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A perennial “best beach” winner, the long swath of Poipu is actually two beaches in one, divided by a tombolo, or sandbar point. On the left, a lava-rock jetty protects a sandy-bottom pool that’s perfect for children most of the year; on the right, the open bay attracts swimmers, snorkelers, and surfers. (If the waves are up, check with the lifeguards for the safest place to swim.) The sandy area is not especially large, but the 5 1/2-acre Poipu Beach Park offers a spacious lawn for kids to run around in, plus picnic shelters, play structures, restrooms, and showers. There are plenty of palm trees, but not much shade; bring a beach umbrella. Given the lodgings nearby, Poipu understandably stays busy year-round, and on New Year’s Eve, it becomes Kauai’s version of Times Square with fireworks. Note: A third strand, to the west in front of Kiahuna Plantation Resort, is known as Kiahuna Beach. A short walk east is Brennecke’s Beach, a sandy cove beloved by bodysurfers and boogie-boarders; be forewarned that waves can be large, especially in summer, and the rocky sides are always hazardous. Injuries do occur at Brennecke’s, which has no lifeguard.