Anini Beach - our favorite picnic and sunbathing beach on Kauai

Sydney on Anini Beach
Sydney and some "treasure"

Anini Beach makes the list because Sydney loves all the assorted sticks/stones/nuts/I don’t know what they are/shells/things that you can find around the tree lined camping area that leads to the beach.

She could fill a Hefty bag with all the "treasures" that she finds in and around this beach!

Click here to see a cool satellite map of Anini Beach

Anini Beach

This spread out beach stretches all the way west from Kahiliwai Bay to Princeville, and is protected by the longest reef in Hawaii that is WAY out in the water.

This makes for lots of very sandy beach areas, which is great for sunbathing and playing around in the water.

I call Anini the "Sybil" beach, because it has a split-personality...farthest west by the parking area at the end of the road, the sandy bottom beach is mostly void of the rocks/reefs that attract fish and the swell is fairly gentle...

Anini Beach shallow
Sydney feels so TALL!

...another great thing about this area for the kids is that it has a real gradual drop-off, and you can walk out like 30 yards and still only be in about 4-5 feet of water.

I think Sydney likes it because it makes her feel taller!

So while the swimming and playing around is great, don’t expect to see much more than the occasional fish or two flitting by unless you venture waaayy out...

Anini Beach west view
Anini Beach's west end

...there is also a shallow river/inlet thing that WE USED TO swim/wade around in... winds it’s way through the trees, and reminded Sydney of Buena Vista Lake at Disneyworld in Orlando...minus the ferry boat, the resorts, the crowds and over-priced toys!!

The split personality thing happens when you go all the way to the eastern side of this really long beach next to Kalihiwai Bay, where the waves crash against the reef, the snorkeling is AWESOME, and the water drops away to like 100 feet.

Oh yeah- here’s a helpful tip about driving there...the roads aren't always clearly marked. AND, you have to turn right off the 56 Kuhio Highway onto Kalihiwai Road which USED to make a loop, but now is divided by an inlet of water.

So there are two Kalihiwai Road entrances off the 56, and they don’t connect AT ALL...If you turn on the FIRST one, it takes you past the entrance to Secret Beach Road and then dead ends by a water inlet.

Daddy personally drove the entire length of the FIRST Kalihiwai Road (and a couple of the roads close by) looking for Anini Beach Road the first time we came here, so he knows what he's talking about!

You have to turn right on the SECOND Kalihiwai Road entrance,which is PAST Kalihiwai Bay. Then you make a left on to Anini Beach Road which makes a sharp curve around Kalihiwai Bay and then follows the beach all the way west.

Once you're on Anini Beach road, you'll pass these really big houses on the bluff above the beach, and then you'll come to the first big turn off which is by one of the camping areas.

The camping areas are really nice (I think you need a permit from Kauai County), and always looks full, but the beach doesn't ever feel crowded. It's such a long beach, you can always find some solitude if you want to!

We usually keep going until the end of the road, which stops at a tree-lined parking area and there is a nice grassy slope along the edge by the beach. You can park in the shade of the trees, and if you've packed the essentials you can enjoy a full day of relaxing sunbathing and beach play at this really nice sandy beach.

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