Ultimate Guide To Hawaii's Gay Beaches

By Mike Boisvert.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, is crowded, but a good place for novice surfers---a number of hotels offer board rental and instruction. The main gay beach is appropriately named Queen's Surf, and is located at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. The beach in front of the Royal Hawai'ian Hotels is a gay-ish alternative. However skip the snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a tourists trap so chockablock with Japanese tourists feeding the gigantic fish you can't avoid scraping yourself on dead coral.

Donkey Beach, Kauai, is the gay beach. Reach it by finding the cane road off Highway 56 between markers 11 and 12. Walk toward the ocean on the wide cane road and then down through the ironwood trees to the beach. There has been talk of development here and a possible crackdown on nude sunbathing, so watch out. Secret Beach is just inaccessible enough to still merit the name---the sloping 200-yard trail that leads to it is tucked at the bottom of an unmarked dirt road near Kilauea, on the north shore. Expect great protected snorkeling in summer and huge waves in winter (which make it too dangerous to swim).

Little Beach, Maui, is located south of Wailea, one mile past the Maui Prince Hotel. Just past the large hill on the right is a paved road turnoff leading to Makena Beach, Hike over the lava promontory at the right end of the Beach to reach "Little Beach" where you'll find the only "gay scene" on Maui---hippies, gay men and other free thinkers enjoy this clothing-optional area. To find Red Sand Beach or Black Sand Beach ask locals after arriving in Hana. Ho'okipa Beach is the windsurfing capital of the world, but because swells can reach 20-plus feet in the winter, it's recommended for experts only.

Honokohau, Big Island, is the gay beach on Hwy 19 between Kailua and the Kona Airport. Turn onto the road to the Honokahau Boat Harbor, take the first right and drive around the boat storage area to the north side. Follow the trail that leads north and then to the left through a thicket. At the ocean, head to the far right end. Kehena is the other gay beach, a fine black sand beach south of Pahoa. Reach it by hiking down a lava rock trail, from Highway 137 near mile marker 19.

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