At this point in time, you rarely reach the end of the road anywhere. One path leads to another which leads to another, so on and so forth. For me, as a Monk Seal, my road (aka the ocean current) never ends! Still, what would happen if you really did reach the end of the road? What would you find? I have the answer: Ke’e Beach.
Located at the end of the North Shore, Ke’e Beach is the last beach before you reach the Na Pali coast – the only part of Kauai coastline that remains traversable only by foot. Sounds pretty picturesque doesn’t it? The location of Ke’e allows for unique views of the Na Pali coastline and the lagoon packed with fish allows excellent snorkeling, sea fishing, and off-the-reef scuba diving. Even hikers love to visit the beach as it leads directly to the famed Kalalau Trail. You can see why Ke’e is one of Kauai’s most frequented beaches.
Still, a day at Ke’e Beach can either be completely enjoyable or a real stress depending on how you plan it. I’ve been around the block…ahem island…a time or two and, consequently, have a few suggestions to make your visit to Ke’e Beach one you’ll want to repeat.
#1 Plan your excursion during summer months
If you plan your visit to Ke’e Beach during the summer, you will be avoiding the strong currents and dangerous snorkeling conditions. Though the beach is protected by a reef, the strong current has created a hazard for snorkelers and swimmers alike. Remember, waves and currents are incredibly powerful – leave the dangerous waters to me and my other seal friends. During the summer, the current is kinder and more manageable. However, you will want to pay close attention to warning signs.
#2 Plan your excursion for the early morning
Through experience, I’ve found Ke’e Beach to be most pleasant and least crowded during the morning hours (8:00 or 9:00 AM). You may even find that you are the only one on the beach for the first while. Otherwise, the popularity of Ke’e can become a drag, especially for large families wanting to find a good spot of beach. Also, your view of the Na Pali Coast (just to the west) will be stunning against the morning sun. Remember to bring your camera!
#3 Watch the water and heed warning signs
Any review on Ke’e Beach will tell you that the surf and current of this area can prove dangerous to even experienced swimmers. A rule of thumb is to watch the water for at least 10 minutes before entering in order to correctly gauge the present conditions. Even on a sunny summer day, things could turn ugly quick. Warning signs are posted around the beach, but always ask a lifeguard for the best place to swim.
When visiting Kauai, Ke’e Beach should not be missed, but don’t take my word for it. Other advice can be seen on this forum via Kauaiexplorer.com. See what previous visitors have to say!
For a brief history of the beach, click here.
Amenities: bathrooms, lifeguard, picnic facilities,