Anini is the safest beach on Kauai for swimming and windsurfing, thanks to one of the longest, widest fringing reefs on the island, among the very largest in all of Hawaii. With shallow water 4 to 5 feet deep, it’s also a good snorkel spot for beginners (although the coral and varieties of fish are sparse closer to shore). In summer months, divers are attracted to the 60-foot dropoff near the channel in the northwest corner of the nearly 3-mile-long reef. In winter, this channel creates a very dangerous rip current, although the near-shore waters generally stay calm; it can be fun to watch breakers pounding the distant reef from the bath-like lagoon. The well-shaded, sinuous beach is very narrow in places, so just keep walking if you’d like more privacy. The 13-acre Anini Beach Park on the southwestern end has restrooms, picnic facilities, a boat-launch ramp, campsites, and often a food truck or two.
Anini Rd., Kauai, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood From Lihue, follow Kuhio Hwy. past Kilauea to the 2nd Kalihiwai Rd. exit on right (the 1st Kalihiwai Rd. dead-ends at Kalihiwai Beach). Head downhill 1/2-mile to a left on Anini Rd.