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There is nothing quite like a sunset in Kauai! In this list, I have rounded up the 6 best spots to admire a beautiful sunset in Kauai.
If you’re not familiar with the island, Kauai is an incredibly gorgeous Hawaiian island with a very diverse landscape. From gorgeous beaches to lush forests and roaring waterfalls in Kauai, the island’s beauty never ceases to amaze! We visited at the end of May so this list will be more relevant for Spring and Summer, though I am sure there are some other incredible spots in the Winter.
You can enjoy a sunset in Kauai from pretty much anywhere on the island: you can mix yourself a delicious Hawaiian cocktail, sit outside on your lanai and watch the sky light up in coral and orange tones. But if you’re feeling adventurous, head to one of these amazing spots to watch a Kauai sunset.
Here is our list of the most beautiful spots to watch sunset in Kauai.
8. Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon, also called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, is a very special spot to watch the sunset on Kauai. As you drive through Waimea Canyon, there are many stops with the most epic viewpoints. While the sun doesn’t actually set over the canyon, the sunset colors bouncing off on the mountains make for some great golden hour photography.
7. Kekaha Beach
West of Kauai
Kekaha Beach is also known as MacArthur Park. It is probably one of the most deserted stretch of sand on the island and a gorgeous spot to watch a Kauai sunset. This beach is wild and untouched, with golden sand and miles of coastline. Keep in mind that the currents are very strong on Kekaha Beach so it is not suitable for swimming.
6. Royal Coconut Coast
East of Kauai
We stumbled onto this sunset spot on our way back to the Lihue airport at the very end of our stay on the island. It was one of those “stop the car and pull over immediately” moments. At this time of year, the sun actually doesn’t set over the water on the East Coast which created some gorgeous pastel tones in the sky.
5. Polihale Beach
West of Kauai
Polihale Beach Park is the furthest you can drive on Kauai before the road ends and the Waimea Canyon begins. Polihale is a wild and remote beach, which can only be accessed after driving on a long dirt road full of rocks and potholes. Very few tourists make it to Polihale so it is the perfect spot for a quiet sunset away from the crowds.
We drove the dirt road to Polihale in our four-wheel-drive rental car. We saw a few people drive it in a regular car but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a rental. Don’t attempt it if it’s been raining since the road will be very muddy and it might be hard to spot rocks and holes. Bring a picnic and a few beers. Watch the sand turn pink and the last light reflect on the canyon. Teal waves are crashing on the beach as the sun is setting on the horizon. It’s totally magic, and one of the best spots to watch the sunset on Kauai.
4. Poipu Beach Park
South of Kauai
Poipu is one of the most popular spots on Kauai since the beach is usually safe for swimming. Poipu is also one of the best spots to go diving in Hawaii. Located on the south of the island, the cove is surrounded by palm trees which creates a beautiful arch for sunset. The black rocks on the sand and the deep orange colors from this angle make for a very dramatic sunset.
Poipu is a very easily accessible beach, just a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot. It can get pretty busy on weekends but the further you walk towards the end of the beach the quieter it gets. Poipu is an incredible spot to watch a Kauai sunset from the South of the island.
3. Hanalei Bay
North of Kauai
Hanalei is located about a 10-minute drive from Princeville. A huge stretched of beach surrounded by mountains, and the most picture-perfect dock. Hanalei is very close to the restaurants and bars in town and the most popular spot to watch the sunset in Kauai. Expect a bit of a crowd (and some bugs at night so bring bug spray) but it’s really worth it. A true Kauai sunset spot.
2. Ke’e Beach
North of Kauai
Ke’e Beach is the furthest spot you can drive on the North Shore of Kauai, all the way to the bottom of the canyon. Ke’e is pretty remote so you will leave most of the crowds behind. The flat black rocks make for some beautiful sunset reflections.
North of Kauai
Tunnels Beach is by far my favorite sunset spot in Kauai. I am not lying when I say that I left a little piece of my heart on Tunnels Beach. What makes this spot so special is that there is virtually no parking close by for non-locals. To access the beach, you need to park your car on a side street about a mile away from the beach. During sunset time we were pretty much the only people there.
The ocean is a deep teal color thanks to the biggest reef on the island of Kauai. The sky lights up with tones of coral and orange. The waves make the sand sparkle against a backdrop of mountains and waterfalls. It was without a doubt one of the most beautiful sunsets we ever experienced… so if you visit Kauai don’t miss a Kauai sunset on Tunnels Beach.
There are so many reasons to fall in love with Kauai, and one of them is that it is probably the only Hawaiian island that hasn’t been overrun by massive hotels and tons of tourists. Read this post from Roads Best Traveled to see exactly what I mean. Aside from gorgeous sunsets, Kauai is full of adventures, beautiful hikes, and delicious places to eat. You could be there for a month and never get bored.
All of these sunset photos were edited using The Flyaway Girl’s Hawaii preset pack for Lightroom. Get yours to edit gorgeous sunset photos.