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1. Hanalei Bay

If you watched “The Descendants” or “South Pacific”, half-moon shaped Hanalei Bay might look familiar to you. With nearly 2 miles of beach, it’s the largest bay of Kaua’i’s North Shore and it’s surrounded by majestic mountains. Hanalei Bay is especially beautiful during sunset – watch the surfers catch a wave and enjoy a cool Big Wave Golden Ale!

Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i.

Hanalei Pier on Kaua'i.

Historic Hanalei Pier, built back in 1892. Locals meet up here to go fishing or to make some island music.

A surfer on Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i.

Big Wave Golden Ale beer on Hanalei Bay in Kaua'i

2. Kauapea Beach (Secret Beach)

Well, let’s be honest: Secret Beach is not that secret anymore, but it is still kind of secluded and it takes you a little effort to get there. Kauapea Beach is located on the North Shore of the island, right between Kilauea Lighthouse and Kalihiwai Valley. It’s a beautiful beach with white sand and outcrops of black lava rocks – if conditions are well, you can spot little tide pools and oceanside waterfalls.

For a long time, the public access trail was hidden and not well known, but that has changed. Although more and more people discovered Kauapea Beach, it still feels like you are the only person there because the beach is so large.

Secret Beach Kaua'i.

How to get there: Take Kuhio Highway past Kilauea and then turn right on Kalihiwai Road. Follow the road for about 50m and then turn right into an unmarked and unpaved road. Walk until the end of that road and you’ll see the foot path (which will take you about 10 minutes) leading down to the west end of the beach.

Secret Beach Kaua'i.

3. Papa’a Bay

Papa’a Bay is my favorite beach on Kaua’i. Simply because it is very secluded and usually there are no other people – Papa’a Bay gives you the ultimate Robinson Crusoe feeling.  The beach also features a beautiful lagoon and if you are lucky, you can enjoy fresh coconuts on the beach. Papa’a Bay might also look familiar to you, if you watched the movie “Six Days, Seven Nights” starring Harrison Ford (it was the setting for the plane crash scene).

Papa'a Bay on Kaua'i.

Papa'a Bay on Kaua'i.

How to get there: Take Kuhio Highway and turn into Kapa’a Road. Then take a right into Kalalea Drive & left into Kalalea View. You can park your car at the end of the road. Hike down a steep path for about 5-10 minutes and you will see the bay.

Papa'a Bay on Kaua'i.

4. Paliku Beach (Donkey Beach)

Paliku Beach, or better known as Donkey Beach is also pretty empty most of the time and an amazing spot to set up your hammock. It’s not a good beach for swimming or snorkeling (because the water is pretty rough & there might be dangerous and strong currents), but the golden sand beach is great for sunbathing and relaxing. It is called Donkey Beach because herds of donkeys and mules were held nearby – and if you’re lucky, you can spot a monk seal relaxing in the sun.

Donkey Beach on Kaua'i.

Rainbow near Donkey Beach on Kaua'i.

Cooking breakfast at Donkey Beach on Kaua'i.