Kauai East Shore Beaches - Donkey’s Beach and Kealia Beach
Back in the 1960s locals used mules and burros to haul the seed cane to fields that were close to the beach. Drifters in the area were amused with the sight and dubbed the beach “Donkey Beach.” This beach offers lots of sand and is really popular with surfers. Additionally, nudists enjoyed this beach for years but new owners have been trying to end the practice of nude beach going. It’s illegal to be nude in public in Hawaii anyway, so the incidents of nude beach going are decreasing. There aren’t a lot of visitors at this beach, which is nice if you like to visit the beach and have plenty of room to roam and enjoy nature. Plus, if you need some shade there is a big old tree right in the middle of the beach to give you some respite from the sun’s rays.
Sometimes swimming at Donkey’s Beach can be dangerous. This is due to strong currents and hard breaking waves. If you aren’t a really strong swimmer then swimming at Donkey’s Beach is not a good idea for you.
Getting to Donkey Beach is relatively easy. All you have to do is take the access road approximately ½ mile from mile marker 11 that is north of Kapa’a. It will probably take you 10 minutes or so to actually reach the beach. If you want to take advantage of some good snorkeling then follow these directions. You will need to hang a right close to shore to reach the beach. You can take a left, pass a stream, and go over the hill to reach a secret cove. There is good snorkeling here not to mention privacy so just enjoy your time here!
If you like boogie boarding and surfing then Kealia Beach is the perfect place for you. Of course, it can be dangerous at times because the currents are strong and the waves can hit really hard. However, surfers and boogie boarders love it here because the waves are outstanding. This is not the place for you to learn how to surf, however, because the waves can be so strong that they pound you into the sand. If you are expert level then you will probably enjoy the big, strong waves at Kealia Beach.
For those who are looking for calmer water then the northern part of Kealia Beach is a great place to hang out. Here the water is a little calmer because it has more protection. Snorkeling and wading out in the water is generally safe here, but pay attention to the water. This beach is located north of Kapa’a.