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The Best North Shore Beaches On Kauai


Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle, is a true paradise for beach lovers. With its stunning coastline, variety of beaches, and pristine coral reefs, it’s no wonder that Kauai is a top destination for tourists from around the world. 

If you’re looking for some of the best beaches on Kauai’s north shore, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll take you through five of the most spectacular beaches on Kauai’s north shore – Pine Trees Waioli Beach, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, Hanalei Pier Ke’e Beach, and Tunnels Beach. Read on and get ready to explore!

Pine Trees Waioli Beach (Waioli Beach Park)

Located near the historic town of Hanalei, Pine Trees Waioli Beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. With its calm waters and beautiful sandy beach, Pine Trees Waioli Beach is an excellent place for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. This beach can also be known for its great surf, so if you’re a surfer, you won’t want to miss it!

In addition to surfing, Pine Trees Waioli Beach offers spectacular conditions for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. You can rent equipment at nearby surf shops or bring your own. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even paddle up the Hanalei River and explore the lush landscape.

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, Pine Trees Waioli Beach Park gives you the option of sunbathing and picnicking. With its soft sand and shady trees, Pine Trees Waioli Beach is a great place to unwind and soak up the sun. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some sea turtles swimming in the clear waters!

Pine Trees Waioli Beach (Waioli Beach Park) has lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables, and showers available – along with a beach volleyball court if you feel like having some fun!

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park (Hanalei Bay Pavilion)

Another fantastic beach on Kauai’s north shore is Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park. With its beautiful 2-mile long crescent-shaped bay and picturesque views of the mountains, this beach is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Kauai. Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is also great for a variety of activities, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The beach can be perfect for families with children, as the water is calm and shallow, making it easy for little ones to splash around. For those looking for a bit of adventure, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a great place to rent kayaks and paddleboards. You can explore the nearby Hanalei River or paddle out to the ocean and catch some waves. And if you’re a snorkeler, be sure to bring your gear, as there are plenty of fish and sea turtles to see in the clear waters.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park (Hanalei Bay Pavilion) has lifeguards, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables.

Hanalei Pier

Hanalei Pier is along the same beach area as Hanalei Bay Pavilion and serves as a great alternative if it’s closer to you or if Hanalei Bay Pavilion is a bit too busy for your liking. 

If you’re a fisherman, Hanalei Pier is a great spot for catching a variety of fish, including ulua, papio, and trevally. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a Hawaiian monk seal lounging on the beach.

Ke’e Beach

Located at the end of the road on Kauai’s north shore, Ke’e Beach is a hidden gem that’s worth the journey. With its stunning views of the Na Pali Coast and crystal clear waters, Ke’e Beach is a popular spot for snorkeling and swimming. This beach is also the starting point for the famous Kalalau Trail, a challenging hike that takes you through some of Kauai’s most breathtaking scenery. Ke’e Beach requires every visitor in a vehicle to have a permit, so plan ahead!

Ke’e Beach is surrounded by lush green mountains, which makes for a stunning backdrop. The water is clear and calm, making it a great place for swimming and snorkeling. You can rent snorkeling gear nearby or bring your own.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the nearby Kalalau Trail

. This 11-mile hike takes you through some of Kauai’s most beautiful landscapes, including waterfalls, valleys, and pristine beaches. The hike is challenging, but the views are well worth the effort. Keep in mind that you’ll need a permit to hike the trail, so be sure to plan ahead.

Ke’e Beach is lifeguarded, along with restrooms and showers. This beach is known to be more dangerous during winter months due to rougher waves and ocean conditions.

Read more on our full guide to Ke’e Beach!

Tunnels Beach (Tunnels Beach Makua)

Last but not least, Tunnels Beach is another stunning beach located on the north shores of Kauai. This beach is named for the underwater tunnels that are visible at low tide, which are a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The beach is surrounded by green mountains like most north shore beaches, and offers spectacular views of the Na Pali Coast. The water is crystal clear, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can rent equipment nearby or bring your own.

Tunnels Beach is also a known spot for surfing, with waves that are perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers. And if you’re not a surfer, the beach is a spot for sunbathing and relaxing.

Tunnels Beach is lifeguarded and offer picnic tables, but not much else in terms of amenities. If you’d like to learn more, visit our comprehensive guide to Tunnels Beach!

North Shore Swimming Safety

Always remember to check in with local ocean and weather reports before going swimming, snorkeling, or participating in any other recreational activities on the beach. While there are plenty of swimmable beaches around Kauai, Kauai’s north shore tends to get bigger waves and rougher surf in the winter months (November – April).

Some basic Kauai ocean safety rules include:

  • Check the weather and keep an eye on it throughout the day.
  • Ask local government authorities about the safety of the particular beach you are swimming at.
  • Swim with a buddy!
  • Pay attention to the ocean at all times.
  • Learn about rip currents, how to avoid them, and how to escape them if caught.

With a bit of common sense, you can have endless amounts of fun on Kauai’s north shore beaches.

Explore the North Shore of Kauai!

Kauai’s north shore is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you’re looking for a spot to relax and soak up the sun or a place to explore the underwater world, there’s something for everyone. Pine Trees Waioli Beach, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, Ke’e Beach, Hanalei Pier, and Tunnels Beach are just a few of the incredible beaches that you can visit on Kauai’s north shore. So grab your sunscreen and head to the beach for a day of fun in the sun! And don’t forget to book a boat tour with Kauai Sea Tours to explore the island’s stunning coastline from a whole new perspective.

Looking to explore the North Shore by boat? Visit us at Kauai Sea Tours!

If you can’t get enough of Kauai’s famed north shore, we at Kauai Sea Tours offer a variety of ways to see it! From landing on the hidden beaches protected by Na Pali Coast cliffs to snorkeling the light blue waters surrounding them – a boat tour is easily one of the best ways to explore Kauai’s northern waters. Give us a call, email, or click on our tours to learn more! Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you soon!

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