Waimea Plantation Cottages
9400 Kaumualii Hwy., Waimea
So there's nothing particularly splashy about Waimea Plantation, but that's precisely the point. The beach isn't particularly spectacular either, but that's no bother, either. These sprawling cottages, which occupy the grounds of a former sugar plantation, are ramshackle and adorable, and exactly what belongs at the beach. They're also perfect for a family, as they come equipped with kitchens and all that jazz—all the better for enjoying the fresh tuna sashimi from the nearby Japanese grocery store, Ishihara (seriously, it's insane). There's incredible surf to swim in to the west of the cottages in the naval base, and it's close to the bigger resorts on Poipu. The North Side and Princeville are a bit of a drive, but it's worth your while to hike along the Western side of Kauai: it's one of the more spectacular views in the world.