This sparkling white sand beach located along Hwy. 56 in Kapaa on Kauai’s eastern shore is popular among local surfers and bodyboarders though the conditions can be challenging for beginners. Kealia Beach is about 1/2-mile long and about 150 feet wide, providing lots of room for relaxing and sunbathing. The north end of the beach has shallower water and is a bit more protected due to the remains of the jetty that was once known as Kealia Landing. During the calmer months of summer swimming can be good at Kealia though much of the year the shorebreak and currents can make swimming hazardous. Check with the lifeguard about ocean conditions and always use extreme caution when entering the water. Stay close to shore to avoid be swept out by a rip tide.
Swimming only when the water is calm. Surfing and bodyboarding for those who are experienced only. Shore fishing.
Kealia means “Salt bed” referring to the use of the beach in ancient times as a traditional salt gathering area. This bay was also the site of a steamer landing during the sugarcane era and the nearby town of Kealia housed many sugarcane workers and also had a train depot as well as a sugar mill.
Need to Know
Kealia Beach is subject to strong shorebreak waves, dangerous currents, and riptides that make it difficult to get back to shore. Swimmers should only enter the water if it is very calm, and always stay very close to shore. The nearshore waters vary in depth and drop off suddenly in some places. Never enter the ocean during times of high surf or rough seas. Numerous drownings have occurred at this beach so use extreme caution. Young children should visit a safer beach such as Lydgate unless the water at Kealia is perfectly calm.
Kealia Beach can be reached by taking Hwy. 56 north from downtown Kapaa. The beach is right alongside the highway just after Mile Marker 10.