Salt Pond Beach Park on Kaua`i's West Side offers the best of Hawaii's beaches in one: white sand, black rocks, tide pools, a fairly protected swimming area, and a large lawn often dotted with tents for the night or a long beach day. It has restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and even a local lunch wagon on a regular basis. The water is ideal for snorkeling and paddling a boogie board around.
Looking south at Salt Pond Beach Park — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Located just outside of Hanapepe on Kaua'i's west coast, Salt Pond is a popular beach with locals and visitors alike so it can often be a bit crowded, but that's not to deter you because the beach is always worth a visit. It can be a great place to spend the day before enjoying a night at Hanapepe Art Night. Although it's not one of the island's most remote beaches, it will give you and the family a wonderful day at the ocean with a calm swimming area and lifeguard, making it great for children and other swimmers who prefer not to fight the surf. It's also easily accessible and convenient if you don't have time to venture into the deep west.
Looking west at Salt Pond — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Salt Pond's allure isn't limited to sand and sun, it's rich cultural relevance is a draw within itself. Its name comes from the nearby salt pond, where locals harvest salt form the evaporating basins scraped out of the earth that have been utilized for generations. The basins are lined with black clay, and after drying they're filled with sea water. When the sea water evaporates, salt is left behind and harvested. So if you see any salt in them, it's spoken for, so don't take any. Salt in Hawaiian is pa`akai, which translates to "firm sea," while the rock salt is a deep red from the red dirt and called alae. To get here turn left off of Highway 50 where you can see a street sign pointing toward the ocean onto Route 543, then go right on Lele Road.