Traveling with little ones can be a challenge, but Kauai’s bounty of family friendly beaches will entertain your keiki (children) for hours. Pack the floaties and sunscreen… it’s about to get sandy!
There’s nothing like frolicking in the gentle waters of Hanalei Bay. Sand bars often form at the Hanalei Pavilion, allowing for shallower waters and even more fun. In the summertime, this spot rarely has waves, so it’s perfect for younger kids. In my opinion, Hanalei sand is the best for sandcastles, so don’t forget the buckets and shovels! A long stretch of grass connects the shaded Pavilion to the beach. Keiki can take a break from the sand, and play in the grassy area. The Hanalei Pavilion also has bathroom facilities and showers to rinse off the salt. Best of all, it’s a life-guarded beach!
Born and raised here on Kauai, some of my favorite childhood memories are at Anini Beach. It’s peaceful, has lots of “fishies”, and is absolutely beautiful. The large surrounding reef forms a protective barrier closer to shore, and little ones will be delighted by the clear, shallow waters. Anini is a morning spot, as the wind can pick up in the afternoon. A stroll down this beach provides tidepools to explore and shells and pebbles to collect. It’s not a life-guarded beach, but is typically very safe in the summertime.
Ah, Lydgate, a toddler’s heaven. Two large, rock enclosed “ponds” that keep the ocean water in and the waves out, make this beach one of the safest places for little kids. To top it off, a giant playground (Kamalani Park) is only a short walk away. There are bathrooms, showers, and a lifeguard on watch. It’s no wonder Lydgate Beach is one of the most popular spots for families on Kauai.
On Kauai, you might hear locals refer to different “Baby Beach” locations around the island. Baby Beach in Poipu is one of the best if you’re staying on the South Side of the island. This little beach has calm and clear waters, protected by a sliver of reef that blocks the surf from entering. Close to Poipu Beach Park’s bathroom & shower facilities, Baby Beach is ideal for little ones. The only downside is the lack of a posted lifeguard. Remember- if in doubt, don’t go out (or bring your keiki out).
More Tips for a Happy Beach Baby
- Don’t forget to bring shovels, buckets, and other sand toys for your little ones. For a last minute DIY sand toy, grab a pasta strainer. The soft, fine sand will sift through the holes and fall in neat piles, perfect for squishing.
- Fill a gallon jug of tap water to rinse off sandy toes post beach day, if there are no shower facilities. Keep it tucked in the car during the day, and it will be nice and warm by the time you get back.
- Besides lots of sunscreen, sun hats and SPF sun shirts are also beach day necessities. Check out a Kauai shop to find the right gear.
- Pack a big beach blanket to picnic on or take naps. If there’s limited shade (like at the Hanalei Pavilion), I highly recommend bringing a beach umbrella as well.
- And as a friendly reminder, never allow small children to play in the water unattended, even in baby-safe beaches like the ones above.
For more information on Kauai beaches, visit our Kauai Beaches guide. Many Kauai.com tours are also baby-friendly. Call Kauai.com today for more details (808-822-2846)! Ask us about which tours can accommodate your little ones.