Poipu Beach South Kauai

One of America's Best Beaches

Enjoy sandy beaches, warm sun, spectacular sunsets, and ocean sports at one of the best beaches in America. The Travel Channel named  Poipu Beach one of the top ten beaches in the United States.


Overview of Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach has soft golden sand with lava rock formations on either end of this crescent-shaped beach. It's a prime location for swimming because of a barrier reef. In winter, large swells break against the reef, which helps protect swimmers from dangerous rip currents and high surf.

Poipu Beach Park falls into two sections: Brennecke Beach and Poipu Beach. The eastern portion of Poipu Beach Park holds an excellent reputation for its calm waters and family-friendly atmosphere. You'll find clear water with lots of colorful fish here. Enjoy the moderate swells. The western end of Poipu Beach stands slightly more rugged than its eastern counterpart. The powerful waves make it less suitable for young children but more ideal for adventurous types who want to experience some of Kauai’s best surf spots firsthand. While this section of Poipu Beach lacks a lifeguard tower or picnic tables, it provides these amenities with breathtaking views. 

The water off Poipu Beach also offers an incredible marine ecosystem with tropical fish and other sea life that can be seen while snorkeling or diving around the barrier reef. Visitors can also see monk seals lounging on the sand.


Directions to Poipu Beach

To get to Poipu Beach, take Lawai Road east back toward Poipu for about 2 miles. Lawai Road will merge with Poipu Road. You want to turn right onto Poipu Road, continuing to head east. Right beyond the Poipu Shopping Village (which will be on your left), there will be a road named Hoowili Road on your right. This is the road that provides beach access.  


Essential Advice for a Great Poipu Beach Visit

The reefs primarily protect the waters surrounding Poipu Beach from large waves. Yet, strong currents and waves can and have broken on the reef, so we recommend you talk to the lifeguard on duty for the most current safety information. Sharp coral, slippery rocks, and strong tides may endanger swimmers who venture beyond the marked swimming area.

You can find many rentals to rent equipment for the many water sports found here.


Poipu Beach Amenities

Poipu Beach has a wide variety of amenities and facilities, including:

  • Parking 
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Picnic Tables
  • Shade structures (first come, first serve)
  • Surfboard and bodyboard rentals (seasonal)
  • Large grassy area for picnicking or relaxing

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Having Fun at Poipu Beach 

Family Activities at Poipu Beach

If you want a safe, shallow swimming pool for babies or children, choose  Poipu Beach. Poipu Beach remains a Kauai family favorite, for this beach exudes safety. Watch as the kids splash in the water, jump on the jungle gym, or run around in the grassy area. The rock wall protects waders and swimmers from ocean conditions so your family stays safe. 
Ultimately, Poipu Beach holds a wide variety of activities and attractions where you can all have fun together. Families enjoy the small, shady, grassy park near the edge of the beach for picnics or playing games. 
Moreover, for the adventurous family, you can take a surfing lesson, go snorkeling, pursue a horseback adventure, or pick a kayak excursion. You can also board a boat and head out to sea for a day of fishing. The kids will love seeing fish and other marine life up close and personal as you sail across the beautiful waters of Kauai. Once you return from your water adventure, duck into one of the many local restaurants for delicious food. Or grab some ice cream at one of the shops near the beach. Ultimately, the beach offers so many options for everyone.


Poipu Beach Activities 

Come to Poipu Beach for the many activities here. 

Spot the Marine Wildlife: Poipu Beach offers a beautiful view of wild marine animals. We rate this beach as the best place to see different wildlife in action—Marvel at the sight of Humpback whales during the winter months and Hawaii sea turtles year-round. As you swim, keep an eye out for seals, who lounge and nap on the tombola—a narrow sand spit extending from the shore towards an island. The tombola creates two separate beaches, serving as Hawaiian monk seals' favorite hangouts. This is one of the  Also keep your eye out for dolphins.

Surfing: Poipu Beach offers excellent surfing conditions for all levels — beginner, intermediate and advanced. The waves are mellow but still provide a good challenge and plenty of fun. When learning how to surf, you can visit local surf schools or sign up for private lessons with one of the beach's friendly instructors.

Go Scuba Diving in Kauai: If you're looking for driving lessons in Kauai, look no further than Poipu Beach! Explore underwater caves, wrecks, and reefs teeming with marine life like colorful tropical fish, green sea turtles, and even dolphins. You can take scuba diving classes from an expert instructor before heading out on a guided boat dive.

Kayaking: A tour with a guide offers a great way to see all the natural beauty of Kauai. The focus will be to share their knowledge about Hawaiian history and culture and point out wildlife along the way.

Snorkeling: Check out the many snorkeling spots in Poipu Beach. Explore the beautiful fish and coral reefs up close. Take glass-bottom boat excursions that provide an equally enjoyable experience. Plus, you can find many tours willing to show you different locations around the island.

Hike the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail: The trail offers fantastic views and unspoiled ancient Hawaiian land. Please pack a lunch and make a day out of it! The path is just over three miles long, so it shouldn't take you more than two hours to complete at a leisurely pace.

Nearby Attractions and Sights of Poipu Beach

There are so many things to do near Poipu Beach!

Golf at One of Four Courses Nearby: Poipu Beach is surrounded by four beautiful golf courses within 15 minutes drive. The Kiahuna Golf Club is the closest course and offers a fantastic 18-hole course for those looking for a challenge!

Na Pali Coast: The rugged cliffs and lava rock formations of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park deserve a visit. The vast park expands into the northwest corner of Kauai, with a breathtaking coastline. The best way to experience the Na Pali Coast is to take a guided boat tour, and another option is to take a helicopter tour over the coast, which provides an incredible view of this natural wonder.

Poipu Shopping Village: Located just several minutes from Poipu Beach at the corner of Koloa Road and Weliweli Road, this shopping center features some of the best restaurants and shops on the island. You can spend hours here catching up on fashion, eating delicious food, and enjoying good music in the outdoor seating area. Some of the most popular shops at this center include The Fish Market, Poipu Surf Company, The Chocolate Boutique & Gallery, and many more.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG): NTBG, located on Kauai's South Shore, offers guided tours of its gardens and facilities, including the Allerton Garden, McBryde Garden, Limahuli Garden & Preserve, and the Kahanu Garden. The gardens feature:
* Ponds, fountains, sculptures, and large trees have been sculpted into their present state over time.
* Some of the rarest plants in the world include palms, orchids, and native Hawaiian flora.
* Walking trails that lead through a tropical rainforest with some spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Kauai Coffee Company Estate Tour and Tasting: This estate is famous for coffee. You can learn about coffee, how it is cultivated and tastes in different varieties.

Old Koloa Town: Once a sugar colony capital, it is a historic site. You can see some old buildings here which have been renovated now.

Koloa Sugar Mill: It is a former sugar mill in Koloa town. The building has been renovated and now houses the Koloa Heritage Trail Museum.

The Spouting Horn Park & Viewing Area: The Spouting Horn is a natural geyser that shoots water up through an opening at the ocean floor. The dramatic water spout can reach up to 50 feet into the air and make a loud blowing sound. You can see this natural phenomenon from the viewing platform above or take a short hike to see it up close.

Poipu Beach Reviews

A (based on 2,561 visitor reviews)

Geolocation Data

Geographic Coordinates

Latitude: 21.87306943
Longitude: -159.4538901

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beach_access Lifeguard
bathtub Facilities
Bathrooms & Showers
outdoor_grill Dining
Picnic Areas Available
my_location Nearby
Poipu & Koloa
family_restroom Children
Great for Kids
pool Activities
Body Boarding
Poipu Beach Photo Gallery
Recommended Tours Nearby
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