North Shore Kauai Beaches
Beach Camping, Surfing, & Swimming
This beautiful, golden sand beach along is popular for many reasons: Stunning views, plenty of water activities, camping, surfing, or simply lounging and relaxing are a great way to spend some time here- along Kauai's famed North Shore.
Note we said it's a great place for water activities... and it is. However, it can have extremely dangerous swimming conditions, especially in the winter, so be aware of local conditions and your own abilities before hitting the water. In addition to the strong currents and rip tides, Haena Beach Park can have an extremely nasty shore break. The surfing can be first class in the winter, but it's only for advanced surfers as the waves are very steep and fast, so most surfers here are Haena locals.
Off to the left is Cannon's reef, another well-known surfing spot made infamous by a shark attack in which Bethany Hamilton lost an arm. She has since returned to surfing and is an inspiration to many in the local North Shore community and throughout the world.
Most people park a little further up the road to access Cannons Beach; however, many people park at Haena Beach park and walk back to Tunnels Beach because parking is so scarce at Tunnels. In the summertime, NaPali Coast kayak tours sometimes leave from Haena Beach Park. If you are up for an incredible and rigorous adventure, we highly recommend booking a day with a local kayaking company for the 17-mile paddle along what many believe to be the world's most beautiful coastline- the NaPali Coast.
Directly across the street from the parking lot is the Maniniholo Dry Cave.
When viewed from the water, the beautifully-shaped bay at Haena Beach Park is a hole in between the two reefs at Tunnels Beach and Cannons Beach. Locals call this place pukas, meaning hole or puka shell. Haena is very popular with locals and visitors alike, thanks to the great beach and camping opportunities. The campground is quiet during the week but can be quite lively at night on the weekends with locals enjoying a typical Kauai-style beach campground party.
There is a lifeguard tower, but there is sometimes no lifeguard on duty; so swim at your own risk and always use extreme caution. As a general rule for beach safety in Hawaii, if there are other people on the beach and nobody else is in the water swimming, there is a probably a good reason for it. Remember: If in doubt, don't go out!
This area served as a scenic backdrop in the movie South Pacific, making famous the 1,280ft cliff/ridge now known as Bali Hai or Makana Ridge, meaning "gift," in Hawaiian.
Haena Beach Park is located on Highway 560 west near mile marker 9. Parking is makai (towards the ocean). A great shave ice and smoothie vendor usually sets up in the parking lot as well as someone selling coconuts. Restrooms, showers, and picnic tables are available here.