Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s north shore, has four beaches and the beautiful strip of sand that connects them is absolutely gorgeous.
The formation of the bay at Hanalei makes for the perfect harbor, and many world-class yachtsmen call Hanalei their home port for a few months during the summer. The nearby Hanalei Canoe Club is famous for the many world-class canoe teams it has produced.
The mid-point of Hanalei Bay’s 2-mile-long beach, Waioli is a popular spot among expert surfers and the major contest site on the North Shore of Kauai.
This is not the best beach for swimmers and families because of the surf and strong currents, however surfers love the waves here. In fact, surfers visit Kauai’s Hanalei Bay from all of the Hawaiian Islands and around the world simply because of its unbelievably large and long lasting waves.
Waikoko Beach, Wai’oli Beach Park, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, and Black Pot all make up the Hanalei Bay Beaches.
Waikoko Beach – This beach is easy to get to and when the surf is calm it’s a nice place to snorkel. Of course, care should always be taken because the ocean can change at any time. There is pretty good protection from a reef here so swimmers do find this a nice beach at times, although the water is shallow which is not the best for swimming. Waikoko Beach is located between mile markers four and five.
Wai’oli Beach Park – This beach may be reached by Weke Road in Hanalei. It is also at the end of He’e and Ama’ama roads in Hanalei. The ocean is strong at this beach and it can be hazardous to swim here. Of course, when the sea is very calm swimming can be enjoyed, but the tides can turn at any moment and swimmers should always be on the lookout.
Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park – Weke Road will also lead you to Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park. This beach has all the facilities you might need not to mention a lifeguard. One would think that swimming conditions are ok since a lifeguard is on duty, however this is not the case. In fact, you will want to avoid swimming here unless you are a good surfer or boogie boarder.
Black Pot – If you want some beautiful photos to take home than a photo at the pier at Black Pot beach might be just for you. The name of this beach is based on a big black cooking pot that was once left at the beach by locals. There are facilities at this beach and camping is an option with a valid county permit.
Swimming on the other hand is generally not great. This is because the beach is close to the Hanalei River’s mouth and the waters are murky and not good for swimming. When the surf is calm during the summer months boogie boarders do find this a good beach.
On the other hand, if you are interested in paddling up the Hanalei River then this is just the spot for you to put your kayak in the water and get started!