For a different look in Kauai, try the black sand Waimea Beach, located at historic Waimea Town. Though the sand is actually dark gray or brown in our opinion, it mixes with the red waters of the Waimea River and the amazing sunsets of west Kauai to create a unique landscape of yellows, reds, browns, grays, greens and blues. The Waimea Pier and the “Forbidden Island” of Niihau, looming on the horizon, add to the drama. And plantation-style cottages and older structures along the beach give the beach a vintage charm.
With less tourist lodging on this side of the island, Waimea Beach is more of a locals beach, where you will find the locals swimming, fishing and just hanging out. For locals and tourists alike, the beach is a nice place for beachcombing and a sunset stroll.
The beach is conveniently located just a couple of blocks from the main street through Waimea town (Highway 50). Nearby and overlooking the beach is the historic Russian Fort Elizabeth.
Lucy Wright Campground sits at the mouth of the Waimea River at Waimea Beach. Camping is permitted, with a permit.
Waimea Town for the tourist is often just a way station on the road to and from Waimea Canyon. But the town, and the beach, deserve a closer look and be sure to give them one if you have the time. And if Waimea is just a stopover, it can be the end of a perfect day. After visiting Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon, stop in Waimea for a bite to eat at Island Taco, Wrangler’s Steakhouse or Shrimp Station, then head over to the Waimea Pier for an almost guaranteed vintage Kauai sunset in all its glory.
Waimea Beach Photos
Lucy Wright Beach Park.
At the mouth of the Waimea River.
The Waimea Pier
View from the Waimea Pier. On the day of this photo, heavy runoff from the Waimea River turned the ocean a dull red.
This part of Kauai has a rustic character.
Sunset at Waimea Beach!