Wake up here — Photo courtesy of Jade EckardtWhat could be better than going to sleep under the stars after having a front row view of the sunset or waking up on the ocean for a secluded morning stroll? Not much! While oceanfront hotels on Kaua`i run upwards of $100, pitching a tent at one of Kaua`i's best beach camp sites can cost you just a few dollars. It also brings you closer to the island's natural beauty than any other accommodations.
There are many places to camp around the islands, but standout spots that won't disappoint are Ha`ena Beach Park on the North Shore at the end of the road past Hanalei and Polihale State Park on the West Side. At Ha`ena you have access to restrooms, cold showers and a covered pavilion for cooking, socializing and a solid roof in case it rains. Ha`ena is hands down one of the most gorgeous beaches on the islands and waking up here gives you access to the most secluded and peaceful time of day. Just a short drive from all the comforts of Hanalei town, camping here isn't far off the beaten path which makes it a little easier.
Sleep to the sound of the ocean — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
At the end of the road on the West Side is Polihale Beach Park. Located at the other end of the Na Pali Coast, which begins not far after Ha`ena, camping at Polihale is farther from modern comforts but offers true peace and seclusion. You'll find the best sunsets on the island here and also the longest early morning secluded beach walks. Make sure to bring enough food, water and gear here because it's about a half hour drive to the nearest store. Polihale offers restrooms, outdoor cold showers and several picnic areas.
For a permit to camp at Ha`ena, contact the Department of Parks & Recreation at 808/241-4463. Permits are $3 for adults and free for those under 18. Permits to camp at Polihale must be obtained from the Hawaii State Parks office at 808/274-3444. They are $12 per night for up to six people.