Located on the north shore of Kauai, Anini Beach is a peaceful stretch of sand that our Kauai vacation rental guests never want to leave!
Popular with travelers who are after a low-key vacation, whether you paddle board, snorkel, fish from the shore, or just relaxing on the beach, Anini Beach should be top of your Hawaii bucket list, among other things to do in Kauai.
You can base yourself here in a beachfront vacation rental right across from the water, or simply add it to your itinerary while exploring Kauai and other Anini vacation rentals. Anini is by far the most protected beach on the North Shore, so is a great option on windier days when the other beaches are too dangerous to swim at.
Anini beach often ranks among the best beaches in Kauai, and once you step foot on the white sands yourself, you’ll have to agree. If you’re spending a week – or even just a weekend – in a Kauai beach house, a trip to Anini needs to be on the cards.
Swimming at Anini beach
Of all the beaches on Kauai, Anini has to be one of the best for swimmers. While surfers flock to other beaches, Anini is protected from the elements, resulting in calm water that’s perfect, particularly between June and September.
Swimming at Anini beach is one of the best ways to start your day. The water is clear and clean, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the vibrant marine life that lives in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic turtles swimming above the reef that rings Anini beach, especially just south of the boat ramp.
Once you’re here, though, you’ll never want to leave. That’s why Anini beach house rentals are so popular among return travelers to Kauai: it’s the ideal location for a chilled-out beach holiday.
The beach at Anini is excellent for kids, as the sandy bottom gradually slopes downward, leaving plenty of water shallow enough for kids to splash and swim in. More confident swimmers can head out a little deeper with a snorkel and a mask, but it’s recommended to not head outside the protective reef, as currents can be unpredictable.
Why is Anini Beach so popular?
Let’s get the specs out of the way. Anini Beach is a 2.5-mile-long stretch of white sand, with bright turquoise water and calm currents. In fact, it’s regarded as one of the safest beaches on the whole of Kauai.
There’s a reason the beach is beloved by snorkelers: Anini has the longest and widest fringing reef in all of Hawaii –– quite an impressive feat! Thanks to the land formation and wind patterns, it’s a relatively protected beach, meaning it’s perfect for activities like paddleboarding, windsurfing, fishing, and snorkeling, even for beginners.
While other communities on Kauai are renowned for chic bars and upscale eateries, Anini Beach has something of a more casual vibe. The area is super popular with campers who set up at the beachfront campground. Families love the relaxed area and the wide variety of vacation rentals with stunning ocean views.
Although it’s located on the north shore of Kauai, the beach faces westward enough that it offers stunning sunset views during most months of the year.
Though it’s a very relaxed beach, there are still several amenities: a toilet block, picnic tables with sun/rain shades, parking, showers, and paved beachside paths. The back half of the beach also offers a good amount of shade, which is a godsend on hot summer days.
How to get to Anini Beach Park
Depending where you’re staying in Kauai, directions to Anini beach park is fairly straight forward. Simply travel north from Lihue on Highway 56 (Kuhio highway), turn right on Kalihi Wai road. Then at the fork take a slight left onto Anini road.
The first beach you should see is Anini Beach, and parking is located just outside the beach, on the ocean side of the road.
Can you walk to Anini Beach?
You can…but you will park at the end of Wyllie Rd. in Princeville near the Westin Hotel and walk down the trail to the west end of Anini Beach
What to do in Anini Beach
Of course, the majority of activities and things to do in the area are water-based… which is to be expected at such a lovely beach! Water sports available at Anini beach include:
- Stand-up paddleboarding
- Bodysurfing or bodyboarding
You don’t need to be a pro or own any special equipment to partake, though! Plenty of local operators rent equipment and offer lessons if you want a few pointers on where to start.
Now let’s say you’re more of a land lover. Don’t worry, the long sandy beach is a fun activity in itself! Amuse yourself by watching windsurfers and collecting the beautiful shells that have washed ashore.
However, if you’re the type to get sick of the beach after a day, there are plenty of other things to do in the area while your family relaxes on the sand.
Anini hiking trails
Take on the short dirt trail to Wyllie Beach, which offers incredible views of Anini’s crystal waters. It starts from the parking lot in front of the Westin golf course, then winds along the coast past mango trees. Bring a camera, as you’ll pass a breath-taking waterfall on your way.
Golfing in Anini
The nine-hole Princeville Golf course is within walking distance of Anini Beach if you need a day off the sand and on the greens. Makai Golf Course is another great option nearby. Keen golfers can even organize tours that visit the numerous world-class golf courses across Kauai.
Anini is the best spot for a picnic, thanks to the grassy stretches that edge the beach. Prepare a packed lunch at your vacation rental or pop into town to visit one of our favorite local eateries. Kilauea Market + Cafe’s shelves are stocked with fresh bread, locally made cheese, veggies, snacks, and everything you’ll need to make a perfect picnic basket.
Just across the road, you’ll find Kilauea Fish Market, the perfect place to go if you simply can’t be bothered preparing your own food. They’ve got plenty of fresh fish and vegetarian options you can take back to the beach for lunch.
Be sure to add Anini beach to your itinerary next time you visit Kauai –– it really is the hidden gem of the North Shore. And if you have questions about Anini or needing help to plan your vacation in Kauai to take in all the local (and secret 😉 attractions our island has to offer, do not hesitate to contact us.
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