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Hanalei Bay, Kauai

4.8
#10 of 26 in Beaches in Kauai
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 Traveler Rating
352 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This may be the most idyllic place on Earth. I grew up with my parents singing Puff the Magic Dragon to me and I always wondered what Hanalei was. It is a beautiful cove/ small bay with a very nice, b...  more »
  • But sadly, the song is really not about this Hanalei. That's OK, because the public beach is pretty and very accessible (if you can find a place to park).  more »
  • Love this site when we visit. Was here first 30 years ago, and always go back every single trip since then. You won't be sorry you visited Hanalei Bay.  more »

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