Donkey Beach has seen many changes over the years from a place of relative seclusion to being a popular stop on the Kauai bike path. Also known as Kuna Bay, it’s still a beautiful Kauai beach with pristine sand shaded by ironwood trees.
For an enjoyable Kauai activity consider renting a bike in Kapaa and riding on the coastal corridor to the beach. Along the way you may see humpback whales leaping offshore as you bike close to white sand beaches and coastal cliffs with endless ocean views.
Another option is to park at Kealia Beach and walk a half mile each way on the bike path. Or if your time is limited, just drive into the public parking area at mile marker 11 and it’s only a ten minute walk to Donkey Beach.
Once you’re there enjoy the quintessential view. This is not a swimming beach so stay out of the water unless you’re an experienced surfer. There are rip currents and a steep drop off that makes swimming hazardous.
What’s changed mostly over the years is the access route to Donkey Beach and its dress code. The area above the beach is now part of the Kealia Kai housing development. For many years Donkey Beach was not marked at all. You knew where to park by watching for cars pulled over on the roadside. From there it was a hike though a sugarcane field on private land to Donkey Beach. On arrival, clothes were optional which hasn’t been the case for many years.
Donkey Beach takes its nickname after the donkeys and mules that were herded in a pasture near the beach when the land was owned by the Lihue Plantation Company. The name stuck and has been used ever since.
If you have memories of Donkey Beach to share or have been on the coastal bike path, we invite your comments and suggestions. Ask questions too if our concierge can help you plan this Kauai adventure.
Location: You’ll find Donkey Beach halfway between Kapaa and Anahola at mile marker 11. It’s close to our Kauai vacation rentals in the Anini – Kilauea Collection.
Bike Rentals: There are many to choose from in Kapaa. Look for them along the highway in town. Costs average around $18 for a half day.
Facilities: None. Pack a picnic lunch. No lifeguard.
Bookmark our Kauai Beach Explorer to stay current on Kauai beaches and facilities. Watch our Kauai video with important ocean safety information. It’s six minutes of your time that can save your life or that of a loved one.