A short drive from Princeville Resort and our North Shore Kauai vacation rentals is the beautiful horseshoe shaped Moloa`a Beach. Hawaiian named for the “Matted Roots” that once grew thick close by, this peaceful Kauai beach has plenty of Kauai activities to enjoy.
Roadside Attraction: On the way here be sure to stop at Moloa`a Sunrise Juice Bar for smoothies. This popular cafe between mile posts 16 and 17 is your indication of where to turn on to Koolau Road.
From the juice bar it’s a short drive down a luscious thoroughfare cutting over domed hills and a series of switchbacks. The jungle canopy is thick and then opens into a series of glens and pastures. Look for the cutoff to Moloa`a Road and follow to the end. Parking is limited so arrive early in the day or late afternoon.
Hollywood Trivia at Moloa`a Beach.
Fans of the TV show Gilligan’s Island may recognize Moloa`a Beach. The pilot and first episode were both filmed here over four days in November 1963. The producers could not find a suitable boat on Kauai for the S.S. Minnow. They eventually found one with a broken engine in a Honolulu shipyard. It was lifted on to a barge and ended up at Moloa`a Beach for the filming.
Kauai Snorkeling and Swimming.
Snorkeling is good in the bay but do not swim out beyond its points. Best swimming is on the southwest side of the beach. There’s plenty of sand to park your towel and enjoy a secluded picnic. Moloa`a Beach is also perfect for Kauai sunsets with its light show of changing colors. The bay’s horseshoe shape helps to stop the swells in most directions. We suggest caution with currents sweeping out from the center.
Kauai Beach Tips.
Swimming at all north shore Kauai beaches is advised only during calm weather. Never swim out past the two points of Moloa`a Bay. There is no lifeguard on duty. Moloa`a Beach has the least amount of rain of any north shore Kauai beach. It is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, picnics, sunsets and being away from the crowds. In the past there was a well known Kauai hike between Moloa`a Bay and Larsen’s Beach. The trail is no longer advisable due to its steep and slippery slope.
Directions to Moloa`a Beach.
Located between Anahola Beach and Larsen’s Beach, you can exit from Highway 56 at Moloa`a Sunrise Juice Bar. Follow Koolau Road to Moloa`a Road and then park near the end.
If you have been to Moloa`a Beach or have Kauai beach tips, we invite you to share them below.
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.