Kalapaki Beach (see more photos), located in Lihue at the entrance of Nawiliwili Harbor, is one of Kauai's most popular beaches. It offers great swimming conditions as the ocean bottom is sandy and gently sloping. When the conditions are right, Kalapaki is also a good spot for beginning bodyboarders and surfers. The waves here are mostly gentle and roll across a shallow sandbar. When the surf is up (which occurs most often in winter), strong rip currents can form.
The beach is backed by shops and restaurants as well as the Kauai Marriott Resort and a paved walkway with a grassy strip that is a beautiful contrast against the golden sand. Located east of Kalapaki Beach is an area with 40 acres of freshwater lagoons (known as Kauai Lagoon) and the Kauai Lagoon Golf Club. The Kauai Lagoon area is a wildlife sanctuary.
Kalapaki Beach Overview
Quarter mile long sandy beach in Lihue
Ocean bottom is sandy and drops off gently
Good beach for beginner-level bodyboarding
Canoes and catamarans launch from the beach
Surf lessons take place here
Backed by shops and restaurants
Small park behind Anchor Cove Shopping Center
Two streams (Nawiliwili Stream and Hule'ia Stream) flow into the ocean near the beach, so the water is not that clear here