Hanama'ulu Beach offers up camping in a beautifully secluded spot just three miles from Kauai's main city of Lihue. In fact, this beach is so beautiful that they filmed the John Wayne movie “Donovan's Reef” here. And it serves as an oasis inside Kauai's largest urban area.
Take Highway 56 north out of Lihue and the airport. Three miles out of the city, turn right onto Hanama'ulu Road straight across the street from Hanama'ulu Cafe and 7-11. Continue on Hanama'ulu Road until you reach a fork in the road. You'll find a beautiful campsite nestled into an ironwood tree forest on the left, and you can access the bay on your right.
You'll notice that Hanama'ulu Road hugs Hanama'ulu Stream which pours into Hanama'ulu Bay where you'll find Hanama'ulu Beach. It's all things Hanama'ulu.
The beach is windswept and the water is protected by a half-moon bay. Unfortunately, this beach isn't good for swimming as Hanama'ulu Stream carries a lot of silt out into the ocean. The water here is rather murky and that can be a bit dangerous.
Shark bites are incredibly rare on the islands, but you increase your chances when you swim in murky ocean water. Sharks like to feast on fish that have been swept out to sea, and they may give you an investigatory nibble is you happen to be in the way. Sharks do not like the taste of the iron in your blood, so they are not out to eat you, but you up your chances of a nibble swimming near Kauai streams in hazy water.
It's best to enjoy the white sand beach which is draped by an ironwood forest. The water is calm, there's a trickling stream and the scenery couldn't get anymore beautiful. You can even look down the trickling stream to see a hallway of bent ironwoods. And it's an easy detour on your way in or out of Kauai's big city, so you may want to take a picnic down to this secluded spot.