Wailua Beach, at Wailua River State Park on the island of Kauai, sits at the mouth of the Wailua River in the shadow of the Wailua Bridge. The beach is a nice place for a walk and for beachcombing. There is also some surfing at this beach. Tourists usually drive right on past this beach and many locals instead gather at nearby Lydgate Beach Park.
On the north side of the river, there is some roadside parking just before the intersection with 580 when headed northbound. The far northern part of the beach, across from Coco Palms and under the Wailua Bay View condos, is actually called Horners Beach, and there is also a parking area here.
There is a nice picnic spot overlooking the beach on the south side of the river which is accessible by driving all the way to the back of the Lydgate Beach Park parking area and then taking a short walk.
The beach is popular with local surfers, body boarders and kite boarders. Inexperienced surfers and swimmers should stay out of the water at Wailua Beach. The water is murky and strong rip currents are present at the mouth. Powerful waves break on the beach and sandbars. But for experienced surfers, there are some nice waves to be found here.
In ancient times, the ruling chiefs lived in the Wailua Beach area. They favored this shoreline for its surf sites, safe canoe landings and abundant marine resources, according to an information plaque near the beach (photo below). At the mouth of the Wailua River is one of Hawaii’s most famous petroglyph sites.