Shipwreck's Beach is a stretch of golden sand along Kauai's southern coast near Poipu, which offers some relief from the crowded beaches in the area, even if it's situated right in front of the Grand Hyatt resort. Park along the accessible dirt road or squeeze into one of the few designated parking spaces off Ainakoa Street. Shipwreck's Beach is a sprawling expanse of sand with plenty of room for everyone to spread out; head to the left for some more shade under the pine trees or cross through the rocks to the right to access the beach in front of the Grand Hyatt. The waves here can be large and potentially hazardous in the summer, but timing the waves is one way to soak in the clear blue waters that are otherwise rather calm off this portion of coastline. The protected Keoniloa Bay in which the beach is situated deflects some of the more dangerous currents, but always check conditions before getting in the water.
The Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail runs along Shipwreck's Beach as well, offering some different forms of beach adventures. The trail stretches for 2 miles along the jagged southern coastline of Kauai, starting one end at Shipwreck's and finishing at Maha'ulepu Beach, a secluded and un-developed beach to the northeast. From Shipwreck's Beach, many curious travelers wander up the rocky trail on the east side of the beach to Maka-wehi Point, a 20-foot cliff lookout where many daring people can be seen jumping into the shallow water below. Here among the kiawe trees and limestone cliffs, beachgoers can take in the spectacular view of the entire bay, spot some larger marine life (such as turtles, monk seals, or whales in the distance), or take a leap of faith into the waves below. If cliff jumping is not your cup of tea, simply return down the trail to the beach and take in the beauty of Kauai!