Visit Kealia Beach Park
On the east side of Kauai? Are stuck in the infamous traffic that tends to back up in the Wailua and Kapaa areas of Kauai?
If you end up in one of these situations you may see a gorgeous beach calling your name.
While Kealia beach is beautiful, it is worth knowing that the waves and rip currents get quite intense here so it might not be the best place to swim.
The strong waves attract a lot of local surfers so it’s probably best suited to soaking up some sun and watching the extreme athletes.
- Other Names: Kealia Beach Park
- Known For: A distraction from area traffic, local surfers,
- Facilities: Restrooms and Showers
- Lifeguards: Yes
- Parking: Almost always space in a large lot
- Crowds: Mainly locals
- Cost: Free
- Other: beware of strong rip currents
You can’t miss Kealia Beach as you drive down the east side of the island. Its wide sand is clearly visible from the road.
Without traffic it is only about a 20 minute drive from the airport, but this area is prone to back up.
What to Expect Once There
You are very likely to see strong waves crashing into the shores of the beautiful beach. The waves are known for being extremely consistent. This generally means that the beach isn’t a good choice for swimming as the waves could potentially pummel you into the rocks that are at either end or the strong currents could pull you away.
Surfers and Boogie Boarders
Not surprisingly, the waves attract a bunch of strong surfers and body boarders. I enjoyed watching them display their talents from the shores.
There is a large parking lot where you shouldn’t have any problem finding a parking space. Even if the lot does somehow fill up, there are other places you can park in the dirt lot just outside of the parking lot.
Restrooms, Lifeguards, and Showers
Thankfully this beach includes restrooms, lifeguards, and showers. The lifeguards are especially nice when they are manning the tower since the waters can get so rough.
A Protected Cove For Safe Swimming
When the waves aren’t too rough there is a cove for protected swimming. That being said, I’ve been there when the waves were crashing over the rocks of the protected cove so you might not want to take the risk considering a rogue wave come could crashing over at any point.
Final Thoughts Kealia Beach
I learned that in Hawaiian Kealia means bed of salt. While I am sure it is not its intended meaning, I enjoyed dozing off on the salt bed shores while watching surfers and soaking up sun.
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.