Paliku Beach (Donkey Beach) - Ke Ala Hele Makalae Trail / Kauai Multi Use Path, Kauai, HI. 04/04/19: Windswept beach along Kauai's Eastern Coast.
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Paliku Beach

Kapaʻa & the Eastside

Once unofficially known as a nudists' playground, this scenic beach is rarely swimmable, but the rugged and isolated terrain makes for fun beachcombing and rock collecting along the water's edge, where windswept ironwood trees and naupaka and 'ilima flowers add dashes of color. Even if summer swells look manageable, stay ashore unless you are an experienced ocean swimmer.

From October to May dangerous rip currents and a powerful shore break take over. Stick to sunbathing or sunrise beach strolls at that time.

The beach is accessible two ways. You can cycle or walk along Kapa'a's coastal path and turn makai (toward the ocean). Or you can drive Kuhio Hwy to a parking lot with restrooms about halfway between mile markers 11 and 12. Look for the small brown parking and hiking sign. The beach-access footpath cuts through a 300-acre planned community called Kealia Kai ( Public nudity is illegal in Hawaii and the developer has cracked down on folks baring all.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kapaʻa & the Eastside attractions

1. Kealia Beach Park

1.49 MILES

Blessed with a wild, near-pristine location, a laid-back vibe and easy access via car or the coastal path, scenic Kealia is the Eastside's best beach…

2. Anahola Beach Park

2.25 MILES

Despite having no sign from the highway, this locals’ beach is an easy getaway. Backed by pines and palms, it's blessed with excellent swimming thanks to…

3. Kapaʻa Beach Park

2.86 MILES

From the highway, you’d think that Kapaʻa is beachless. But along the coast is a low-key, mile-long ribbon of golden sand. While the whole area is…

4. Orchid Alley

2.91 MILES

Tucked down a little path off the main drag is this orchid nursery and butterfly garden. The owners have been here for over 20 years. They sell orchids…

6. Hole in the Mountain

3.38 MILES

Ever since a landslide altered this once-obvious landmark, the puka (hole) in Puʻu Konanae has been a mere sliver. From slightly north of mile marker 15…

7. Fuji Beach

3.45 MILES

Nicknamed 'Baby Beach' because an offshore reef creates a shallow, placid pool of water that’s perfect for toddlers, it's located in a modest neighborhood…

8. ʻAliomanu Beach

3.49 MILES

Secluded ʻAliomanu Beach is a spot frequented primarily by locals, who pole- and throw-net fish and gather limu (edible seaweed). It’s a mile-long stretch…