Lumaha'i Beach on the north shore of Kauai, just around the western edge of Hanalei Bay, is the epitome of the picture perfect beach with a crescent of golden sand ringed with greenery. There are two beaches here with two distinctly different personalities:
Lumaha'i Beach at the far western end is a local hang out spot where Lumaha'i Stream enters the ocean;
Kahalahala Beach on eastern edge of the beach is commonly called "Tourist Lumaha'i" for it's popularity with visitors and/or "Nurses Beach" because of its prominance in the filming of the famous "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair" scene in South Pacific.
To reach Luamha'i take Highway 560 west from Hanalei toward Ha'ena. A nice trail runs from the top of the lookout right before mile marker 5 at the eastern edge down to the beach OR drive further north and park at Lumaha'i Stream.
The trail is a short and pleasant walk with beautiful tropical foliage. While there is shade at the edge of the beach where it meets the forest, the mosquitos can be vicious here so it is best to bring a shade umbrella if you are going to "tourist Lumaha'i" and want shade. If you are here on a sunny day, you may notice that the sand at "tourist Lumaha'i" is extremely hot to walk on; that is because there is a large amount of green volcanic glass (olivine) in the sand.