This Stunning Beach Is A Great Hawaiian Destination For Water Adventures

Hawaii is known for its tropical climate, aloha spirit, and, of course — its beautiful beaches. And while it's relaxing to lay in the sand and soak up the gorgeous ocean views, sometimes it's much more fun to dive right into the big, blue ocean. With so many sandy shores to choose from for the perfect active vacation, one Hawaiian beach in Kauai is a prime destination for water adventures like snorkeling, surfing, and bodyboarding.

Poipu Beach, located on the south shore of the Garden Isle, is divided into two sections and includes a tombola, a skinny sandbar connecting the beach to a small island. It's fun to swim to and is also a popular place to spot Hawaiian monk seals. The left side of the beach has a protected shallow cove, safe for families with little ones seeking water adventures in Hawaii. Visitors to Poipu Beach can ride the waves or hop in the water to get up close and personal with wildlife of every color under the rainbow, including Poipu's resident green sea turtles who like swim onto the warm sand to say hello.

Snorkeling, surfing, and bodyboarding in Poipu

Snorkeling is one of the best activities in Hawaii, and the best place to snorkel at Poipu Beach is on either side of the tombola. The shoreline is quite rocky, so if you're not wearing reef shoes, the safest place to enter the water is on a sandy section near the tombola in front of the lifeguard station. Snorkelers can expect to see live coral, Poipu's famous sea turtles, and over a dozen colorful fish species, including Parrot fish, Butterfly fish, and Triggerfish.

Surfing at Poipu Beach is ideal for everyone from beginner to expert. The best place to rent a surfboard (or any other water adventure gear) is Nukumoi Surf Co. Located just across the street from Poipu Beach, they offer soft boards (better for beginners, $10 per hour), hard boards ($12 per hour), and premium performance boards ($20 per hour). Stand-up paddle boards are also available for rent ($20 per hour). And if you need an introduction or refresher course in surfing, Nukumoi Surf Co. also offers lessons. In addition to Poipu Beach, Shipwreck Beach in Poipu offers wild waves and is a popular place to surf.

For the best bodyboarding, try Brennecke's Beach. Located immediately left of Poipu Beach Park, the sandy crescent-shaped cove has big waves, perfect for riding the waves. In winter, though, the waves die down, and many reefs surrounding Brennecke's Beach make it an idyllic snorkeling spot.

There are great restaurants nearby

To start the morning off right, head to Little Fish Coffee for coffee and a light bite, like an acai bowl with local fruit and vegetables. Enjoy breakfast at Poipu Beach before jumping into the water for a day of adventure. After working up an appetite, which will inevitably happen, Poipu visitors have ample dining options. Brennecke's Beach Broiler is open for lunch and dinner and is located across the street from Poipu Beach Park. It's a convenient place to grab a burger, fresh fish, or a salad. Brennecke's Beachside Deli is a better option for those looking to grab and go. The deli sandwiches are delicious, and their shaved ice is just the ticket on a hot day. Yet another option, Kalapaki Joe's, offers an extensive menu and happy hour daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The chicken wings are delicious and a fantastic snack to eat beachside while watching the sunset at Poipu Beach.

For those looking for something a little more formal after a day playing in the water, try Red Salt. Executive Chef Noelani Planas is a Kauai native who has experience working with famous chefs Wolfgang Puck and Joël Robuchon. She offers tropical dishes featuring Hawaiian seafood and local produce. The restaurant's location at the Koʻa Kea Resort on Poipu Beach offers oceanfront views of the water you've just spent the day exploring.