Kauai’s Anini Beach (Popular For a Reason)
Anini Beach is one of Kauai’s super popular north shore beaches. Its popularity is due to it having sand that stretches for over 2 miles and a lot of the shore is protected by a reef. Not only does this reef create a prime snorkeling spot, but it creates a perfect spot for other water sports like kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding, or windsurfing.
Don’t let the fact that it is super popular deter you from stopping by. Kauai’s Anini Beach is a lot bigger than most of the other Kauai beaches which will likely give you plenty of space to spread out and enjoy.
Where is Anini Beach located on Kauai?
Anini Beach is located on the north shore of Kauai right next to the Princeville/Hanalei resort areas.
Even though it is located in the vicinity of the famous Hanalei Beach, it isn’t quite as crowded since it isn’t immediately next to as many hotels/resorts.
Anini Beach Map
Remember that Kauai doesn’t really have roads that cut across the island, so you have to circle around along the coastline to get there. If you are driving from the airport it will likely take you about 45 minutes to get here, and about an hour if you are coming from the Poipu resort area.
It’s a bit of an oversimplification, but the Anini Beach map would show you on the top right corner of Kauai.
Anini Beach Parking
Another perk of Anini Beach is that there are a few different parking lots and access points. This means that it should be easier to find your own spot and space. Don’t think you are limited to the one lot where your GPS takes you.
In fact, the main access point tends to have the thinnest stretch of sand, which makes some of the others better to park at if you don’t mind not being right next to the facilities.
What to Expect at Anini Beach Kauai
Evidently Anini means dwarfish or stunted. I have no idea how it got its name because there is nothing dwarfish or stunted about this large fabulous beach. The only thing I could think of that is being stunted is the waves that the reef causes to break further from the shore.
Anini Beach Facilities
While there are no lifeguards, this beach has all the other amenities you would want. There are restrooms, showers, and even pavilions and picnic tables.
Showers, bathrooms, pavilions at Anini Beach
Anini Beach Snorkeling (Is it any good?)
The wide reef causing the waves to break further out create an awesome spot for snorkeling. Anini beach snorkeling is very beginner friendly and full of aquatic life. It is very beginner friendly.
That being said, the Anini beach snorkeling conditions do vary and at times the waves may be crashing in a lot closer to the shore where you want want to swim and snorkel (generally more in the winter).
Other Extreme Sports
You will see many extreme athletes windsurfing, kitesurfing, or stand up paddle boarding in the area. If you are up for a try this is a good spot for those sports, but if you are like me you will even enjoy just watching them.
Anini Beach Campground
Another huge perk of this beach is that it has a few campsites available. When Camping Anini Beach is an awesome location as well as cost effective.
Pros and Cons of visiting Anini Beach Kauai
- Phenomenal beginner friendly snorkeling
- Over two miles of sand
- Facilities/easier to park than other beaches
- Convenient to resort area
- Great for windsurfing, kitesurfing, or even watching these extreme athletes
- Anini Beach Camping available
- Waves break far out – not where you would want to surf
- No lifeguard
- Cell phone service is spotty
- Depending on tides at certain spots the sand can be thin
Other things to do in the area
There are a number of other attractions in the area.
- The Queen’s Bath is just up the road along with the Princeville and Hanalei resort areas.
- Hanalei is an especially great area to find a good restaurant or do some shopping.
- Hideaway’s beach (Another popular beach on the North Shore of Kauai)
WHAT TO PACK FOR KAUAI
- Dresses – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
- Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
- Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
- Sports bra – This SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
- Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
- Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
- Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOS, Nordstrom and Revolve as well.
- Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out! Warning – they both sell out really quick.
- Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking this trail but I would recommend tennis shoes. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These Nike high tops are my current favs. They look so cute with shorts too!
- Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!
- Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
- Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.
Planning a trip to Kauai? Read everything we know about Kauai here:
My husband and I have been to Kauai many, many times and have written up more guides to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Kauai travel guides to help you plan your trip.
Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai
- TUNNELS BEACH IN KAUAI (amazing snorkeling, swimming, seals) – one of my personal favorite beaches own the entire island!
- KE’E BEACH ON KAUAI – great snorkeling, swimming, but you have to make reservation in advance – it was a nightmare.
- Hideaway’s Beach – Amazing snorkeling on the North Shore.
- Anini Beach – (Snorkeling, fishing, swimming) Great for basically everything.
- Kalapaki Beach in Kauai – Kids beach. Perfect beach for families, beginner snorkeling and swimming!
Best Cliff Jumping in Kauai
- SHIPWRECK BEACH ON KAUAI – Amazing cliff jumping beach
- QUEEN’S BATH KAUAI: COMPLETE GUIDE – Another must visit!
More awesome beaches
- MOLOA’A BEACH ON KAUAI – Insanely underrated. Giligans Island was filmed here. This beach was another one of my favorites. Practically empty.
- Lumaha’i Beach Kauai – What you need to know before going
- Secret Beach Kauai! (aka Kauapea beach) – MUST see beach!
- Haena Beach – We saw a Monk Seal on this beach!
- Gillin’s Beach – Fairly secluded beach where you can ride horses!
- Donkey Beach – Underrated – practically deserted beach
- Hanalei Beach – Gorgeous beach, perfect for sunsets.
- Salt Pond Beach Park – Amazing beach for kids and families (You can camp here as well)
- Black Pot Beach
Kauai Hiking Guides
- WAILUA FALLS HIKE ON KAUAI – AMAZING WATERFALL HIKE! Probably my favorite hike I have ever done.
- KALEPA RIDGE TRAIL – BEST HIKE IN HAWAII…SERIOUSLY. Trust me, don’t leave this one off your list! It’s GORGEOUS!
- MAKALEHA TRAIL – Amazing trail that is extremely muddy. 100% worth it!
- CANYON TRAIL TO WAIPO’O FALLS
- Pihea Trail – Easy hike on Kauai with Na’pali Coast Views!
- Makauwahi Cave Trail – Kauai Hidden gem
Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.
Read all other posts on Kauai here.