Kauai Camping: How to do Hawaii on a budget like a pro


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We could not wait for our Kauai Hawaii vacation! It was the first trip we were taking sans-kids in quite a while to celebrate 10 years of marriage!

We couldn’t wait to see all that the island had to offer: the waterfalls, the hiking, the snorkeling and SCUBA diving, the beaches, and so much more.

But, it was no secret that Hawaii is not cheap, so we knew we needed to do Hawaii on a budget.

When deciding on the best places to stay in Kauai, one of our top factors was price. There is the WHOLE gamut of where to stay in Kauai. Most people though are shocked at our Kauai on a Budget Game Plan (and even more flabbergasted with our final total costs of the trip!)

So, how did we manage to spend so little in a place that is notoriously known for being expensive? The answer is two-fold

  1. Travel Hacking cheap flights and hotels (more on that in an upcoming post- so check back soon to find out how we spent less than $30 for BOTH of us combined on our flights)
  2. Camping in Kauai

Why You Need to Camp on Kauai

Why Camping on Kauai Hawaii is a must for traveling to Hawaii for cheap

^Planning a Cheap Kauai Vacation? PIN IT^

So, I understand that not everyone is an outdoorsy person, and I totally get it. If you know that you absolutely are not going to camp, a mid-range affordable option for lodging in Hawaii is, of course, AirBnBs.
(You can even get up to $30 off your first AirBnB booking HERE).

Your other option is hotels and resorts, which are naturally going to be the most expensive choice.

You can still find some decent mid-range options though.  (Here’s $30 off your first booking.com stay)

If you are heading to the other islands, there are great camping options on them all to combine with island activities, for example, here’s 21 things to do on Oahu.

It’s Dirt Cheap

For the county parks, camping is only $3/night per person!!!! How can you beat that price tag!?

(I go into all the details of costs, permits, etc further below. So skip ahead if you already know you’ll be camping in Kauai and don’t need more convincing)

If you want to read more about keeping it frugal and backpacking Hawaii, here is a great guide

The Views

camping kauai

HOLY GORGEOUS BATMAN! Guys, words (shoot, even pictures) can’t do this part justice.
Opening the tent flap and being a stones throw away from the blue waters is pure serenity. Waking up to a gorgeous rainbow spreading out over the sea is other-wordly. Having nature out your front door is something you just can’t replicate or get in a hotel or resort.  No ifs ands or buts.

Disconnecting From The World

I know I know. Bugs, hard ground, cold water showers. Yeah, it all sounds kind of brutal for some people. But for others, it’s just the break from the social media and business of life.

Watch the Sunsets In Bed

kauai travel blog showing how to do Kauai on a budget

Sitting on the beach watching the sun go down, homemade Hawaiin rum cocktail in hand was breathtaking. I had my own little spot to myself on the beach as I watched a kayaker disappear into the horizon and when the sun was gone for the day, I just walked the 2 feet back to my tent.  Pure serenity and Hawaiin Peace!

Balance Roughing It With Hotels

Honestly, we didn’t intend on spending any nights at a resort or hotel, but the weather had other plans for us. It ended up being really nice though to pair “roughing it” to a nice warm shower and comfy bed. So, even if you’re not sure about camping, consider it for even just a few nights to give a good balance!

Save For a Splurge at a Resort

Save big while camping in Kauai to splurge at the expensive kauai resorts

Totally splurging on a $12 cocktail at the resort

Some people love coming to Hawaii for the resorts, and honestly, I can’t blame them. Part of a Hawaiian vacation for many is the relaxing, doing nothing, and getting pampered part that they love most. But for many people, staying at places like the Princeville St. Regis (while on EVERY “must stay places in Hawaii” ) is completely out of budget for many. However, by spending a few bucks a night on camping, you can then completely splurge on a night or two at a place you otherwise would have never dreamt of!

How and Where to Get Camping Gear for Hawaii Camping

camping kauai hawaii

I’m going to go into all the nitty-gritty details below about how to get Hawaii camping permits, which Kauai campsites to go to and more, but honestly, one of our hardest parts about making Kauai camping a reality was HOW to get or do our camping gear!

1) Bring it with you

Our first thought was to bring as much as possible with us. For just the two of us, we didn’t need a large tent and thought we could easily fit a small one in a large suitcase. I will admit that we like to have an air mattress when camping nowadays (hey, we aren’t the young 20-somethings we once were!)

Lucky for us, we are extremely light packers and knew we could find laundry somewhere along the way, meaning we needed minimal baggage space for us.

Unlucky for us, the cost of baggage fees on today’s airlines are re-freaking-diculous! If we had had free luggage, then I would have totally just bought everything on Amazon and brought it with so I knew I had everything I needed, but that wasn’t an option. There also wasn’t an Amazon Locker in Lihue (at least when we went) that we could have just ordered everything and sent it all to a pickup location.

So, after doing some hardcore math (thanks #nerdyhusband), we realized that the cost of paying for baggage and bringing it all in our own luggage was going to be more than if we just….

2) Buy It All There

kauai camping gear

Chickens not included for purchase at Walmart…at least not the live ones

Since we were just going to be staying a week, we didn’t need anything too fancy (see our list below). We decided for simplicity’s sake, we would forego a lot of the “usual” camping equipment (like coolers, cookware, etc) and just eat out. It would cost a wee bit more, but one of our favorite parts about travel is trying local foods anyway. (More on all that below)

This left us with some bare bones items that we then just ordered on Walmart.com and created a “pick up order.”
STUPID SIMPLE GUYS!!!

So, about a week before your trip, order everything on Walmart at the Lihue location and select your date of in-person pick up. The Lihue Walmart was about 10 minutes away from the airport, so it was an incredibly easy solution.

Since we also wanted to pick up some snack items, a few breakfast staples, some drinks, etc it was easy to do and didn’t create an extra stop.

You then just go to the Customer Service desk and give them your order number (have your confirmation with you). She just handed us over a large box with everything we had ordered and we were on our way! (Double check your box to ensure everything you ordered is in there)

Why order ahead of time?

  • I had read in multiple sources that sometimes items weren’t stocked. So you either then were faced with no tent, or only crazy expensive choices. By ordering online, you can choose the one you want and in the price range you want.  By ordering a week or so out, it allows for time to get that item in.
  • It’s easy after a long flight. After the equivalence of an international flight for us, we knew we’d be tired. We didn’t want to be wandering half-asleep through the aisles of Walmart when really, all we’d want was a bed.

3) Find a Thrift Store

This honestly would have been my top choice.  However, again, you run the risk of a thrift store not having what you need.  And, let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to use someone’s used pillows!

Our Kauai Camping Checklist

kauai camp on the beach

(click on the item to see what we got)

Everything else we brought in our carry on luggage:

Getting into Lihue and Setting Up

Expert Tip: Stay in a hotel on night one

Depending on what time your flight gets in, will influence this part. For us, we were not getting in until after dark. We didn’t want to deal with permits, getting gear, setting up camp, etc after such a long flight or at night. So, we found this cheap bungalow style hotel to crash at for just the one night and then headed out the next morning.

Camping in Kauai

kauai campgrounds

There are a few kinds of camping on Kauai options. I’ll go into much more detail further along, but here are the three main types of camping on Kauai and what you can expect at each.

  1. Kauai County Camping
  2. Kauai State Park Camping
  3. Private Camping (ie YMCA)

Note: There is no free camping in Hawaii (meaning, you can not just pull over on the side of the road with a campervan, set up in a tent on a beach or anywhere that looks enticing). Therefore, you’ll need to find one of the below types of camping and obtain the proper permits (see next section).

Kauai County Camping

county of kauai camping

If you are wanting the cheapest option possible, then staying at the plethora of county campsites on Kauai is the way to go. In fact, if you are looking at camping on Kauai beaches, you really can’t beat the county parks.

Cost

It is only $3 per person per night!!!

What You Need

You’ll need to get a Kauai county camping permit that needs to be hung visibly from your tent. You are subject to fines and removal of your tent if you are caught without a permit. ((yup- you guessed it! Keep reading for ALL the details on this below like where and how to get the permits!)

Things to Know

Most of the count campsites are first come first serve. If you are looking for designated campsites with plenty of space between you and your neighbor, you won’t find them at these locations! (Lydgate is a slight exception- which we’ll touch on in the descriptions below).
Therefore, just be prepared to share that white sand beach with another beach lover.  I’m not saying that you are sleeping on top of each other, but just don’t expect big, spacious plots.  In fact, most of the campgrounds, there are no “plots” at all.  You just find a piece of ground and set up.  As the sites fill up, that could potentially mean you’ve got a neighbor real close by.

Below I have listed out all the campgrounds with descriptions on each.

Kauai State Park Camping

There are several Kauai state parks that allow for camping on Kauai.  Again, Hawaii State Park Camping Permits are required to stay at a Kauai State Park (Keep reading for more info on State Parks)

Obtaining Kauai Camping Permits

kauai camping permits locations

Kauai County Camping Permits

In order to camp for just a mere $3 per person (seriously, how can you possibly beat that!?) you are going to need to go get a Kauai County Permit.
Print off this Kauai county camping permit here.

Cost:

It’s only $3 per person. 17 and younger (with one adult 18+) is free.
Residents are also free. For more infomation on residents, see the official county camping website

When To Get Your Camping Permit

So, we actually got the permits upon arrival in Lihue. However, the tone of voice of the county clerk told me that we were REALLY pushing our luck! With that being said, it still seemed like there were plenty of spots at all our camping locations. However, if you don’t want to risk it, you can just as easily send in your information even just up to a few weeks ahead of time to reserve your spots.

In fact, I really should have just done that ahead of time and not have risked it! (What can I say, I’m a procrastinator!)

Where To Mail In Your Permit Application:

Simply mail in the completed form to:

Department of Parks and Recreation
Parks Permits Section
4444 Rice Street, Suite 105, Mo’Ikeha Building
Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766

Getting Your Kauai Camping Permit In Person

If you like to live on the wild side and want to wait to try to get your permit when you arrive in Kauai, just simply arrive at any of the below locations for permits with your form (or fill one out when you arrive) and pay at the window.
(We went to the Lihue Office. If the office is open after landing in Lihue, you can stop by and get your permit ASAP or go first thing the following morning if staying in Lihue your first night).

It was incredibly easy and the clerks were extremely helpful. There is a complex of buildings, so look for the one that says “Pi’ikoi “ and just walk straight into the center. They will all lead to the same open area.
Just find the window that says “ Parks and Recreation”)

kauai county camping permits lihue office

obtaining a kauai camping permit

 

Getting Your Permit Online
Technically, there is a website. It’s atrocious to use and not worth the hassle.  Don’t bother.

What You Need To Get a Kauai County Camping Permit

Cash Or Money Order Only

If you are paying with cash, have EXACT cash on hand and ready. At least in Lihue, there are ATMs on site if you need, but again….exact is preferable!

Your ID

They really just need a copy of your ID.  We actually just made copies ahead of time and she was quite impressed (see, we can be prepared ahead of time sometimes!).  Alternatively, just make sure you have your valid ID on hand and they’ll make the copies for you.

Camping Details

getting a kauai camping permit

Know the exact number, names, and ages of campers, approximate size of (and numbers) of tents (ie: 2 person)

If staying at more than one location, they can all be on one form

Your Camping Permit

 

You’ll be given two copies of your permit. If they do not give you a baggie and zip tie, ask for one and then keep it attached to your tent at all times (or risk being woken up at 5:30 to a ranger shaking your tent looking for documentation!!!) Keep the other copy in your car or bags in case something happens to your original copy.

Kauai County Camping Permit Locations

The following are the locations of where you can get you permits if getting them in person upon arrival. It was incredibly easy for us to just go the Lihue office after landing and knowing we were set and good to go before heading off to the campsites.

LIHUʻE CIVIC CENTER
4444 Rice Street, Piʻikoi Building Lobby
Monday thru Friday: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
CLOSED FOR LUNCH: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
South/West Side of Kauaʻi
KALAHEO NEGHBORHOOD CENTER
4480 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, Ph: 808-332-9770
Monday thru Friday: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
HANAPEPE NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER
4451 Puolo Road, Hanapepe, Ph: 808-335-3731
Monday thru Friday: 8:00am to 12:00 pm
East/North Side of Kauaʻi
KAPAʻA NEGHBORHOOD CENTER
4491 Kou Street, Kapaa, – Ph: 808-822-1931
Mon, Wed, Fri: 10:00 am -12:00 pm
Tue, Thur: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
HANALEI NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER
5-5358 Kuhio Highway, Hanalei, Ph:808-826-5153
Mon thru Fri, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM , 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

List of Kauai County Campgrounds and Why To Consider Staying There:

South Shore

Salt Pond Park

Salt Pond Camping Kauai

Closed: Tuesday 10am- 12pm Wednesday
Lifeguards: On duty 9am-5pm
Amenities Available:

  • Huge pavilions great for large group
  • Picnic tables
  • Cold showers

Beach: Great stretch of white sand beach with plenty of space. Great for swimming and lounging.
Great For: People wanting to mostly stay on the South Shore

Lucy Wright Park

Closed: Monday 10am-12pm Tuesday
Lifeguards: None
Amenities:

  • Pavilions
  • Picnic Tables
  • Cold showers

Beach: Good place to surf, not probably to snorkel

East Side Camping

Anahola

Closed: Thursday 10am-12pm Friday
Lifeguards: On duty 9a-5pm
Amenities:

  • Pavilions
  • Picnic Tables
  • Cold showers

Beach: Beautiful stretch of white sand beach with great backdrops. Good for swimming, not bad for snorkeling and surfing.
Great For: People wanting to choose one location to serve as a base to explore the whole Island. It’s about equal distance to the North and South shore activities for day trips.

Lydgate

Lydgate Camping Kauai

Closed: Tuesday 10am- 12pm Thursday
Lifeguards: On duty on main beach
Amenities:

  • Pavilions
  • Picnic Tables
  • Cold showers

Beach: Fantastic beaches line the coast. There are small “ponds” that are great for swimming and ideal for beginning/ teaching snorkeling.
NOTE: Lydgate is the only campground that has assigned plots. It is $25.00 per person for non residents at this campground and has it’s own form to fill out. You can still obtain the permit by mail or in person, but either way, it’s advisable to get these ahead of time as these for sure fill up quickly.

North Shore

Anini Beach County Park

kauai campsites on anini beach kauai

Closed: Tuesday 10am-12pm Wednesday
Lifeguards: None
Amenities:

  • Pavilions
  • Picnic Tables
  • Cold showers

Beach: Anini Beach Park has stunning white sand beach with great views. A protected reef makes for great swimming as well as fun snorkeling. We did Anini Beach camping and would go back in a heartbeat!! In fact, I’d put this as one of our best camping in Kauai locations.

Hanalei Beach Park Camping

Closed: Sunday-Friday (Campsites are only open from Friday 12pm- Sunday 10am)
Beach: Beautiful bay with gorgeous beaches and scenery. Hanalei camping is also a fantastic choice for winter surfing
Great For: Winter surfers and/or those looking to learn to surf

Campgrounds Currently Closed

(keep checking the official Kauai county camping website, as clean up efforts are continuously underway to reopen these sites, and they may have been reopened since time of writing)  This list is only reflective of the current time of writing in 2019
Hanamaulu
This park just outside of Lihue is open daily for recreational use but currently not for overnight camping.
Haena Beach Park

haena beach park camping

Hopefully, this park will be reopening soon, as the road is finally reopened after the floods and landslides.  You can still go to this beautiful beach.  In fact, it was just a few minutes walk from the Haena Beach campsite at Tunnels Beach that had the MOST AMAZING snorkeling (SO many fish and at least 10 sea turtles in under an hour!)

Hawaii State Parks Camping- Kauai State Park Camping

Hawaii State Park Camping Permits

If you are wanting to do some Hawaii State Parks camping while on the island, you’ll need to get the proper Kauai State Parks Camping Permits, which are NOT the same as the county permits.

You can get more information on Kauai State Park Camping as well as get the official Hawaii State Park Camping Permits Here (official Hawaiin State Parks website)

A Couple of Notes

  • We did not stay at any of the state parks (cost was higher, all but just a few needed to be hiked into and we did not have the right gear on this particular trip, many were closed at the time of our trip….etc). THEREFORE, the following information is based on extensive research as well as asking around with the locals while on our Kauai camping trip. (If you have been camping in the Kauai State Parks and have anything to add, update or recommend, PLEASE leave a comment so other fellow campers can have that great info!)
  • Many of the Kauai State Park camping locations require pack in camping and several miles of hiking to get to the locations. This is fantastic if you are coming to Kauai for hiking, seclusion and nature! Some of these primitive sites will have a composting toilet, most of the hike-in sites will not have potable water.

However, if you are wanting to spend some time elsewhere on the island as well or doing more sightseeing, these may not be your best options for camping on Kauai.

The Two Main Kauai State Park Campsites That Allow You to Drive to:

  1. Kokee State State Park Camping
  2. Polihale State Park (However, do not attempt this state park without 4 wheel drive!)

List of Kauai State Park Campgrounds and Campsites

Kokee State Park Camping

Waimea Canyon on the way to kokee state park camping

Cost: $18 (non residents) per night up to 6 people (+$3 for additional campers- max fee $20/night). Children 2/under are free
No campfires

Kokee State Park Cabins

If you are looking to get into the wilderness and away from the crowds, but not wanting to bring a bunch of camping gear, you can consider staying at the lodge or cabins in Kokee.
Cost: Prices do vary depending on season and availability. However, comparatively, to the high resort costs, they still aren’t bad pricing, all things considered.
TRIP ADVISOR LINK
Kokee State Park Lodge: http://www.kokeelodge.com/
Kokee Cabins: https://apac.littlehotelier.com/properties/cabins-at-kokee-park

NOTE: Kokee state park is pretty high in elevation (upwards of 4000 feet) and so it can get quite cool up here! If you are wanting to wake up to the ocean crashing on the beach and hot, warm sand, then Kokee is probably not your best choice. However, if you are wanting some seclusion and fantastic access to great hiking and have some warmer layers to put on at night, then it’s a great option to consider!

Take a Once In A Lifetime Trip Over Kokee State Park

Polihale State Park

From everything that I have read and understand, Polihale State Park is some of the most amazing camping you get can get on Kauai. However, there’s a huge caveat to this….
If you do not have a 4 wheel drive truck, do not even attempt this location. It is extremely hard to get to with pretty atrocious roads and is prone to frequent flash flooding. I’m actually surprised that they even allow it to stay open to tourists, as it seems like too many people have had the boisterous thought of “Oh, I can make it!!”……and guess what? They didn’t. Leaving them stranded on the side of the road in Kauai instead of enjoying the beautiful beaches, waterfalls and canyons.

Therefore, if you want to camp at Polihale, then rent a 4 wheel drive car.

Cost: $18 (non residents) per night up to 6 people (+$3 for additional campers- max fee $20/night)
Children 2/under are free

Nā Pali Coast State Park Camping

When we were in Kauai, the Napali coast hike and main highway had literally reopened 2 days before arriving. Therefore, the state was still desperately trying to figure out a way to regulate tourism in the area and ensure safety for hikers. It was still a bit of a mess and a ton of jumbled information when we were there. Hopefully, they can get this sorted out quickly, but a few things to know:

Cost: $20 per person per day.

Note: Previously, permits would sell out WELL in advance, up to a year out. However, since reopening, they are only selling a few weeks out. This could change at anytime, so, plan accordingly.
You can check for Kalalau permits here on the official site.

Take a NaPali Cruise

Other Kauai State Park Camping Locations

To get the full list of the rest of the hike-in only campsites, check out the State of Hawaii Wiki Permits site. It’s easy to navigate and it will tell you exactly how long of a hike and what to expect upon arrival.

Private Camping on Kauai

If you are looking for other locations or styles of camping, ie, even some “Glamping in Hawaii” type of sites (think “Tentalows, rustic cabins, yurts, etc”) there are quite a lot of private campgrounds.

These campgrounds may offer a bit more security (although we never had issues or felt unsafe at any of the county sites), some hot showers (as opposed to cold), and a few even have things like wifi available. However, they are all also significantly more expensive than the county or state campsites.

One great thing about the private sites is since they do offer options like bungalows, you can still potentially save a bunch of money in comparison to staying at a hotel or even a beach side AirBnB while in Kauai and you don’t have to worry about bringing or buying the gear.

Kumu Camp

Location: Anahola Beach Park https://www.anaholabeachretreat.org/
Lodging Available: Bungalows, tent camping, yurts and more
Click Here To Read Trip Advisor Reviews on Kumu

YMCA Camp Nau’e

Location: Haena Beach Park
Lodging: Bunkhouses
See Camp Naue On Trip Advisor

Camp Slogett

Location: Kokee State Park
Lodging: Bunkhouse, cottage, tent camping, lodge
Read Reviews of Camp Slogett Here
Camp Slogett Website

 

Other General Camping in Hawaii Tips

Know the Weather/ Season

If you are camping on Kauai, know what season you are going to be there in. For example, winter is known more for being the “rainy” season and people tend to fair better by camping in the South.

Also, winter is the time to catch the waves if you are a surfer, so you’ll want to stay North during that time. However, if you have kids, swimming on the beaches on the north side of Kauai during the winter months can actually be quite dangerous (due to those waves).
Know: Most of the time, when it rains, you can expect a quick shower or for it to be overnight.

Getting Rid of Our Camping Gear

When we were all done camping for the week, we didn’t have the luggage space to bring home the camping gear (that we bought there). There are several thrift stores throughout the island, so we just found one on our way back to Lihue and dropped it off, hoping someone else will get a steal of a deal with almost brand new camping gear!

Figuring Out Food While Camping on Kauai

While we love campfire food, since we drastically limited what we brought with us as far as gear goes, that also drastically limits what we can and can’t cook at the campsite.

But honestly, that was just fine with us, as part of the fun of exploring new places is eating new and local foods.
Since most campgrounds are close enough to a nearby town, it’s incredibly easy to stop into a grocery store or find a place to eat out.

To help with with costs, here is how we were able to eat out and still enjoy classic Hawaiin foods:
Breakfasts:

  • Andy LOVED the Spam Musubi!!! So, each morning, we’d find a convenient store, gas station, or grocery store (since they were everywhere!) to get him one (ok 2 or three) Hawaiin Spam Musibu
  • I grabbed a few premade, bottled protein shakes from the grocery store to last me most of our mornings
  • Stop at a gas station or McDonald’s for my must-have morning coffee!!!
  • One morning I splurged on an Acai Bowl. Because, you know…#Hawaii Kauai Acacia Bowl

Lunch:

  • Stop at a grocery store and head straight for the “hot counter.” Most of the grocery stores we saw had these where you could order fried chicken, other meals on the go, side dishes, pastas, etc. We ordered just enough for lunch and it was way cheaper than eating out.
  • Poke Bowls. Everywhere you go, you can get a Poke bowl. Again, most grocery stores had these to order, which seemed to be a great price.  We loved grabbing a bowl, taking it back to our campsite, and having lunch with a view Poke Bowl
  • If you have a cooler, you can always buy sandwich supplies, which should last a few days.

Dinners:
We typically would enjoy dinner out. This would be our only meal of the day to “splurge” a little more on cost (nothing fancy, just eating out in Kauai can be pricey).

Some days, we would do a bigger lunch, pending on availability of things around us (or how hungry we were!) If we did that, we would try to time it to be a later lunch and then we’d just fill up on snacks at the campsite that we’d gotten from the grocery store previously (chips and salsa, Hawaiian Island Lava Brittle, cookies….you know, all that healthy stuff! 😉 )

Cocktail Creations

Because we are classy AF, we also made some DIY island cocktails. Yup, we’re fancy!
At the grocery store, we bought a $2 ice cooler thing (real descriptive, I know), a cheap bag of ice, some Haaiwan made rum, and a jug of Hawaiian fruit juice (not the brand “Hawaiin Punch”- but a mixture of juices like passionfruit, orange, guava etc).
Voila! Instant Hawaiin Cocktails!!!

Getting Around the Island

While we love public transportation, the Kauai bus system just wasn’t going to get us where we needed and in a timely fashion.

If camping in Kauai, renting a car really is your best option.
We were able to rent a car through Kayak for just $30 a day. Click Here To See Rental Car Prices

FAQs For Camping in Kauai

Can you camp anywhere in Kauai?

No, there is no “free camping” meaning you can’t just camp anywhere you please, you need to be staying and paying at designated campsites.

Can you have fires on the beach in Kauai

While I did see a few bonfires on the beach, it is technically illegal, and for really good reason. For example, there is the obvious that fires can escape and cause massive destruction to the surrounding areas. Considering just how many gorgeous trees are near some of the campsites, why would you risk plant, animal and human life for a bonfire?

Also, let’s consider the public beach you are staying on. What if you didn’t extinguish the fire as well as you thought you did and tomorrow morning, a little child stepped on the ash or coals? The sad thing is this isn’t just a hypothetical situation, this actually has happened!

However, you still CAN have fire on the beaches, as long as they are in containers specifically made for fire (ie: a grill)
If you want to risk it, be ready to pay up to $5000 fine!!!

Is Anini beach good for swimming?

anini beach park

Just a little side bar: This was our absolute favorite place to camp on Kauai.  In fact, we have already said that we are looking forward to a future trip bringing the boys with us and we plan on mostly just staying here.

Anyway, Anini Beach is considered one of the safer beaches in the summer months but you will not find lifeguards here despite there being strong currents outside the reef. However, there were still plenty of kids swimming, as the waters were quite calm (June) with great snorkeling. There were kayakers and paddleboarders all enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

How long do you need in Hawaii/ Kauai

How long do you have!? We spent one week in Kauai and it was PERFECT! I mean, it is Hawaii, so of course we could have stayed longer! (While Gramma was happy to have the kids during our trip, I don’t think she would have been too happy with us calling and saying we were staying longer!)

Could we have just focused on one side of the island and shortened the trip? Sure, but I think that would be doing yourself a huge disservice since the island is so diverse depending on the location with plenty to see and do.

Wrapping It Up

anini beach camping

Would I go camping in Kauai again?  In a freaking heartbeat.  I really do wish that this post could evoke just how great camping on Hawaain beaches really are, but I think it is just something you have to experience yourself to really feel the true beauty, magic and amazingness of!

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LeAnna

Author and Creator at Economical Excursionists
Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

About LeAnna

Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

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