Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Wainiha Beach is a scenic stretch of beach lying along Kauai's north shore. While many people will admire the beach while passing by on Kuhio Highway, the area takes a little bit of work to appreciate to its full extent.

Translating to "unfriendly waters", Wainiha Beach is probably more known for its lack of swimming than anything else. The surf here is rough and pounds constantly against the shore, making it hazardous to venture into the water. This is enough to cause most to pass on by.

However the long sandy shore set beneath a line of trees makes it an incredibly scenic area to get out and go for a walk along the water. There are small clearings beneath the trees where cars can simply just pull over here and take in the views.

This area of Wainiha actually has two places of note - the stretch along the highway bookended by picturesque beach homes, and the bay located at the mouth of the Wainiha River. And while the beach is easily accessible, the bay and river are a little bit trickier to get to. The bay is surrounded by private property, so visitors will have to find on-street parking and access the bay either from the beach or the river. Within the bay, the water is still murky and not suited for swimming or snorkeling, but there are no crowds here, and locals will cool off in the deeper parts of the still river water.

There are no facilities of any kind at Wainiha Beach. However the Wainiha Country Market is one of the last places you'll pass before reaching the beach and they serve up local sweets and snacks.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Low crowds. Scenic environment.


No swimming or snorkeling. Rough waters.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Big vistas



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