Although not recommended for swimming, on the west side of Kauai you will find a great place for watching a sunset, beach walking, fishing, playing in the sand, flying a kite or bathing in the sun. Located in sunny Kekaha, this beach is the longest stretch of white sand beach in the state of Hawaii.
Kekaha beach boasts to be the westernmost spot of the United States where you can watch the sunset and is easily accessible. You can pull over to the shoulder of the road and catch a glimpse (without getting out of your car) and the beach is right off the road (no need to walk too far).
It is a place where many locals and visitors come for some warmth and nice relaxation. An area where you can find your own beach,, Kekaha beach is less crowded than most lifeguarded beaches that you will find on the island.
With picnic areas and restroom facilities found at MacArthur Park, it is a great place to take your keiki for lunch or to enjoy a sunny day if it is raining on other spots on the island. And of course, the keiki love playing in the sand here.
Relatively dry most of the year, Kekaha is a place where many local residents stop by after they “pau hana” (finished with work) to hang out and watch the sunset. Kekaha beach is a draw to many visitors who want to get some sun while other spots of the island can be raining or overcast.
Views of Ni'ihau (The Forbidden Island) and Lehua are part of this panoramic sunset, while also seeing the tour boats pass by on their ending leg of their tour. During the months of December to May you will also get an opportunity to catch a glimpse of humpback whales (kohala) breaching or giving tail slaps from off the shoreline. An annual event, these giant creatures come to the warm waters every year to breed and give birth to their new calves.
Family parties, picnics and camping are also favorite things that locals do with their keiki at Kekaha beach. During three day weekends as well as popular holidays, this beach is often packed with locals and their four by four vehicles on the sand. Staking their spot with pop up tents and portable bbq grills, you will find many enjoying time with their family and friends. Most popular times when locals are on the beaches include Memorial day weekend, Thanksgiving, christmas, 4th of July and of course when surf is up on the west side (usually during the winter months from December- February).
Kekaha’s white sand beach begins near St. Theresa Church and stretches all the way to Polihale (end of the road before reaching Na Pali Cliffs) along the coast for about 12 miles. However, some of the beach is not accessible because of the Shrimp Farm, County Landfill and Navy military installation (PMRF).
Kekaha Beach is always a great beach for some photo opportunities of the keiki! Make sure you bring your camera.
Things to know:
- Across the street from St. Theresa Church you can see a natural spectacle of how the beach splits from a black sand beach (east) to a white sand beach (west).
- Kekaha beaches have little shade along its shoreline, so be prepared. If you need some sort of shade from the sun, taking a break under the MacArthur Park pavilions is available as well the pavilions near the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.
- You should know, Kekaha beaches just like many other beaches has its dangers due to the changing ocean conditions and currents. Be advised of all ocean conditions before jumping in any Hawaiian waters. Check with the lifeguard. If in doubt, don’t go out!
- If you are a good swimmer and the whales are spotted offshore, something that you can do at Kekaha beach is listen to the sounds of the whales from underwater.
- Kekaha beach sand is soft, if you do not have a four wheel vehicle do not try to drive on the sand. Many people have gotten stuck in the sand because of this mistake.
- Rent a Jeep, this will give you more access to beaches that are not alongside the roads and you can definitely find your own piece of paradise.
- Bring your own food and drinks when coming to Kekaha beach. This beach is much more enjoyable if you come prepared to stay for a while. Drinks are necessary along with snacks. Even though we live close by to Kekaha beach, we always pack a cooler and have ample snacks for the keiki.
- The temperature in Kekaha varies little throughout the year. 70 to 80 degree weather is consistent.
- Water temperature throughout the year is 75 to 80 degrees. Coolest water temperatures are in February.
- Kekaha is about 25 miles west from Lihue Airport.
Remember to follow the beach safety guidelines, check surf and weather reports for current conditions, and observe posted signage. Keep a constant watch on keiki who are playing in or around the water. Never leave children unattended. Small children should wear safety floatation devices unless they are avid swimmers and are being closely supervised.