Nukolii Beach Park

Nukolii Beach Park - A Secluded, Picturesque Retreat
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Nukolii Beach Park is one of the most secluded, easily-accessible beaches you'll find near Lihue. You'll rarely see more than a handful of other people enjoying the views here. Although snorkeling and diving might possible during the calmest days of the summer, this isn't typically a friendly beach for swimming. Expect strong currents, sharp rocks, and high surf (particularly during the winter). It's perfect for sunrises, picnics, and beach walks, though. 

- The Local Expert Team

Looking for a quiet, uncrowded beach where you can claim a big chunk of sand–and privacy? Nukolii Beach delivers. Located just south of Kapaa, Nukolii is usually nearly deserted, and it stretches about two miles along the quiet coastline. Although currents, surf, and rocks make this a rather unfriendly swimming spot for most of the year, it is a stunning location for beachcombing, sunbathing, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the waves.

The surf at Nukolii Beach is particularly high in the winter months, with stronger currents and bigger waves making this beach a hard no for all but the most experienced (or foolhardy) of ocean goers. During the summer, your best bet for swimming or snorkeling along this stretch of beach is directly across from the golf course fronting–but even that area can be iffy. Snorkeling might be possible during the calmer summer months. There are no lifeguards along Nukolii Beach’s two-mile stretch, so take particular care before deciding to venture into the water. 

At Nukolii Beach, you won’t find extensive well-maintained facilities. There are showers and bathrooms, the state of which tend to vary dramatically; bathrooms are sometimes closed or lack basics like doors on the stalls. A few picnic tables offer a place to enjoy a bite to eat while soaking up the views. And those views are particularly spellbinding at sunrise. Nukolii Beach offers unobstructed views of the eastern horizon, making for some truly exceptional sunrise colors that you’ll only see at the ocean. 

Depending on the currents and the time of year, you might find lots of flotsam washed up on the shore–ropes and netting from passing ships, as well as washed-up ocean plastic and driftwood. Despite that, the smooth white sand and blue-crystal water are gorgeous year-round.

Nukolii Beach is located just north of Lihue; it fronts both the Wailua Golf Course and the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort on Kauai’s east side. You’ll find plenty of parking at the entrance, but do expect a dirt road on the way. Nukolii Beach is easily accessible from Lihue or Kapaa, and it’s worth the drive from other parts of the island if you’re looking for a particularly secluded beach spot. 

Insider Tips:
-You’ll find plenty of places to pick up a plate lunch, shave ice, or another treat on the way to Nukolii, and the picnic tables and stunning views make this a perfect picnic spot! 
-Keep your eyes peeled during your visit, and you might spot a Hawaiian monk seal playing in the water or enjoying a nap on the sand.