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Hanalei Bay, Kauai

(320+ reviews on the web)
Beach
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
  • There's lots of room on the long beach in this huge bay. You can get a good view of the mountains and valley from the pier. It's a great place for a swim and all levels of surfing. We saw a surf compe...  more »
  • We stayed in Princeville, so just a short drive to Hanalei Bay. Roads and traffic can be a challenge, but well worth it. Can get really crowded so might want to set off early to get a parking spot tha...  more »
  • We toured up to this are by car and really enjoyed the drive and stops along the way from Kapaa area. It has interesting beaches, caves and small towns along the way. Worth the drive.  more »