5 Great Family Swimming Spots on Kauai

Although all the beaches across Kauai are definitely beautiful, they’re not all made equal when it comes to enjoying the water. Some regularly have rough surf and overall poor swimming conditions, while others have hidden dangers that can catch you off guard. So, where can you go to enjoy the beautiful island waters during your trip? Simply explore these five awesome family swimming spots on Kauai.

Hanalei Pavilion

Waves from the Hanalei Bay at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park

Set along North Shore’s beloved bay, the Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park serves as a fantastic place for families to play in the water all day long. The crescent-shaped Hanalei Bay features relatively mellow waters that are ideal for swimming, especially since lifeguards watch over all the action at all times. Plus, the waves work well for wave jumping, boogie boarding, and even surfing depending on where you go along the beach.

The park itself has open grassy areas perfect for playing and having a picnic – unless you prefer to kick back at the nearby picnic tables for your meal. Afterward, you can walk it all off by taking a stroll along the two miles of sandy shores before hitting the water all over again. Onsite bathrooms and showers make it easy to spend the day here without having to jet back to the hotel for a potty break.

Anini Beach

Palm Trees and shade at Anini Beach Park

With its two miles of sandy shores and perfectly mellow waters, you can count on Anini Beach for swimming fun for all ages. Lifeguards regularly roll up in their trucks to watch the action and help out as needed to keep everyone safe. Beyond swimming, this North Shore beach is a great place to try snorkeling along the fringing reef. As you kick along the shores, you may get to see colorful fish, sea turtles, and so much more.

With parking right along the nearby road, it’s easy to bring all your gear from the car and quickly hit the road once everyone is all tuckered out. If you want to stick around for a while, you can use the BBQ grills to whip up a meal. Or you can just roll out the blanket for your pre-made picnic lunch brought from a local restaurant. There are onsite bathrooms and showers available as well for whenever you all need to freshen up.

Never want to leave again? Get a permit and stay in the campground to experience the beach aesthetic day and night. You’ll definitely want to zip on over to the local fish markets for fresh seafood to grill up as you watch the sunset dip down over the horizon.

Lydgate Beach

Lydgate Beach is always a popular East Side spot for families who want to swim, snorkel, and hop the waves to their heart’s content. Along the north side of the beach, the two manmade pools remain protected from the surf by big boulders, giving you truly calm waters to explore. The lifeguard tower overlooks both of the lagoons to help keep all the families safe as they enjoy the water.

When everyone tires of splashing around the lagoons, there are miles of beach to search for pretty rocks and shells well-suited for the creation of mandalas galore. There’s also a lot of driftwood to gather up and build temporary creations to share with all the other visitors.

In between all your beachside adventures, you can bring the kiddos over to the nearby Kamalani playground for even more fun. Once everyone works up an appetite, it’s easy to roll out lunch at the picnic tables after cleaning up at the onsite showers and bathrooms.

Poipu Beach

Located along the South Shore, Poipu Beach features shallow waters well-suited for jumping the waves, swimming, and boogie boarding all around. With lifeguards on duty seven days a week, there are always extra eyes on the crowd, helping keep everyone as safe as can be. The calm waters make for an excellent snorkeling experience, as do all the beautiful sea turtles hanging out along the beach.

The parking lot is just across the road, so you can easily drag your beach umbrella, chairs, and swimming gear to the waterside. If you don’t have your own gear, you can rent what you need at the nearby surf shop.

Then, grab hot dogs at the stand next door for the whole crew to enjoy at the covered picnic tables. Bathrooms and showers are right on-site as well, allowing everyone to stay clean and comfortable the whole day through.

Salt Pond Beach

Located right along the western edge of Puolo Point, Salt Pond Beach has incredibly calm waters thanks to the reef creating a protected cove. Young children can easily play near the shore without getting wiped out by waves, while older kids often enjoy snorkeling along the reef. A lifeguard keeps watch over all the waterside adventures, always awaiting the opportunity to help out when they can.  

With parking right by the salt beds, it’s easy to bring all your gear for the day from your car to the beach and back again. When you get hungry, grab everyone for a trip over to the taco truck that usually posts up in the parking area. Their flavorful tacos, burritos, and more promise to fuel everyone up for the upcoming explorations.

If you prefer to do it yourself, bring your fresh seafood to the onsite BBQ grills to create delicious dishes all your own. You have onsite bathrooms and showers available for quick and easy cleanups before you head back to the waterside.

Now that you know which beaches in Kauai serve as great swim spots for families, you can head out on all your island adventures. Just be sure to bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen, snacks and drinks, lifejackets, and all the gear you need to have a great time. If you need to gear up before you go, just hit up the excellent shops, restaurants, and equipment rental spots located all across the island.