Camping Kaua’i – County Campgrounds
Kaua’i does a really good job of keeping their county campgrounds and parks clean and in good repair. County tent camping at a Kaua’i County Campground is only $3 per adult (or $5 if the permit is issued at the campground), per night and free for kids under 18 who are camping with an adult. Kaua’i County Campgrounds close on certain days every week for maintenance, so while you can reserve for long periods of time, you’ll need a another place to stay for one or two days week. Here are a few favorite, family friendly/tourist friendly county campgrounds on Kauai:
Here is a list of my top recommendations for county campgrounds that are clean, in beautiful locations and are family and tourist friendly.
Anini Beach Campground, North Kaua’i: This is one of Kaua’i’s prettiest and best snorkeling beaches. Because of its location you can watch the sun rise and set. Locals and visitors love camping here. The shallow end is about 4 feet, making it nice for beginning snorkelers and families with younger kids. Showers, picnic tables, and restrooms are available.
Hanalie Beach’s Black Pot, North Kaua’i: Located between Haena and Anini, this was named for a big black wok left there. It is also a very nice campground; however, the water here is murky because the river runs into the sea here. This means sharks and not good for swimming. The beach itself is lovely and further up the beach you can watch world famous surfing in the winter. If you’re kayaking up the Hanalie River it’s also a great spot. Open only on weekends.
Lucy Wright Beach Park, West Kaua’i: This nice campground is located on the sunny leeward coast and has shade trees, a playground, barbeque stands, washrooms and drinking water. However, a strong rip current and murky water (from the Waimea River) rules out safe swimming. You won’t have to drive far to swim or snorkel at nearby, Salt Pond Beach – listed next.
Salt Pond Beach Park, West Kaua’i: This is also a nice sunny beach campground that is popular with locals and visitors alike, many who stay here for the excellent snorkeling and some of the best swimming on the leeward side. The beach park has restrooms, barbecue stations, pavilions, and a lifeguard. While popular and very busy weekends, it’s not as crowded as Poipu. A long sandy beach, romantic sunsets and swaying coconut palms add atmosphere. When swimming stay in the middle area close to shore in front of the lifeguard stand to avoid strong currents, and do heed the “Beware of Falling Coconuts” signs.
I wouldn’t recommend the other county campgrounds for visitors. Haena tends to be a party spot at night and can get rowdy. Hanamaulu (near Lihue) Campground is “home” to many homeless locals. The later though is a good place to drop off surplus camping items you might buy on Kaua’i and not want to lug home – like an air mattress. Anahola Beach Park, also on the windward side, is a locals’ beach, not so much used by visitors.
Camping Kauai is just one more way to get the most out of a Garden Isle vacation. Be safe, check with lifeguards before entering the water, and have a wonderful time!