#2 Poipu Beach
The most popular beach on the South Shore is Poipu Beach, which is fronted by Poipu Beach Park, and a few resorts. Poipu Beach was named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel, ranking top among the 10 “best” beaches selected nationwide. This beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will find snorkeling, swimming, a natural ocean wading pool, boogie-boarding and surfing.
Snorkeling Poipu Beach Park is popular and the beach offers all the facilities needed for hanging out on a beach for hours. The snorkeling is decent but crowded. It is just to the right of the tombolo (described below) out to the island. The other areas are generally too wavy for fun snorkeling here.
#3 Ke'e Beach
Ke'e Beach is one of the most visited beaches on Kauai. It's located at the north end of the island where the highway ends and in fact, is the last beach accessible by car on the north shore. So it's literally located at the end of the road. The famed 11 mile gorgeous and treacherous Kalalau Trail begins at the western end of the beach. Ke'e's gentle ocean lagoon is best utilized in the calm ocean conditions of the summer.
On calm days, we have found that just outside the inner reef is the best place to swim with turtles, schools of tuna and other exotic fish. It's very shallow getting out to this spot, depending on the tide, but once you are there, it drops into a nice lagoon, with fish and underwater amazement. It's usually just past the crashing waves of the inner reef. Either swim carefully in shallow water, or carefully take a channel out from the lifeguard area. Again, beware of dangerous currents that will take you down the west side and out to sea!