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Hanalei Bay, Kauai

4.8
#9 of 26 in Beaches in Kauai
Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauaʻi island in Hawaii. The town of Hanalei is at the midpoint of the bay.Hanalei Bay consists of nearly two miles of beach, surrounded by mountains. In the summer, the bay offers excellent mooring for sailboats, stand up paddle boarding and swimming. The Princeville community overlooks from the northeast entrance to the bay of Hanalei River,. During the winter the surf becomes large and is a favorite surf location.The wetlands of Hanalei Bay were used to grow taro by ancient Hawaiians. By the 1860s, the new crop was rice, which was shipped to Honolulu to become the second largest export crop of the islands. The Hanalei Pier was built to help Hanalei farmers move their crops to market. The covered pier's location near the mouth of the Hanalei River and Black Pot beach has long been a favorite family gathering place for fishing, picnicking, swimming, and playing.On April 5, 1824, King Kamehameha II’s royal yacht, Pride of Hawaii, sank near the mouth of the Waiʻoli River, on the southwest corner of the bay after its crew struck a 5ft reef a hundred yards offshore. It is believed the captain and crew were drunk at the time. A large section of the ship’s hull washed ashore in 1844 in a winter storm surge, but most of this historic wreck remains buried in silt in the bay. In 1995–2000, archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History excavated the wreck and recovered more than 1,200 artifacts. During this excavation, a 40ft section of the stern was discovered, documented, and then re-buried where it was discovered.
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Hanalei Bay Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
383 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Best beach view around. Very nice sand and moderate waves suitable for boogie boarding. lots of parking but can be very busy.  more »
  • We've come to love this stunning bay while staying at the St. Regis. In any weather, rain or shine, the views are remarkable. And the relentless, roaring sound of the waves coming into the bay is over...  more »
  • We spent a relaxing week in a rental house right on the beach. In December is can be a little rainy but it didn't detract from the relaxing sound of the waves. The small shops and restaurants can take...  more »
Google
  • It was too bad the weather was overcast when we visited. But the beach is quite beautiful. The waves are pretty powerful and there were signs stating swimming was prohibited.
  • Beautiful sandy beach. Perfect for swimming when the surf is below orange. We swam in it for about 10-15 minutes in Orange surf. It was challenging. The sand is very soft and feels great in the water. Great Crescent Bay like beach for children and families to play on.
  • Great spot to try surfing!
  • Beautiful beaches, mountains in the back ground, not crowded, watch surfing, shops for eating
  • Gorgeous beaches with plenty of open Space to enjoy.
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