Which of our Kauai beaches had its own mayor, Hawaii’s only natural salt beds and an airstrip nearby that was important to aviation history? It’s also a perfect place to swim with its curved protected reef. If you’re thinking Salt Pond Beach, you’ve arrived at one of the most popular swimming beaches of Kauai.
For many years Uncle Louie greeted visitors here. Affectionately nicknamed the “Mayor of Salt Pond” by a former island mayor, Uncle Louie was often heard sharing his love of Kauai history and culture with visitors lucky enough to meet him. Uncle Louie passed away in 2015 at age 97. Before his death, the Kauai County Council honored Uncle Louie by naming the Salt Pond Beach pavilion in his name.
When it comes to things to do on Kauai, you’ll want to keep Salt Pond on your must see list. In addition to a gorgeous life-guarded beach with abundant sand, it’s a great place for the whole family to relax. The water is normally calm and perfect for swimming laps. Stay long enough and the Kauai sunset will be spectacular. You may spot a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach too.
It’s normally not crowded here so there’s room for all to enjoy. If you want more privacy walk towards the end of the beach near the old Port Allen airport. This is where air service to Kauai began in 1929 with twice weekly flights by Inter-Island Airways. Today you may see an Ultralight aircraft leaving from here. Our concierge team can help you plan this Kauai activity which is truly an adventure.
As you investigate Salt Pond Beach notice the historic salt beds behind the lifeguard station. During a good season from May through September, you’ll see families carrying on the tradition past down for generations. Our own Cynthia in reservations has written previously about the Hawaii salt beds. It’s a unique Hawaii culture tradition and the only one like it in our state.
On Friday evenings I suggest that you combine a trip to Salt Pond with the popular Hanapepe Art Night. Another idea is to stop by here after hiking Waimea Canyon to cool off in the ocean. Whenever you come, you’ll be rewarded by breathtaking scenery and a truly one of a kind cultural experience.
Location: You’ll find Salt Pond between our Poipu vacation rentals and Westside Kekaha rentals. Look for the sign on the highway as you drive past Hanapepe.
Facilities: Lifeguard during the day, picnic tables, grassy lawn, restrooms and covered shelters.
If you’ve been to Salt Pond what do you remember most about your visit?
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.
Alex Strack says
I miss Salt Pond every day! I lived in ‘Ele’ele for a year when I did AmeriCorps with Kauai Habitat for Humanity about six years ago. Salt Pond was the closest, nicest beach from my house, and due to its proximity to Kauai Habitat’s office (about a mile), I’d hop on my bike so I could swim laps and lay on the sand there during my lunch hour. Kauai Habitat has volunteer groups that come from the mainland to help build homes, and after they’d spent a week building, our staff would throw them a big mahalo party at one of the pavilions to thank them for their work, with food from Da Imu Hut, a hula lesson, and a Hawaiian sunset. It was nice! It’s a place I’ll never forget. I just spent a lot of lunch hours and days after work there. I love how mellow it is, and how the land around is undeveloped.
I live in Sacramento, California now, and haven’t been back to Kauai since I left in 2011. Yet, after all that time, every day when it’s 5:00 PM here, what I automatically feel like doing is what I did on Kauai after work: get in my truck and head to Brennecke Beach or the quietness of Kekaha to drift on the waves until sunset. (The latter location, of course, would usually require a stop at Ishihara Market for poke…) That, or bike all over ‘Ele’ele and Hanapepe from my house until I wind up at Salt Pond and take in the view and smells of the tinfoil trays that locals make in abundance as crabs run haphazardly around my feet.
I dream about living on Kauai again someday, when I’m older…. Thanks for helping bring back memories of a place I’ll have to come back home to in the future!