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Hanalei Bay, Kauai

(320+ reviews on the web)
Beach Nature / Park
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a narrow small beach but I found some really great sea glass here on my visit. You can walk and or drive to other areas to get more sandy beach areas. Worth a stop if close by.  more »
  • Wow, my jaw dropped when we pulled up to the pier. Crystal blue waters, green mountains in the back. We got there kind of early, say 10am and it was pretty quiet. Lots of locals hanging out, jumping o...  more »
  • Hanalei Bay is a wonderful beach. You can drive right out on the sand, set up a canopy and enjoy a day on the beach. The waters are calm and warm so bring your water toys, floats and SUPs. There is a ...  more »