Just a small strip of sand and rock that disappears at high tide, Lawa`i Beach may not be what you envisioned when you pictured a Hawaiian beach. Still, these scenic spot is perfect for spotting lounging green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals, as well as watching expert surfers battle the waves and barrels of the might Pacific Ocean. Located in southern Kaua‘i in Koloa, it is across from the Lawai Beach Resort and the delicious Beach House Restaurant. Read about the things to do and see in Kauai below:
Swimming with the Fishes
When the waves are calm, Lawa`i Beach is one of the best snorkel spots on the entire southern coast. A fringe reef just offshore provides protection from the steady south swell and is home to countless species of tropical reef fish. Shore access is relatively easy, and at low tide there is a small strip of sand to the left side of the beach (it essentially vanishes with the tide, however). To the right the beach becomes a coral shelf, ideal for exploring. The bottom here is relatively sandy, so feel free to wade right in anywhere and start your snorkel adventure. The lagoon inside the reef extends out about 500’ from shore, reaching a depth of 3 to 15 feet depending on your route. You will see the occasional coral head and underwater boulder, a curious green sea turtle or two, and plenty of butterfly fish, tang, damselfish, colorful coris, needlefish, and the ubiquitous parrotfish munching on the few coral heads there are to be found. Conditions here are generally good for all skill levels, though high waves can make entry and snorkeling along the reef dangerous. As with all Kaua‘i beaches, know before you go, and never enter the water if the conditions appear unsafe or make you uncomfortable. This is one of the top things to do in Kauai.
Top Things To Do In Kauai
To get to this charming snorkel spot, take Highway 50 south and turn onto Highway 520 bound for Koloa. Follow Poipu Road and take the second right off the traffic circle onto Lawai Road. The parking lot for the beach is across the road from the water, right next to the Beach House Restaurant. On site there are restrooms, drinking water, showers, and a lovely grassy park that is perfect for watching the sunset, if the beach below has vanished with the tide. Alternatively, grab a refreshing cocktail or bite to eat in the fabulous restaurant, or snack on a sweet and refreshing shave ice treat from the snack shack.