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Kauai's North Shore

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'Anini Beach
'Anini Beach

'Anini Beach

Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com

Our next stop along Kauai's North Shore is 'Anini Beach. Heading west on Highway 56, cross over the Kalihiwai Bridge and then make a right turn on Kalihiwai Road. This is the second road bearing this name. Both roads lead to Kalihiwai Beach, the first from the east, the second from the west.

A short drive down Kalihiwai Road brings you to a fork in the road. Bear left on 'Anini Road which quickly leads to the coast.

You can read a lot of different stories about the name of this beach. Apparently the actual name of the beach is Wainini Beach, meaning spilled water. Signs were erected, but the name may have been misspelled "Wanini." Somewhere along the line the "W" was either forcefully removed or wore away leaving the name as "Anini." There are stories that a local resident was upset over the misspelling and shot off the "W" from the first sign. Others say that the "W" was removed by Hurricane Inikiki in 1992, but many folks insist that the "W" disappeared long before that. Whatever the cause, what was originally known as Wainini Beach is today known as 'Anini Beach. You can read more about the beach's name.

This 2+ mile coastline is one of of the most beautiful on Kauai and the views are stunning. Off shore is the longest continuous reef on Kauai, which makes this area of the coast some of the safest for summer swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, spear fishing, kitesurfing and windsurfing. The bottom near the shore is sandy which makes it perfect for children. In winter these waters can become extremely dangerous with a strong rip current.

Anini Beach Park is located about midway along the coastal drive across from the Kauai Polo Club. You'll almost always see beautiful horses in this field, often right by the fence. Anini Beach Park actually fronts Kalihikai Beach. The actual Anini Beach is located further down the road where it ends. Are you confused yet? Forget the names and just enjoy this beautiful stretch of coast.

The homes on the mauka side of the road are some of the most highly desired and highly priced on Kauai. Many are available as vacation rentals. You may even spot some of the celebrities who are known to vacation here. One of the homes, the 4,000-square-foot Keawaihi Hale, was used for the Kauai scenes in the film "Honeymoon in Vegas."

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