Lydgate Park and Beach
Lydgate is the largest and most expansive park on the East Shore of Kauai and the perfect destination for vacation recreation. The soft sandy beach at Lydgate Park fronts a set of 2.6 acre ocean pools that are lifeguarded and protected from the waves and currents by huge boulder walls. This makes for the safest swimming on the Eastern Coast of the island. Home to the Kamalani Playground, a coastal pedestrian walkway and a variety of picnic grounds, Lydgate has the potential for making a great Hawaiian day by the sea.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: Calmest ocean access on the East shore of Kauai, in sheltered pools. Expansive lawns, picnic facilities, playground and coastal paved walking path makes this a great family beach!
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, snorkeling, sand castle building, coastal walks, jogging, picnics, field play, and a children's playground to explore.
LIFEGUARD: Yes 7 days a week 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WARNINGS! Swimming is only recommended in the protected pools in front of the lifeguard tower. Be cautious near the unprotected shoreline.
AMENITIES: Paved beachside walkway, ample parking, picnic benches with shelters, restrooms, showers, and a large playground structure.
The green space in this park is impressive, with 57 acres of sprawling park including coconut tree groves, ironwood forests, and expansive lawns. The Northern end of the park flanks the mouth of the Wailua River, a sacred area to the ancient Hawaiians. They built a rock walled temple here, and the remains are visible on the park grounds near the river.
Traditionally in days of old, this area would have been ocean front village. With the various picnic shelters, and large event pavilion, the modern day park has a village feeling especially on weekends as local families gather for celebrations.
Local Hawaiian born resident Albert Morgan Sr. a longtime user of the park and coastline was inspired by a visit to Europe where he saw protective swimming lagoons built along the coastline. Upon returning to Kauai he put together a proposal to create a 2.6 acre set of ponds for the park, which was eventually funded and built in 1964. The two pools are separated from the open ocean and create a safe space to swim for adults and children. The slope into the pools is gentle with soft sand bottom. Large boulders stacked in walls make up the divider between the open ocean and the calm water pools. There is some snorkeling to be found along its edge as fish take to hiding in the boulders. The smaller pool to the left is shallow specifically for the little children.
Kamalani playground: This large wooden play structure is set back off the main parking area through the ironwood forest. It is 150 yards walk from the beach, making for good exercise for families with kids. In the playgrounds center is a shaded arbor with benches for adults to rest while supervising their brood.
Coastal Walking Path:
A newer feature to Lydgate is a long paved multi-use pathway stretching along the coast throughout the park. This is great for running enthusiasts or simply for a scenic walk. Picnic shelters and facilities are staged through out the trail system for ample rest stops or taking in the views of the scenic windward coast.
Day trippers: Lydgate is a great stop over point for those in transit between points north or south. Take a break, have a swim, and unwind from the Kapaa traffic.
Families: Bring a picnic, some play gear, sand castle making materials, and let the games begin!
Closest town: Kapaa/Wailua
From Lihue: Head north on Kuhio Highway / HI route 56 North past the municipal golf course and then mile marker 4, take a right onto "Leho Road" (there is a large green sign before pointing out the turn for "Lydgate Park". Follow Leho Road turning onto your second road on the right called Nalu Road. Follow Nalu Road as it curves left into the day use area of Lydgate. Beach is on the right near the large restroom building.
From Kapaa: Head south on Kuhio Highway/HI route-56 crossing Wailua River bridge and looking for large green Lydgate Park sign. Enter left hand turn lane and turn left onto Leho Road adjacent to the Aston Hotel. Follow Leho Road for approximately mile and look for Nalu Road on the left. Turn onto Nalu Road and follow it as it curves left, then drive all the way in to find parking.