This awesome Kauai beach north of Kapa`a, is famous for being the only beach directly on the highway enroute from the airport to our Kauai vacation rentals at Princeville Resort. Even if you don’t stop, the chances are you will admire its beauty at least twice during your Kauai vacation.
Featured in The Descendants film, Kealia Beach is also prominent on the coastal Kauai Path where bicyclists and walkers enjoy the sweeping ocean views. There is a stretch of pavilions for picnics and Kauai family gatherings and its long stretch of sand is great for beachcombing or seasonal Hawaii whale watching. If you like to surf or boogie board, the ocean conditions here can run from regular to wild depending on the changing sandbar.
The name Kealia is found on all the major Hawaiian islands including Ni`ihau and Kaho`olawe. It translates as “salt enrusted” and was once where Hawaiians collected this mineral for ceremonial or medicinal needs. In modern times, Kauai’s Kealia was the site of a plantation town with a sugar mill and train depot. A jetty on the north end of the beach is all that remains of the former Kealia Landing where inter-island steamer ships stopped for passengers.
This half-mile long white sand Kauai beach is picture perfect and 150 feet wide with room for sunbathing. During calm conditions you can swim here if you stay close to shore. The north end will be more protected because of the jetty. When the surf is up the break is challenging on both the north end and south area in front of the river mouth. On these days it is best to stay out of the water because of the swells and possible rip current. If you are not sure about safety, a lifeguard is available to help with questions.
Kauai Beach Tips at Kealia Beach
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, pavilions updated in 2008, and lifeguard station. There is plenty of parking available.
Perfect for: Walking, picnics, sunbathing, jogging, kite flying, swimming when calm and surfing.
Caution: Beginner surfers should stay near the jetty on the north side where waves are not as strong. Rip currents are powerful and dangerous in high surf and will expose the bedrock below. Observe posted signs and talk to a lifeguard for assistance. Even if you can’t go in the water, this is perfect stop at any time of year.
Kauai Road Directions to Kealia Beach
Bookmark our Kauai Beach Explorer to stay current on Kauai beaches and facilities. Watch our Kauai video with important ocean safety information. It’s six minutes of your time that can save your life or that of a loved one.