Hanalei Bay

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Not only is Hanalei Bay and its 2 mile long crescent shaped beach a candidate for the best beach Kauai, it is also a strong candidate for the best beach in all of Hawaii. In Hawaiian, Hanalei means “lei shaped beach.” It has it all. The surroundings from when you first see it in its entirety from the lookout, to taking in the view from the 1920s era pier is special. The beach itself is huge and the parking is plentiful, so even its popularity does not cramp your style. There is no water activity that is not possible here, conditions permitting. Yachts moor here, surfers shred here, there is windsurfing and kayaking. If you just want to walk in paradise, this is your beach. Even in the winter, when high surf limits your choices, you can kayak up the river through the taro fields in a setting from a postcard. Fishing and snorkeling are to be had on the extreme north and south rocky bookends when calm. You may see a kite surfer or two if the wind is up. There are picnic areas, multiple lifeguards and facilities, and I could go on. This is a beach you have to at least see from the lookout that is well marked before you descend down into Hanalei Valley. It must have been easy for the movie producer of the South Pacific musical to pick this beach for much of their filming. Not only is the beach a perfect setting, but the backdrop of waterfalls and mountain peaks ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 feet high is mesmerizing. Like the other beaches on the North Shore of Kauai, use extreme caution during the winter months when the surf and currents can be deadly. Drownings do occur on this coast, and the currents can be deceptively challenging at any time. There are lifeguards here that would rather have you ask questions, than have to rescue you.
Hanalei Bay
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Spectacular Scenery
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Easily Accessible
High Winter Surf
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