Poipu Beach Park may be good for cooling off if you get hot, but not very good for swimming for exercise. We usually go in February or March, and the waves vary day to day. I like swimming in the ocean, but in Poipu I swim in the resort's pool. The best place in Hawaii that of found for swimming is Keawakapu Beach on Maui. When we stay there I swim there almost every day.
Sharks can be common at Keawakapu, and the currents can be deadly too.
Every beach, on every island, varies day to day. One person can experience something totally different from another the next day.Edited: 14 October 2017, 13:23
Kapa'a is generally not swimmable, and that is normal. No real protective reefs .
You have poipu beach park and the protective reefs, that should give you some fun water in the ocean play time and some snorkeling as well.
In the Poipu Area, you can walk and easily have several different choices of beaches to swim off of. However, do check the conditions and poipu beach park has a life guard station and talk with them as well.
Poipu Area Beaches:
Brenneckes for boogie boarding and body surfing......more wave action
Poipu Beach Park: kiddie pool, and the protected shallow wade and swim area on the left side of the tombolo ( sand spit ) and the snorkeling area to the right side of the tombolo. CHECK WITH LIFE GUARDS .......
Then, you also have beaches and ocean activities from the Marriot Waiohai, up past Koa Kea, and along Kiahuna Plantation resort to the Sheraton. No need to drive, you can easily walk along this entire beach front area.
Poipu Beach Park will have more people, as well as shade trees, pavilions, picnic tables, three swimming areas, snorkeling , and is guarded. Sometimes honu swimming just off the shore line rocks between poipu beach park and brenneckes beach.
Also, across the road from Poipu beach Park is Brenneckes upstasirs view restaurant and bar, downstairs is the beach center for booking activities and gift shop. Immmediately next door is the deli with snacks, and goodies, ice creame, coffee for sunrises on the beach, etc. The next building over is Nukumoi Surf Shop, with beach and snorkel rentals.
Plus the hotels and resorts located at the above mentioned beaches, and their restaurants and shops.
Looks like, we will be returning to Kauai, and staying at Poipu Kai condos, in june of 2018. Easy walk down to Poipu Beach park.
You mentioned your planning :
Poipu as a base:
In the immediate area you have: ( walk or drive ) Beaches, snorkeling ( Lawai Beach is the best ), many, many choices of all kinds of restaurants and bars, shopping villages, spouting horn, botanical gardens, golf, tennis, horseback riding, hiking, surfing lessons, stand up paddle boarding, zip lining, Outfitters Kauai with all kinds of super fun activities, bike rentals, kayaking the wailua river, zip lining, etc.,
Also, nicely located for exploring island wide and other shores, and sites.
Also, you might pick up the Ultimate Kauai Guide Book, which is super information and directions for active visitors and residents as well.
Welcome to the Garden Island.......
Have fun !!!
The south shore, where Poipu Beach Park is located should have the calmest, most consistant, conditions on the island during March. I've never seen the beaches in Kapaa calm, just the surf smaller than other times!!
Sharks aren't "common" at Keawakapu. Any current can be deadly but in all the years I swam or snorkeled there, never ran into a bad current.