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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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360 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • October 4, 2017
    We use to love sitting on the beach near the Hanalei Pier or pavilions, but unfortunately the beach has signs posted saying water unhealthy to swim in. There were a few people swimming & shore fishing...  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    We were in Princeville so this was closest to us. Love the town. Plenty to eat, shop, typical tourist town with Hawaiian feel. Liked being part of the town. Saw a movie star but said nothing. Tongue t...  more »
  • September 27, 2017
    My partner and I travelled to this beach in September 2017 and were underwhelmed with the amenities and this beach as a whole. This place looks so magical from the photos but that’s where it ends. The...  more »

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