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Best Family Beaches in Kauai

Old Jul 12th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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Best Family Beaches in Kauai

We are going on a family vacation Aug 9-23, staying in the Poi Pu area. We will have two toddlers that are 1 1/2 yrs olds. We already know about Poi Pu beach but can someone please recomend some additional beaches that have calm water and will not be very crowded for the little ones. We will have a car so driving will not be a problem. Also is there any Luau's on Kauai that are held on the beach?

Thanks in advance for any info!
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 05:22 PM
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We just returned from Kauai today. There are so many beaches it is hard to recommend one. I do believe the Hyatt regency is a good one at Poipu.

As far as a luau. Forget it...we were going to skip one, then decided at the last minute to do one on the Big Island. Biggest waste of money ever, forget it. Don't think that it may be good because everyone referred us against doing one, but did it anyway.

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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 05:28 PM
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Another good beach for toddlers and beginning snorklers is Lydgate Park. It is to the east between Lihue and Kapa'a. In addition to the beach area it has a playground away from the beach with lots of shade.
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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Yes, Lydgate Park is good. Forgot about that one.
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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Hi Cassondra -

We also just got back from Kauai yesterday from our 10th trip to Kauai, but our first time in the summer. Right now, the surf is a little higher on the south shore than the north shore, and the beach at the Hyatt had some pretty angry wave action going on. Hwever, you can also drive to the west side just past Waimea, where one of our favorite beaches is Kekaha - long stretch of white sand, usually very calm water, and NEVER crowded. I can tell you that Poipu Beach was way to crowded for my liking this time around. Also, if you're willing to make a day of it, my most favorite beach is on the north shore, that being Hanalei Bay. It was absolutely delightful, sand bar going out as far as the eye could see, with waters amazingly still, so still that there were many sailboats out, a sight we never see in the winter. They have restroom facilities as well. It is absolutely a spectacular setting, and I highly recommend it. As for luaus, not our favorite thing, but I hear that Smiths and Cocnut Plantation are nice, the latter is on the beach, I belive. Also, in Princeville, on the north side, I hear the Princeville Resort puts on a nice one, and it's also on the beach. For a very authentic luau with loads of character and color, there's Tahiti Nui, which is now being held at the Hanalei Colony Resort on the beach. Good luck and I hope you and your family love it as much as we do!
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 07:01 PM
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Lydgate Park has 2 enclosed swimming ponds, one is super shallow for toddlers. There's a shower, lifeguards, and a bathroom.

Kamalani Playround is across the parking lot from Lydgate, the kids will love it.

A new addition to Lydgate is Kamalani Kai BRIDGE play structure, it is off the beaten path and hard to find. It is apporx .3 miles south of the Lydgate lifeguard tower. Ask for directions, this is a terrific play area, take a picnic as there is a covered pavilion right on the beach.
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 07:24 PM
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In May, we went to Salt Pond Beach Park. The beach is a perfect crescent, with rocks that shelter it from the waves. Not as sheltered as the enclosed pool at Lydgate, but the day we were there it was very calm. I think there is some playground equipment, not sure. there are tide pools which are fun to look at. It was not crowded but there were several families with small children. A monk seal was sleeping on the rocks. The park is very well kept and there seemed to be several volunteers keeping it spruced up.

On the same day we stopped at Kekaha, and the surf seemed to be coming in with the full force of the Pacific. It was beautiful, but not swimmable.
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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Kid friendly beaches on South Shore are Poipu Beach park and Salt Pond Beach park near Hanapepe.
East Coast beaches, I'd second Lydgate Park.
North Shore kid friendly I'd choose Anini and Hanalei.
Have a great time. You can't miss on Kauai.
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Old Jul 15th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Having spent a lot of time on Kauai with toddlers and babies, I think that it's awfully hard to beat Poipu Beach Park as the ideal spot for very young children. The lagoon there is very shallow and has a nice sandy bottom. There are lovely palm trees to sit under, good bathroom facilities and showers, and a small playground geared to very young children. There is also a small store on the ground floor of Brennekes-across the street- that is great for a quick bottle of water, snacks, or suntan lotion. There is also another small and usually very uncrowded beach called appropriately "Baby Beach" in Poipu off of Lawai Road on the way to Spouting Horn. (While I could drive right to this great little beach, I can't remember the exact name of the road that accesses it- it begins with an "H". As you head towards Spouting Horn on Lawai Road, you take the 2nd left off of Lawai Road onto a little residential street. There are houses on both sides of the street but there are a couple of public access spots between the houses on the oceanside of the street. You can park easily on the street.) This beach is great in the early a.m. or late afternoon. It doesn't get a lot of shade during midday so bring a beach umbrella if you have one.
Lydgate Park gets lots of thumb's up on this board. We've never been too hot on the beach there. The lagoons are manmade and not terribly scenic, it's often windy, and it can be really crowded. The playground there is really cool but it's more for the pre-school elementary set than for young toddlers. We stop at Lydgate if we need to go into Lihue for errands or a Kmart run. It's a treat for our kids who are no longer in diapers! If you want to do a bit of time in the car, Hanalei Bay in summer is great, as is Ke'e Beach at the very end of the road. My kids always love the chicken wandering around there. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get up to the northshore.
Another thing that my kids got a kick out as little ones are the parrots at the Hyatt. The parrotkeepers do a little free show every morning at 10a.m. in the atrium at the hotel. There is also a koi feeding at the hotel at 9:30. Also, Shipwreck Beach in front of the Hyatt is definitely not a good beach for kids, regardless of the season. It has rough surf and nasty undertows.
My advice for traveling with kids as young as yours is to keep it simple! Have loads of fun.
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Old Jul 15th, 2003, 07:59 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Kip it sounds like you have it down as far as traveling with little ones. How long of a drive is it from Poi Pu to Princeville and Hanalei. Also is there any wharehouse clubs on the island like Sam's Club or Costco. We will be staying for two weeks and there is 8 adults and two little ones so we were hoping there is a good place to do grocery shopping, as we plan on eating out only a few times a week.
Thanks again in advance!!!!!!
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Old Jul 15th, 2003, 11:20 PM
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Yes, Poipu is nice. But the surf at the Hyatt Regency is a bit rough.

We really enjoy going to the Kauai Marriott's Beach on Nawiliwili Bay, near Lihue. It is calm and you can park in the hotel lot and use the restrooms down by the beach to change.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 04:55 AM
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Cassandra - As one who is very leery about overdevelopment on Kauai, I can say that thankfully, there are no warehouse clubs on Kauai (yet!), but there is Wal-Mart and K-Mart. However, I don't think that the Wal-Mart there sells groceries. We usually do our food shopping at Safeway in Kapaa, and I'd recommend you get a Safeway card while you're there, if you don't already have one, because it will save you a lot of money. Do be prepared for "sticker shock", though - you'll be amazed at how inflated grocery prices are!
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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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Yep, we got the little kid thing down on Kauai but I have to admit that as wonderful as the little critters are, ours are now five and nine, and it's getting easier all the time to travel with them. (A minivan and its extra row of seats becomes a necessity as they get older-both for a buffer zone between adults and kids and for all of the room for coolers and beach toys.)
I have to second the recommendation for Nawiliwili Beach in front of the Marriott in Lihue although I remember my younger daughter eating gobs of sand there as a one-year-old. (Easy diaper change though! Lots of fiber in that sand.)
Drive to Northshore can take more than an hour. Traffic can be tough through Lihue and Kapaa.
We sometimes shop at Safeway although it's a bit of a drive from Poipu. We have always done really well shopping at Star Mkt at Kukui Grove shopping ctr btwn Lihui and Poipu. We also pick up milk and a number of other essentials at Kmart in Lihue before we head to Poipu on our way from the airport. While Kmart and Walmart don't have full grocery depts they do have a pretty good selection of bread, crackers, dairy.... Also good pxs on diapers. Kmart is also at Kukui Grove shopping ctr. Walmart is in the other direction from Poipu. We also always hit the farmer's mkt in Koloa at the ball field on Mondays at noon for great local produce, also there are a couple of pretty good fruit stands on the road into Poipu with better produce than the grocery stores generally have. There is also a great fish market in Koloa Town. I'd sure try to limit car time for groceries,etc. There are a couple of decent, more local markets in Koloa (five minutes from Poipu.) Sometimes a few extra $'s is price beats drives into Lihue/Kapaa.
We also have enjoyed doing at least one brunch at the Ilima Terrace at the Hyatt. The kids are generally captivated by the little birds that fly in and out and the swans and koi in the ponds. Ask and wait for a window (really open wall) table.
We also have done some great hiking when our kids were still small enough to be in backpacks. There are some pretty hikes up at Kokee and Waimea Canyon. Also, try to get out to Maha'ulepu Beach beyond the Hyatt. There is one small section of beach close to the road that is protected by a small reef and backed by shade producing ironwood trees. It's really lovely. (No facilities there though.)
You will have a wonderful time and I'm sure can take advantage of naptimes to do at least one longer cartrip up to the Northshore. Aloha!
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