My Family’s Favorite Kauai Vacation Hangout Spot

My parents first took me to Kauai almost 30 years ago. I’ve been dozens of time since, and now I have my own kids that I take to the garden isle with me. As a flight attendant, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel all around the world. But Kauai is the place I keep coming back to. Its picturesque scenery and lush landscape are unparalleled, and to me Kauai is the most beautiful place on earth.

My Family's Favorite Kauai Vacation Hangout Spot

My Family’s Favorite Kauai Vacation Hangout Spot

I have an 8-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. A trip to Kauai becomes a very different kind of outing with young kids. You can check out some of the best things to do in Kauai without kids at Luckily, my favorite part about Kauai is how serenely beautiful it is, and this doesn’t change just because you have kids. But you’ve got to be able to set up shop some place where the kids can play and you can sit back, relax, and take in the breathtaking beauty. Luckily, I know of such a place, and I’ve been going to that place since a was a young child. That place is Kalapaki Beach.

There are a lot of reasons why my family and I love Kalapaki beach so much. It’s great for kids as well as adults. But for now, I’ll most stick to why I love it for my kids.

Kalapaki Beach is located on the south eastern shore and is nestled in a natural cove, which provides a level of protection from swells coming in from the ocean. It’s also adjacent to NawiliwiliHarbor, and to make passage in and out of the harbor easier, breakwaters have also been built, which further protects Kalapaki beach from large swells and dangerous riptides common on many Hawaiian island beaches.

Most of the beach is very calm and free of any type sort of riptide. And the further east you go, the calmer it gets. The beaches are also perfectly sandy. The kids love to wade and swim in the water, and they love to build and draw things in the sand. They go back and forth, for hours, from playing in the water to playing in the sand.

Lining the sandy beach is a long strip of grass that spans the entire beach. This means I can actually lay down our towels, coolers, and other belongings on the grass if I want to minimize the amount of sand that ends up back in the car and hotel. When it’s lunch time, we prefer to sit on the grass as we eat and relax.

I mentioned that the further east you go on the beach, the calmer the water is. Conversely, the further west you go, the rougher the water gets. On the far west end of the beach, the swells can actually get to two or three feet. Not great for surfing (unless you’re just learning!), but great for a couple of little kids to experience the thrill of ocean waves with relatively low danger or risk. We always end up spending an hour or so on the west end to jump in and out of waves.

Just around the corner from Kalapaki Beach (5-minute walk or less) is a little strip mall type area with souvenir and trinket shops, clothing stores, and other places to do some window or actual shopping. My 8-year-old especially always loves to check out all of the stores.

Kalapaki Beach is a great, safe, uncrowded beach that is very kid friendly. And if you stay at the Marriott that is right on the beach, you can simply walk right out to the beach. (You can also enjoy Marriott’s famous pool, but I digress…) When we travel to Kauai, we always spend at least one or two entire days playing at Kalapaki Beach. Its perfect for the kids, and there are plenty of reasons for adults to like it as well. But that discussion will have to wait until another time.

To finish up, let me give you some advice. I mentioned that Kalapaki Beach is adjacent to Nawiliwili Harbor. This harbor is a destination for cruise ships, and when a cruise ship is docked, you may notice the beach much more crowded than it typically is. Do your homework and make sure you visit this beach when there aren’t any cruise ships scheduled to be docked. That way you’ll enjoy the uncrowded beach the way I’ve been enjoying it for almost 3 decades.

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