As a vacation planner, it can be hard to please everyone in your party – especially when that party consists of children, teenagers, AND adults. Trust me, my wife and I have a hard time keeping all our junior seals content and entertained…and Kauai is our home! If you are having a difficult time planning a beach day that will keep everyone happy, look no further than Tunnels Beach – it has something for everyone.
Located on the North Shore, Tunnels Beach (a.k.a. Makua Beach) gets its name from the caverns created by water flow that pocket the large reef just beyond the shore. It’s said that Tunnels Beach has the best snorkeling on the island (see this website to plan your trip around the best snorkeling days). There is also great surfing just beyond the outer reef. Protected by this reef, Tunnels Beach provides calm and predictable conditions necessary for young families to enjoy the ocean, which means it is a perfect beach for the “in-between” family that has both older kids who want to experience sea life and underwater caverns and younger children who will be happier playing in the sand and shallow, docile waves. The water is crystal clear, so even the smaller ones can get a glimpse of underwater creatures without leaving the shore. Views from the beach are stunning – this beach was even featured on South Pacific!
Tunnels is connected to the Haena Beach Park (best place for parking). The park provides lifeguards who keep an eye out for strong currents moving through the reef’s “tunnels”. After a day at the beach, take the family on a stroll through the hiking trails further inland to get a better view of the waterfalls close by. Be sure to wave goodbye – I’ll be watching you from the ocean!
**Important note to snorkelers: Remember, snorkelers are encouraged to stay close to the portion of the reef closest to the shore. The outer reef is unpredictable and dangerous. This is not a good beach for beginner surfers OR boogie boarding
Logistics: parking, restrooms, and showers at Haena Beach Park, lifeguard present on beach.
Images via Hawaiigaga.com