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Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay on the north shore is one of Kaua‘i’s shining jewels. Surrounded by two miles of beaches and jungle-ensconced towering cliffs, the three Hanalei Bay beaches are: Black Pot Beach, Wai‘oli Beach, and Hanalei Beach – offer something for everyone.

Hanalei Bay History

In ancient times, a vast Hawaiian kalo (taro) growing community surrounded Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i. In 1824, King Kamehameha II’s royal yacht, Pride of Hawai‘i, struck an offshore reef and sank near the mouth of the Waiʻoli River. The wreck still lays buried in the silt. By the 1860s the area proved prime for rice growing, which became Hawai‘i’s second largest export crop. A pier was constructed, and Hanalei, which rests midpoint along the bay’s shore, became a busy port town. Today, the area is again in taro production and is host to Princeville Resort.

Hanalei Bay Facilities

All three Hanalei Bay beaches have parking, picnic tables, barbecue grills, pavilions, restrooms, and showers. Black Pot Beach offers a paddle board and surfboard rental concession, and camping is allowed there by permit.

Hanalei Bay Kaua’i Swimming Conditions

The waters at Hanalei Beach and Black Pot Beach are usually calm, and are great for children, paddle boarding and kayaking. Wai‘oli Beach, the central beach at Hanalei Bay, is known for superior surfing conditions. As with all Hawaiian beaches, check the current conditions and pay heed to all posted signs regarding ocean conditions and safety.

How to Get There

From Līhue, take Kūhiō Highway (56) north. 56 will turn into Highway 560 in Princeville. Turn right off 560 onto Aku Road (you’ll see Kalypso Restaurant). Follow to Weke Road, from which all three Hanalei Bay beaches are accessed. Turn left, and you will find Wai‘oli Beach. Turn right, and you’ll encounter Hanalei Beach first, then Black Pot at the end of the road.