the other side of Hoone Road. The parking here includes a large public parking lot that is often close to full as well as some indicated curbside parking. If you are staying at a Poipu resort, then you will appreciate just how easily accessible this beach and park is from your lodging. This neighborhood is incredibly pedestrian-friendly, and you can feel comfortable walking to and from the beach any hour of the day and night. 

Visitors to Poipu Beach Park will find an array of amenities in addition to that ample parking. Between the road and the beach is a large grassy area dotted with palm trees and other indigenous plants. Interspersed in this area are several sitting areas, including roofed pavilions with picnic tables and grilling areas. Poipu Beach Park does have full restroom and shower facilities, making it a good place for those looking for a solid picnic and swimming spot. There is even a small playground for especially active children! Best of all, especially for families vacationing in Kauai, Poipu Beach Park is one of the few county parks that regularly has posted lifeguards. 

Remember, while swimming conditions here are generally seen as safe, you should always check with the lifeguard and consider other swimmers before entering the water. Rip currents are common throughout Hawaii and this area is no exception. 

Unlike many other beaches, this beach is not pet-friendly. While this might be disappointing for those wanting to bring their pup, the upside is that this is partially due to how popular this park is among wildlife as well as humans. Towards dusk, sea turtles will often come up to lay and relax on the soft sandy shores. Monk seals are often sighted in the less popular hours chilling at the ends of the beach and sandbar. 

Insider Tips:
-If you are visiting Poipu Beach Park during the winter to spring season, which is December to May, then Poipu Beach Park is an excellent place to go for whale sightings. This is the whale migration season for humpback whales and this beach park’s location on the very southern tip of the island and where there’s an offshore current makes it one of the best on-land spots for this style of wildlife viewing. 
-Food trucks are a common sighting along Hoone and Hoowii Roads, and they are pretty amazing, offering everything from freshly chilled coconuts to hot dogs and French fries. So make sure to bring some cash as you never know when you might start feeling peckish!