If you are looking for a beach away from the tourists and where the locals hang out, you’ll probably want to head to Hanamaulu Beach Park on Kauai. Located just a few short miles from Lihue on Kauai, Hanamaulu Beach Park is not only a place to safely swim year-round, but is also the perfect picnic spot.
Situated on a large bay that is protected from the open ocean, the waters here are safe for swimming, although the high concentration of silt that enters the bay from the Hanamaulu stream do make the water here rather murky and not ideal for swimming. That being said, this bay is still a popular spot among scuba divers and fisherman who flock here when akule and other migratory fish school in the bay.
However, if you have some time to kill in between checking out of your hotel and before heading to the airport, this park does have a beautiful picnic area. It is also one of the many parks where you can camp in Kauai. Also, while this may not be the ideal beach for a casual dip, it is a popular fishing spot, so if you have a pole, bring it along!
There is also a swimming spot along Hanamaulu stream that is popular among local children. The stream’s sandy banks are shaded by ironwood trees, making it an ideal place to cool off.
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For those John Wayne fans out there, this park also might look familiar as it was Hanamaulu Bay’s Ahukini Pier that was featured in his 1963 film Donovan’s Reef.
The nearby Hanamaulu town is also worth checking out with its sleepy store fronts and good dining options (for those that didn’t pack a picnic). The Hanamaulu Café has great local Hawaiian fare where you can sample fried ginger chicken and a great selection of sushi rolls.
- picnic facilities (including grills)
- camping (by permit only)
About 2.5 miles from Lihue. Take Kuhio Highway to Hanamaulu Road, turn right onto Hehi Road.
>> Check out more places to camp in Kauai