Youll catch your first glimpse of Kalihiwai Bay as you drive down the narrow road carved into the side of the sheer cliff which encloses it on one side. From this angle, the bay is a perfect semi-circle of blue, rimmed with shining white sand and nestled between two lava cliffs.
A clear, freshwater stream flows into the bay near the far end, so shallow and gentle at low tide that small children can splash around safely. Explore upriver by kayak to waterfalls.
Kalihiwai Bay offers wonderful summertime fun for people of all ages. Little ones will love the shallow pools behind the beach where they can fish or float on rafts, while older kids will enjoy the rope swing. Ocean swimming is terrific too! The waves rise very slowly and break in long, even crests over a sloping sandy bottom, perfect for wave jumping and boogie boarding.
One summer day we watched a dozen children celebrate a birthday with a surfing party. In winter, the surf and currents in the bay can become formidable. Even experienced surfers may have difficulty managing the currents which can be particularly strong when a swell is running. Even if the surf is too rough, Kalihiwai is a lovely beach for walking or running, with firm sand and magnificent views of the cliffs.
For more beach reviews, consult your Kauai Underground Guide.