Hanalei Bay
Hanalei Bay
4.5
About
This crescent-shaped bay in Kauai is the largest bay on the north shore, with stunning views and gorgeous beaches. Start at Black Pot Beach and head towards Hanalei Pier—an unmistakable landmark jetty made famous by the classic film, South Pacific—before walking towards Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park. Find a good spot along the bay to set down your towels—you can have a picnic, kayak, sunbathe, and even snorkel if the waters are calm (the waves can be rough during winter). Stay until sunset for exceptionally amazing views of Mount Makana in the distance. Hanalei Bay is a featured stop on many Kauai boat tours; some even help you to look for green sea turtles. – Tripadvisor
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  • Junglehike
    Las Vegas, Nevada171 contributions
    Yes, you can take a local bus (500) to Hanalei (do it!)
    We stayed for 5 days in Hanalei and during this time we took the bus in Kauai everywhere. Rental car is expensive and sparingly available. There are certain places that you need a rental car but we are not missing any so far. We took Bus 500 frm Airport (200) transfer to 500 (just ask driver where you are going and they can advise you time and where to catch the next bus. Bus 500 takes you all the way to the end of Hanalei Bay, rest 15 mins before we hop back and pay another fare. Since we have 15 mins we cross the street and took lovely picture of Wal'Oli Hui'la church. There is no pollution in Kauai and you can see the sky so clear. We had a great time just taking picture at this lovely church before hopping back to Hanalei town and hang around Hanalei beach. So cheap only $1-2 bus fare. Do it. We had a blast traveling Kauai on cheap buses. Yes, you can travel with your kids on buses as long as you know the bus schedule (every hour) so we don't have to wait too long. Love Kauai just so expensive!!
    Visited January 2023
    Written 25 February 2023
  • NJCricketer
    535 contributions
    Wonderful!
    A town worth visiting at the northern end of Kauai. Given a choice. one should stay here and explore the Na Pali area from here not from the south. Something to remember if I get a chance to visit Kauai again.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 28 February 2023
  • TR250
    15 contributions
    Crowded, lots of fish a ways out, kinda shallow water over the coral.
    Lots of fish out there. You did have to go a bit of a ways out there but well worth it. VERY crowded even though they limit the they number of visitors, so better than it used to be when it was a free for all. Did I mention crowded? just avoid the 'splashers' as they scare the fish.....and me too!!!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 18 March 2023
  • Amy W
    Morse Bluff, Nebraska25 contributions
    Fun in the surf
    Great place to just play in the surf. We saw some beginner surfers and lots of body boards. We spent our time just splashing around. Shallow enough to walk out quite a ways. Big enough that you don't feel crowded. Beautiful sand and surf!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 19 March 2023
  • Gary B
    Vancouver, Canada485 contributions
    Worth visiting, but wait for a sunny spell
    When we arrived in Princeville it had been raining hard and the bridge to Hanalei was closed. This was a problem as there were a number of places we had wanted to visit, trails to walk and a kayak tour we'd planned to take. None of which happened. We were able to get into the town the day we were heading back down island. We explored a bit, had a coffee and snack, shopped for puzzles, and picked up some poke bowls for a later lunch at the fish market behind the Dolphin (which were very good by the way, although costly at $20 each), and then left as the rain started again. We are very hopeful of returning in the future For those who have never been to the north shore, Hanalei Bay is the type of funky little town you'd typically associate with a beach town. The architecture is board and batten, tin roofs and wide verandas. There are a lot of restaurants that look good, but we never got to try them because we were staying in Princeville and the road to Hanalei was flooded. We will definitely go again, but not when it has been raining hard or is forecast to do so. Just suggest you keep that in mind.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 March 2023
  • subterranean_jack
    531 contributions
    Scenic Vista
    This is one of the best beaches in Hawaii. It's a really popular North Shore attraction, however, it's big enough so that you don't feel crowded by all the other visitors. If you only visit one beach in Hawaii, then this should be the one.
    Visited May 2022
    Written 6 April 2023
  • reed622
    Central Saanich, Canada302 contributions
    This is a must see beach.
    Visited on our first full day. It is beautiful there. The mountains the jungle atmosphere and the quaint little town are all beautiful. The restaurants were very busy. The beach by the pier had a food truck. We went twice during our stay and found parking both times. Swimming is lovely and the views make it amazing . Don’t forget to stop at the scenic lookout on the left before you head down the hill.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 September 2023
  • Timothy K
    Chicago, Illinois303 contributions
    nice rest spot
    The bay makes a great beach, wrapping around a huge semicircle ringed by mountains. The wave action seemed good, but not huge when we were there, with a lot of surfers out trying it. The beach has a pier jutting out making a good spot to sit and watch the water and surfers.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
597 reviews
Excellent
441
Very good
124
Average
27
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Timothy K
Chicago, IL303 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
The bay makes a great beach, wrapping around a huge semicircle ringed by mountains. The wave action seemed good, but not huge when we were there, with a lot of surfers out trying it. The beach has a pier jutting out making a good spot to sit and watch the water and surfers.
Written 2 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

advcards
Reno, NV3,582 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
Take advantage of the overlooks and turn outs. Views are breathtaking definitely worth the drive. Recommended that you include in your trip
Written 31 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason K
3 contributions
Sept 2023 • Family
Favorite beach on Kaua'i...large, expansive, views for days and the water was pretty calm the times we went (Sept...usually rougher in the winter from what we heard)
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

reed622
Central Saanich, Canada302 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
Visited on our first full day. It is beautiful there. The mountains the jungle atmosphere and the quaint little town are all beautiful. The restaurants were very busy. The beach by the pier had a food truck. We went twice during our stay and found parking both times. Swimming is lovely and the views make it amazing . Don’t forget to stop at the scenic lookout on the left before you head down the hill.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

McWilligers
Irvine, CA11 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Amazing Beach! Great for surfing. Lots of tourists, and shops close to the shore. Amazing views and beautiful mountains!
Written 17 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary W
Lake Stevens, WA27 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
We loved everything about Hanalei. The beach was awesome, the sights amazing and the water beautiful and warm! We had a great time and can’t wait to go back!
Written 17 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ricki C
11 contributions
Jul 2023
Hanalei Bay is breathtaking! It is a must see while on Kauai! If you want to swim then do check the wind forecast before going. The waves can get huge, but is usually calm.
Written 30 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LivinglifeinPA
Allentown, PA887 contributions
Jun 2023
We were honestly disappointed when we finally got to this beach........there had been so much hype & fanfare about it. Yes, it was nice, but other beaches that we saw throughout our time in Kauai were just as nice.......or even better, we thought.

The town of Hanalei was busy, for sure! People walking and sitting everywhere!!!!!!
We made a quick stop at a shop for T-shirt souvenirs and then left this crazy-busy place.
Written 2 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cheryl H
Kansas19 contributions
Jun 2023
Just ok compared to other water views and beaches. Was busy crowded and not so clean only porta potties.
Written 9 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hockeyaw19
Marlborough, MA449 contributions
May 2023
Great beach with incredible views of the mountain ranges that have multiple visible waterfalls flowing from them. We had a tough week cloud wise but still had a few decent days where the views were spectacular.

The beach is very long and ranges from calm near the pier to pretty large waves further west towards the mountains. Sunsets are great near the pier and there's several bathrooms along the beach as well as volleyball courts down towards the mountains.

Two rivers/streams also run right into the ocean which is a pretty cool thing to witness - they're deep and run fast so best to stay out of them or don't go too deep.
Written 28 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HANALEI BAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hanalei Bay

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