Sunbathing monk seal at Gillin's Beach — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
To visit three beaches that are off the beaten path on the south side of Kauai island, venture out to the Maha'ulepu Beaches. Poipu is gorgeous and almost always sunny, but it's a resort area with large hotels and sometimes crowded (although beautiful) beaches. To escape this, head down the road to the Maha'ulepu Beaches, which consist of three beaches more secluded beaches.
Gillin's, Kawailoa Bay and Ha'ula Beach offer privacy and a great expanse of white sand. This is a wonderful place to go for a long day at the beach, but you'll want to bring water and food. Note that Kawailoa is a bay and offers the most protection from the wind, which can often get strong out here. There aren't any lifeguards, so always be careful in the ocean.
Looking west at Gillin's Beach — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
You'll notice a dirt parking area by Gillin's Beach, and a noticeable trail through the jungle out to the beach. The trail adds an element of seclusion and fun to the visit, and it's a beautiful experience itself. Once out on the beach, you can walk left around the point to Kawailoa, but it makes more sense to drive. So keep going just a couple minutes past Gillin's, and you'll find parking at Kawailoa in full view of the ocean.
To get here, drive past the Grand Hyatt Kauai until the road turns to dirt. You'll see the CMJ Stables sign and a gate with a sign that states the gates are locked at 6 p.m. Keep following it for a few minutes, and you'll first come to Gillin's, second Kawailoa and the last and most secluded, Ha'ula.