From mountains and beaches to cliffs and caves, Kauai is full of gorgeous scenery. But perhaps one of the simplest ways to enjoy the island is to merely rise early, and head out to the nearest beach to catch a spectacular Hawaiian sunrise. Here are five of the best beaches to witness – or photograph – a truly magical sunrise in paradise.

#1. Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach

Image by: # on Flickr

Also known as Shipwreck beach, this world-renowned spot is the perfect location to catch a vibrant sunrise, or sunset. Something about the way the sunlight hits the clouds makes this shot by Brandon Levinger look more like a painting than a photograph. Sunrises are best during the winter and spring months at Poipu Beach. 


#2. Lydgate Beach Park

Lydgate Beach Park

Image by: # on Flickr

The driftwood, crashing waves and beautiful light work together to create a magical photograph, taken by Keppet on Flickr, just as the sun peaks through the horizon. Lydgate Beach is not only a great place to capture a sunrise, but also a wonderful place to take the family for a day at the beach – the snorkeling is excellent, and a nearby playground is perfect for the kids.


#3. Anahola Bay

Anahola Bay

Image by: # on Flickr

One of the few overnight camping grounds on the east coast of Kauai is Anahola Beach, located in a protected bay. Can you imagine anything better than being woken up by such a magnificent sunset and enjoying a cup of coffee on the beach, just steps from where you fell asleep to the crashing waves? I would like to this the photographer, Twelvizm of Flickr, would agree.


#4. Ha’ena Beach

Ha'ena Beach

Image by: # on Flickr

Located on Kauai’s north shore at the end of Kuhio Highway is this lovely little beach within Ha’ena State Park. Drive here from Hanalei to catch a sunrise, and stay to explore the sea caves, ancient Hawaiian sites, and stellar trails. I love the way this photograph, taken by Alexander Rabb, isn’t solely focused on the ocean, but the beach itself.


#5. Kapaa Beach Park

Kapaa Beach Park

Image by: # on Flickr

The beach, which is approximately one mile in length, is the perfect east shore spot to take a romantic sunrise walk on the beach with a loved one – this spot, as photographed by Christian Arballo, would be an idyllic locale to share a kiss with that special someone, wouldn’t it?

Which of these is your favorite spot to catch a sunrise on Kauai? Do you have any photos you would like to share with us in the comments?


Megan Shute
Megan Shute is a freelance journalist and editor currently residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from Minnesota, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Hawaiian sunsets.