At the end of the road on Kauai’ s north shore, Kee is one of Hawaii’s prettiest beaches.
With a turquoise lagoon set beneath a verdant mountain on the edge of the world-famous Na Pali Coast, Kee (pronounced Kay-ay) Beach is ideal for snorkeling with lots of fish visible amidst the various formations of the coral reef that runs parallel to the shore and protects the beach from the open sea. A gap in the left side of the reef exposes the beach to the open ocean, however, and this creates strong currents near the opening. Stay within the lagoon and away from the opening.
During the summer months, Kee Beach is usually perfect for recreational swimming and snorkeling, and the beach is great for families with kids, and a fun and incredibly scenic place to have a picnic. In the winter it is a different story with large waves often washing over the reef into the lagoon and strong currents that make swimming hazardous. The opening in the reef at Kee is known as Puka Ulua referring to the prized Ulua fish that is sometimes caught in this area.
Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving only when the water is calm. Sunbathing, fishing, beach walks, exploring.
Kee Beach provides the quintessential Hawaiian beach experience with sparkling white sands and pristine water in a lush, tropical setting. Commonly seen fish include butterflyfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, wrasses, and many more. Walking east along the shoreline from Kee leads to a spot that has great Na Pali Coast views. Located adjacent to the beach is the trailhead for the Na Pali Coast which leads to the beach and waterfall at Hanakapiai as well as renowned Kalalau Valley. On a hill above the beach (off-limits to the public) is a Hawaiian heiau, or sacred place, with a shrine dedicated to the hula goddess Laka. In ancient times this was the site of an important hula school.
Need to Know
During a north swell or rough seas, avoid swimming at Kee Beach due to potentially hazardous conditions including strong rip currents flowing out from the opening in the reef on the left side of the beach out to the open ocean. Many drownings have occurred in this area so stay in the protected part of the lagoon and only enter the water when the sea is calm. Never go in the ocean during times of high surf or rough seas.
Restrooms, showers, picnic facilities, drinking water, parking.
Kee Beach is reached by following Hwy. 560 from Princeville west past Hanalei and then about eight more miles to the very end of the road where you will see the beach.