Waikoko Beach: One of Kauai’s Best Hidden Gems

Waikoko Beach
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Waikoko Beach: One of Kauai’s Best Hidden Gems

There’s something magical about Kauai’s Waikoko Beach. Tucked right below the main road, this small cove takes you away from the crowds of busy Hanalei pier and into a world of peace and quiet.

What to Do at This Secluded Hawaii Beach

It’s SO incredibly quiet here that I wouldn’t be surprised if people came to Waikoko Beach just to nap in the shade. Coconut trees and other foliage line the shallow-water lagoon and create the perfect pop-up tent for beach-goers looking for seclusion. In fact, certain parts of the landscape create pockets of space for people to hang out – almost as if you have your own private rock-wall beach room.

But it’s the calm lagoon that really makes Waikoko Beach so magical. It’s like a huge saltwater swimming pool, where swimmers wade in the chilly waters or float around on inner tubes. A barrier of rocks protects this lagoon from the big surf outside. So this is the perfect place for children (and pets).

On good days, this is a nice place to surf: uncrowded with nice waves. 

Of course, be mindful as you enter the waters at Waikoko Beach. There are no lifeguards here, and the North Shore waters can get rough quickly, even in the protected lagoon. If there’s any doubt, stick to the shore and enjoy this secluded beach from the sand. 

Where to Find Waikoko Beach

Waikoko Beach is on the island of Kauai, at the west end of Hanalei Bay. There are just a few places to park for it along the road, and there aren’t any signs marking the path. 

As you drive west on Kuhio Highway, look for it about a mile and a half past Hanalei Beach. There is shoulder parking by the road. And once you look over the rail, you’ll see the pathway down to the beach. 

Street View of Waikoko Beach Parking
Street View of Waikoko Beach Parking

If you pass a driveway on your right followed by a sharp U curve in the road, you’ve gone too far and have reached Kahalahala Beach. 

The pathway down to the beach is rugged and steep, so this isn’t the best place to bring along a bunch of belongings. Just carry along the essentials (and don’t leave any valuables in your car). 

Our Day Surfing Waikoko Beach

Our friends and I spent New Year’s Day at this beach, and we were blessed with perfect Kona-wind weather and lots of sunshine. 

We set up at the far end of the beach before paddling out to the outside surf break. Perfectly-peeling lefts and rights rolled right through, and the best part was that there were less than 10 people out! Definitely a great way to kick off our new year – with friends, surf, and sunshine.

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