Anini Beach in Kauai (Snorkeling, fishing, swimming)

Anini Beach
Anini Beach

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
Anini Beach

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).

Anini Beach snorkeling
Snorkeling at Anini Beach

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)


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