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Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Seattle, Washington
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Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

We're staying half our trip on the East Shore (although most of that time will actually be spend on the North Shore) and the second half we're staying at the Hyatt. On the transition day I had planned for us to go to Salt Ponds Beach. But now I've been reading more about Kalapaki Beach. We haven't been to either one yet. Is there one that is better than the other? Unfortunately, my family is so spread out as far as ages it's hard to find exactly the right thing for everyone, but my youngest is 20 months and oldest is 14. We all like to snorkel, I think my older two are really going to get into boogie boarding this trip, and I know everyone will want to at least go in the water, so it would need to be pretty safe. I know there are lifeguards at Salt Ponds but not Kalapaki. I keep looking at reviews for both but they are so mixed I can't choose. If neither one is recommended we'll just go to Poipu (which I have set for a different day, and I know we'll all like).

Thanks for all the wonderful advice, I've been reading the forum like crazy planning for this trip!

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Poipu
Poipu
Kauai, HI
Santa Rosa...
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1. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

You don't have time to visit both beaches some time over your trip? You can stop at Kalapaki for some fun on your way up north and you can stop at Salt Pond Beach on your way west to or from Waimea Canyon.

It's a shame to have a schedule so rigid that you can't slip in an impromptu stop somewhere. It's hard to compare the two. They're different kinds of beaches, with different offerings. It's unfortunate to have to pick between them. Check them both out when there. Even if just a quick drive by or quick swim. You'll appease everyone that way. Then decide which one you'd like to spend more time at.

Go with a rough idea of what you want to see and do. But toss out the schedules. Leave yourself open for some impromptu last minute decisions. And take the guidebooks for what they are - simply a guide. They don't tell it all. You'll find things to see and do never even mentioned in a guidebook and you'll want to be flexible.

Edited: 16 June 2011, 20:19
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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Salt Pond Beach Park
Salt Pond Beach Park
406 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon
5,847 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Venice, Florida
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for Kauai
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2. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Either place is nice -- it just depends what conditions are when you go. Kalapaki will usually be more crowded, since it is right at Lihue and the Marriott. Water quality is sometimes an issue. Salt Pond is just a short distance from Hanapepe -- a pretty quiet place with no "city" adjacent to it. It is usually pretty calm and there is a very shallow protected area good for little kids. Why don't you wait to decide until you get there. You can always go to Kalapaki and if you don't like it, go on down to Saltpond.

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Lihue
Lihue
Kauai, HI
Hanapepe
Hanapepe
Kauai, HI
Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Thanks for the advice. I understand what you say about the schedules and being flexible. I definitely want to be as flexible as possible and I do just have a rough guide of what we'll do, but I also think I need to do some research as it can sometimes take me 30 minutes+ just to load my kids in the car for an outing and with such a broad range of ages I have to think about all of them or I will hear the dreaded "this is boring!". There are always so many things that I want to do while I'm there that it's hard to choose what to focus on for everyone.

Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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4. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Boy, those are two completely different types of beaches!

Kalapaki Beach fronts the Lihu'e Marriott, it also gets the folks from the cruise ship when they are in port - it is popular with local folks, but it is definitely a "resort" beach and it is also on a bay, so the water is murky, not crystal clear.

Salt Pond Beach Park is more of a "locals" type beach - I don't mean that in a negative way for visitors either - it is a family beach where lots of residents take their keiki to play in the shallow waters along the shoreline either by the airport or at the far West End of the main Park. There is camping there also and an area set aside for tents.

I love Salt Pond Beach for the great mix of people - it is a beach that visitors can comfortably go to and enjoy along with residents - a nice, rock walled swimming area for safe ocean swimming (there is also a lifeguard, pavillions, showers, bathrooms) - and plenty of coconut trees for shade.

Definitely apples and oranges here!

Malama Pono,

Janet

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Salt Pond Beach Park
Salt Pond Beach Park
406 Reviews
Kauai, HI
La Mirada...
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5. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

>>>and plenty of coconut trees for shade.<<<

Just don't sit directly under one if it has coconuts on it! Always look up first!

3Chihuahuas

Northern California...
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6. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

BTW - There is NO boogie boarding worthy waves at Salt Pond. If there are, then you are either at the wrong beach or the ocean conditions aren't very safe for the youngest of your group.

Santa Rosa...
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7. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

We always kept the beach gear in the car so it didn't involve a lot of packing up/ unpacking. Extra towels, sunblocks even swimsuits. When we hit the road we'd have it all handy in case we found a beach we wanted to check out. If some in the group didn't like where we were stopping they'd get their wish at the next stop probably. It's the only way we learned how to deal with bored kids. They just had to tough it out until their time came. My wife always told them our job in life was not to entertain them. lol.

As Koloagirl said these 2 beaches are apples and oranges. I think the older kids would prefer Kalapaki, the littles ones Salt Pond. But hey, they're both beaches in Hawaii. How much better can it get?

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Buford, Georgia
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8. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Salt pond is so much easier to find parking at. If you go to Salt Pond, stay for sunset---some of the most beautiful ones I've seen have been from there. Snorkeling isn't that great at either of those beaches. There are some fish on the far left side of the beach (by thte rocks) at Salt Pond, but a pretty good current runs through there near the shore---might be tough for the little one. But the older ones may have fun snorkeling up and to the left inside the rocky area (where there usually isn't a current) and then riding the current back along the shore. It's a bit of a hike getting over there, though. If you just want to play in the water, Salt Pond has a big beach to set up your base. There are lots of pavilians at Salt Pond, too---good place to get some shade. Perhaps you can tell my vote would be Salt Pond! Perhaps this link will show you the snorkel area at Salt Pond that I'm talking about: https:/… where the water is yellowish is were the current is running to the right. In by the rocks it's pretty calm unless it's high tide and the surf is crashing over them. I've seen some really interesting things there! And even though there is a current, it's pretty shallow.

Edited: 16 June 2011, 22:19
California
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9. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

No darts thrown here please, but I am not a fan of Kalapaki for the beach alone. I WOULD however go for lunch or dinner at Dukes and a stroll, but everytime I have been there its crowded and the water quality is poor.

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI
Seattle, Washington
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142 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: Salt Ponds or Kalapaki?

Thanks for all the feedback. I may just have to check out both although it does seem that Salt Ponds is the more popular. I was also thinking that being so close to the airport that you may get some good views of airplanes coming and going, which may be exciting for my smaller ones (and me too!) at Kalapaki. So much to enjoy!

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Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach
764 Reviews
Kauai, HI