waimea sunset

Kauai Beaches to Watch a Sunset

In Eastside Places, North Shore Places, Places, South Shore Places, West Kauai Places by Makana Charters

Beaches to Watch the Best Sunset in Kauai

Being that Kauai is the westernmost island in Hawai’i* means that you can bear witness to some amazing sunsets over the pacific ocean.  The view of the sun dipping down can be absolutely breathtaking – The sky turning bright red from a variety of locations leaves you in awe of the beauty of our island – and our planet, for that matter. In this article, we will show you where the best sunset in Kauai can be found.

There are many great spots around Kauai to bid the sun farewell for another day.  We hope that you will be able to see at least a couple of these while you are visiting.  To miss a picture-perfect Kauai sunset would be a shame.

The Beautiful Na Pali Coast, Cruising Ground for Makana Charters Kauai Besches

The Beautiful Na Pali Coast, Cruising Ground for Makana Charters

The sun moves from South to North between Winter and Summer, so depending on which season you are staying on Kauai will determine the best places to see the sunset.

So make sure your camera batteries are charged, you have some good company with you, maybe a bottle of wine, and try to visit as many spots as you can on this list for the best sunsets on Kauai beaches!


Kauai Beaches, Salt Pond Park – Salt Pond is a great park that is a favorite for locals.  The beach has a protected lagoon that is great for swimming and fishing.  There is a point that you can walk out on the eastern shore, which gives you an amazing view of the sun setting behind the beach.

Waimea Pier – The friendly town of Waimea gives  a fantastic unique look, as one of the only Kauai beaches you’ll see “black sand that makes up for a different type of sunset.  As the sun gets low, the dark hue in the sand looks much different than the white sand at the neighboring beaches.  Being able to relax on a picnic table sitting over the ocean is a treat – you can see the waves breaking underneath you as the sun falls behind the horizon.

Sunset at Waimea Pier Kauai beaches

Sunset at Waimea Pier

Poipu Beach – This is a great favorite for people on the south shore as there is a peninsula which allows you to be surrounded by ocean as you watch the sun go down.  Keep in mind that Poipu is a popular beach, so it can oftentimes be busy.  Nevertheless, you will appreciate the fact that after the sun sets there are a host of options for food and drink to start the night off right.


Hanalei sunset from princevilleAnini Beach – The white sand here turns golden in that final fading hour of sunlight.  A calm lagoon outside allows for some picturesque reflections, as well as some spectacular sunbeams shining through the water if you are inclined to snorkel at this time.

Hanalei Bay – Hanalei is a beautiful large bay where there are many options to watch the sun go behind the mountains across the way, or over the ocean in the height of summer.  Another option is Princeville which overlooks the bay.  From the height above, you get a few more precious minutes of sun, not to mention an amazing view of the bay below.

Kalalau Lookout – Kokee St. Park The view from here is one of a kind.  Add in a sunset that slowly casts a shadow on the walls, slowly encroaching up 4,000 feet, and you have a spectacular treat of nature.  The surrounding Na Pali cliffs begin to change color and glow in the fading minutes of the sun’s nightly farewell.

Summer and Winter:

Polihale Beach – Polihale gets special recognition.  You can see the sun set behind the ocean year round.  In the winter it sets behind Ni’ihau, the westernmost island in Hawaii.  This beach was believed to be the departure point for the soul to the afterlife.  As such ancient Hawaiians would bury the kings on the cliffs of the adjacent Na Pali Coast.  You will feel the magic here undoubtedly as you see the sun go down.  When the stars come out you will be treated to a spectacular display of a bright starry sky.  Camping here is highly recommended for that reason.

This guide is brought to you by Makana Charters, a local Hawaiian family owned tour boat based out of Waimea on Kauai’s West side.   We offer daily trips to the spectacular Na Pali coast, a natural wonder not to be missed.  We are providing this guide to give our guests the best possible experience while visiting our island paradise.  

*Technically Ni’ihau is the westernmost island but since it is privately owned we simply mean that Kauai is the westernmost island.