Kauai Nude Beaches
There seem to be plenty of stories about the old Mayor, the new Mayor, the Law, and about changing conditions. Believe what you wish. One thing that is true is that Kauai has been discovered and there are plenty more visitors than even 5 years ago. This means that places once considered remote are now regularly visited by everyone. Enjoying a friendly nude beach has become more difficult and must be done with heightened discretion.
The County has far more pressing problems than what people are wearing on the beaches. From what I've been able to gather by talking to locals, the County only takes action when someone complains. There IS a law on the Hawaii books that is widely interpreted as saying nudity is illegal. So enforcement can have consequences. However, recent court challenges to the law have favored the sunbather. See details at the Naturist website. More on this topic may be found in writings by Dr. George R. Harker, a former professor at Western Illinois University and nude enthusiast based in Hawaii who wrote an interesting overview of a court case addressing these issues in his article, "Is it Legal to be Nude on a Nude Beach in Hawaii?"
Questions about topless come up regularly as well. An article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin by columnist June Watanabe was authoritatively researched and nicely written. The conclusion ... topless is OK.
NORTH SHORE NUDE BEACHES
Kalalau has to be the least hassled beach where you can frolic any way you like. But you have to hike a very difficult 11 miles to get there. Or in the summer if you are an experienced kayaker, you can get a permit and kayak and camp there. Click here for more information on Kalalau Beach.
Hanakapiai Beach is at the 2 mile marker along the Kalalau Trail. In the early 90's before Kauai's popularity, the difficult 2 mile hike was enough to qualify Hanakapiai for nude use. Today there are hundreds of day visitors which have ended any nude sunning. Now only those who camp there can catch an early morning or late evening skinny dip. Click here for more information on Hanakapiai Beach
Kee Beach was once promoted as a nude beach. Today, it is far too public. But if you walk to the east about 1/2 mile you come to a big sandy bay with a stream in the middle, and if its a windy day, you'll have the spot to yourself. However, if there's no wind, you'll find a lot of foot traffic walking by. We've relaxed there au-natural 8 to 10 times midweek and never been hassled. There's only an occasional jogger or beachcomber and they never seem to mind. When we visited on a weekend in 2004, we had company for the first time at this spot -- one couple in bathing suits and two topless and as we disrobed, one couple quickly joined us. When we visited in 2006, there were several other skinny dippers. The Kee Beach parking area often fills up. If you have to park in the overflow about 1/4 mile before the main parking, there is short path right to this very spot at the north-west corner of the parking area -- look carefully, it's not obvious. You can also get to the same spot by parking at campground by Heana Beach and walking west 3/4 mile. If you come from the Heana Beach side, you may choose to stop one or two coves early in your walk. Click here for more information on the Kee Beach Area.
Tunnels Beach is one of the north shore's most popular beaches. Right at the point where Tunnels Beach turns from North-South to East-West we have seen a few solo nude sunbathers. Blogs posted in 2006 report small gatherings. But others have shared accounts of serious hassling and threats to call authorities by the lifeguard staff at this very same place. It would seem best to now avoid Tunnels especially since this point is adjacent to a populace spot with swimsuit clad folks walking by every few minutes. Click here for more information on Tunnels Beach.
Cliffs Resort Occasionally we've just walked down a narrow path from the Cliffs Condo to the ocean's edge. It's all lava rocks, but you can find delightful nooks in which to sit, sun, and watch the ocean and an occasional turtle. There's a delightful waterfall to shower in upon return. If you walk west 100 yards, you'll come to a small [just 10 feet or so] sandy cove that is a perfect setting for a couple or two.
Hanalei Bay Beaches, Princeville Beach, Hideaways Beach, Queens Bath, Anini Beach are all too frequently visited and too close to population centers.
Secret Beach has been and probably still is Kauai's best bet for nude sunning, swimming, and walking. The beach is really 5 connected beaches separated by small lava outcroppings. All total they stretch about 1.5 mile. On some days, the two eastern beaches [#4 and #3] see nothing but nude use. The one with the waterfall [#2] is generally clothed but the situation varies with attendance. The center beach [#1] is almost never used nude. The beach to the west [un-numbered or zero] would fall into the same category as #2. The whole area is absolutely gorgeous -- huge expanses of white sand, lava rocks, waterfalls, green tropical plants, lagoons. You can even wash up after your visit. The swimming is tricky in the Summer and nearly impossible in the Winter. In the Winter, simply enjoy the lagoons and what little sand remains.
In 2002, a
land owner above Secret Beach employed a "rent a cop" who started hassling
nude visitors. Some beach users complained to authorities and by 2007
this individual no longer walked the beach. As recently as
Fall 2011, we observed this individual simply picking up trash on beach #1 keeping the beach clean.
In 2013 he was gone altogether.
More Secret Beach history
Waiakulua Beach and Pila Beach are rarely visited -- by either suited or non-suited parties. The drive is about 10minutes farther than from Princeville to Secret Beach, but the reward is to be by yourself or have perhaps one other couple [50/50 chance whether they will be clothed or not]. Day's we've visited we have shared the beach with no more than one other swim suited and beachcombing couple. Click here for more information on Waiakulua and Pila Beaches.
Larsens Beach is hassle free and uncrowded. Prior to 2004 when we've visited there are only 1 or 2 groups [always nude] along 1+ mile of beach. The fewer number of visitors is probably because the swimming and scenery at Larsens is not nearly as good as Secret Beach.
However when visiting in 2004, we found 8-10 nude groups and 2-3 clothed groups each day. The clothed users tend to use the east end [closer to the footpath], while the west end receives nude usage. Note to couples: males outnumber females 3:1 or 4:1 on Larsens beach. Average distance between groups on the west end of the main section of beach was just 100 feet or so. If you hike further west [OK in the nude if you like], you come to a series of 3-4 beaches that are usually deserted. I predict that when Secret Beach frees up, Larsens will loose this temporarily following.
You can hike west for 2 miles -- all the way to Pila beach if you choose. The going is slow as one hops rocks most of the way. Be sure to visit the baths by the lava arch about 1 1/4 miles from the Larsens Beach footpath.
Click here for more information on Larsens Beach.
Avoid Anini, Kalihiwai Bay, Kahili [Rock Quarry], -- all to the east of Princeville. Kahili [Rock Quarry] was a popular nude spot in the early 90's. That has all changed -- we've never seen anyone even topless there. In general these beaches are now frequented by local families and nude use would surely attract complaints.
Moloa'a Bay, gets some nude use on the north shore and south shore away from the houses and cottages. It is recommended to go to the far ends to avoid interaction with clothed visitors. Show respect for locals of Hawaiian descent and do not use Moloa'a Bay when they are present. Click here for more information on Moloa'a bay.
Aliomanu Beach, is also fine for nude bathing. No hassles. While technically not a north shore beach, directions are included for anyone interested. From mile marker 15 on the main highway take Aliomanu Road toward the ocean. Take the first left to Aliomanu Estates. Continue until you see a beach access sign on the right on the beige colored fence. Turn right and down to parking lot. Follow the trail 3-4 minutes down to the shore. There is usually hardly anyone there.
EAST SHORE Donkey Beach was once a popular East Shore nude beach. Now, it is too close to development and any nude use is risky. And yes, there is enforcement. Consider instead using Aliomanu Beach [see above].
Enjoying the waterfalls of Kauai can be just as much fun and just as clothing optional as the beaches. Here is a partial listing of some spots to consider:
Falls -- 4 hiking miles from the Kee Beach parking lot.
Up to date reports on Kauai Beaches from a resident Naturist --
Excellent up to date Reports on Kauai. Contains explicit photos.
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