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Salt Pond Beach, Hanapepe

Salt Pond Beach Park

Salt Pond Beach Park, which is named for its traditional Hawaiian salt collecting beds, is located on Kauai’s western shore.  If you are traveling along Hwy 50, heading west from Kalaheo, after passing Hanapepe town turn left onto Lele Road or Hwy. 543.  Protected by natural lava rock ridges as waves break outside the reef, Salt Pond Beach is perfect for little keiki.  Shallow pools and lagoons are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and tidepooling.  Furthermore, this lifeguarded beach offers amenities such as restrooms, showers, and pavilions.




Adjacent to the Salt Pond Beach are the The Salt Flats.  This delicate area is restricted, unless you have been invited by a member of a salt making family.  Making pa’akai or Hawaiian sea salt is an ancient cultural practice that is passed down from generation to generation.  Kauai is the only place in Hawaii that makes salt according to the ancient traditions which are all done by hand.  

Looking from a distance, you may see the salt patch or lo’i filled with rows of oval salt beds which are lined with clay.  These shallow beds allow for the evaporation of seawater and produce this prized sparkling salt.  Held in respect, the salt is never sold; it is only given away.  The Hawaiian salt is used for cooking, seasoning, preserving food, medicinal purposes and in cultural blessings.  The season runs from May-September; the amount of harvested salt depends on many natural variables such as the sun, ocean tides and weather conditions.

Salt beds, Hanapepe

On the Salt ponds side of the beach, the beach in this area is reddish-golden from the clay that lies beneath the water.  If you want to access this part of the beach, it is recommended that you walk from the main beach.  Although you may see vehicles lined up on the sand and parked along the fenceline, please avoid trying to park here (If you do access the beach from the back side, do not drive right on the beach as it damages the sand dunes that protect the salt patches from high surf.)  A paved parking lot that is next to the salt beds can be used.

 At this part of Salt Pond Beach, my sons were entertained by the red and greyish clay in this area. They were running it through their hands and trying to break it apart with rocks.  Also, there were many fish in this lagoon as my husband took the boys to look at the different types of fish found in the shallow waters.  We were even able to Find Nemo (a clownfish) that happened to come in with the tide and a plethora of other reef fish.




Salt Pond is a great choice for a day at the beach with your keiki.



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PLAYGROUNDS

BEST BEACHES FOR KEIKI

THINGS TO DO
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Kauai Marathon Keiki Run

Today the Grand Hyatt Kauai hosted the 5th Annual Kauai Marathon Keiki Run. On the far ocean side lawn toddlers ages 2-4 completed a 100 yard dash as they chased a chicken mascot that marked the pace. It was a one quarter mile lap for the 5-7 year olds and the 8-12 year olds were challenged with a ½ mile run, which was two laps around the course.

Each of the age groups were divided into boys and girls. The chicken mascot ran with the 2-4 year olds, so when the 5-7 year olds lined up, I was surprised to see the chicken mascot (him or her?) again at the starting line. I guess my son will get to “chase the chicken” too which made the event fun for all the Keiki participating. Perseverance demonstrated, the Chicken mascot ran in every race.

What a great family event for the keiki as families gathered and cheered on all the participants as they crossed the finish line. My son was happy to race as all participants received a “medal” and a goodie bag. Inside the bag was a t-shirt, a keychain, bike safety information and a coupon for a free ice cream at Lapperts. It was definitely worth the registration fee.

Hotel Crashing: Is that a thing?

After the race, our family took a walk down by the beach and through the Grand Hyatt Kauai Property. This beautiful hotel and resort boosts a 50 acre oceanfront property.

 We checked out the beach; however conditions were hazardous today as red flags were being bustled by the winds.

We headed up on the path towards the hotel to the koi pond.



 We saw plethora of koi in the pond fronting Tidepools restaurant and the lone swan that makes its home in the tide pools (There is also a pond upon entering the hotel.) There is a casual poolside restaurant where they also serve shave ice drinks as well as food.

We continued to walk up the path to catch a view of the hotel pool.

Up through the lobby were vendors selling locally made products and macaws that welcome visitors in the main lobby. We passed many stores on our way to the grand ballroom where the Kauai Marathon Expo was being held. The meeting space was filled with local vendors and showcased all the information for the Kauai Marathon tomorrow. What a great family event for the Keiki to have their part in the annual Kauai Marathon. The whole experience was worthwhile and our ohana can’t wait to do it again next year!








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Poipu Beach

It was a beautiful sunny day in Poipu.  We were lucky enough to see two Hawaiian Monk seals sunbathing on the beach.  One was on the main beach and the other out on the sand bar.  The water was calm in the “kiddie pool” (which is located to the left of the lifeguard stand if you are facing the water) dispite posted signs on the other side of the beach warning rip currents and strong tides.  There were many people out snorkeling.   The lifeguards were announcing that snorkeling is actually one of the most dangerous activities.  They expressed making sure that you have the proper gear and know how to use your gear.  As a general rule, “When in doubt, don’t go out” and know you and your children’s personal limits.  Always follow posted signs; Lifeguards were recommending snorkeling in front of and to the left of the lifeguard stand.   My keiki like to use a full face snorkel mask like the one shown here that allows for natural breathing.

It was very hot today.  Make sure your keiki are protected from the sun by applying and reapplying sunscreen throughout the day.  Rash guards and sunhats also lend protection while in the water.  Also, schedule a break for your keiki to hydrate and have a snack.

This lifeguarded beach has many amenities like restrooms, picnic areas, and showers.  Brenneck’s is located directly across from the beach.  There is a restaurant on the upper level and the lower level has a deli.  You can purchase sandwiches, drink, beach accessories like floats and sand buckets, icecream and shave ice.  If you need shade this beach has a patch of ironwood trees behind the “kiddie pool” and plumeria trees along the rock wall near the street.  There are also some other trees that provide shade.  Nukumoi Surf Co. is located across the street from this beach.  They have clothing and rent beach equipment and gear like snorkel sets, boogie boards, beach chairs, surfboards, fins, and lifejackets.

My sons enjoyed catching crabs along the boulders most of the time they were here.  We took a walk down to check out the Hawaiian Monk seal and then headed to Brennecks for some Shave Ice.

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Beach Safety

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.  



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