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3 Apr 2019
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If a quaint beach town is your style, then Hanalei may be your perfect getaway. In 2009, Hanalei Bay was voted "America's favorite beach" by Dr. Beach.  Once you cross the Hanalei Bridge, the road follows the Hanalei River as you can enjoy expansive views of the taro patches that extend across the plain to the base of the steep, green mountains. Hanalei has lots to explore — from its two-mile, crescent-shaped white sand beach and navigable river to its charming beach town with an organic market and boutique eateries. 

Getting to Hanalei

Hanalei is located on the North Shore of Kauai and is approximately 45 minutes from the Lihue airport. When leaving the airport, head north on Kuhio Hwy (Hwy 56). Hanalei is reached by driving down the hill from Princeville and crossing over the Hanalei Bridge which is considered the “gateway to Hanalei.” Make sure to wait your turn when you come to this historic one-lane bridge, the first of seven one-lane bridges on the North Shore.

Where to Stay in Hanalei

There are no hotels in Hanalei, which help keep its small town charm. Hawaii Life offers a wide variety of Hanalei vacation rentals. The best part is that nearly every home in Hanalei is walking distance to the beach and town. Whether you are traveling with the whole family, on a romantic getaway, or just vacationing with friends, we have a rental that will fit your needs! Check out our availability in Hanalei!  All of our vacation rentals are professionally managed and offer complimetary concierge services.

Hanalei Activities

The center of Hanalei Town features several historic building which now house the town’s many shops and restaurants. There are also several outfitter shops where you can rent surfboards, standup paddle boards, snorkel gear, and kayaks.

Beach Day – Grab the kids, pack the cooler, and head to the beach for a fun and relaxing day in the sun! A favorite Hanalei gathering place is Black Pot Beach Park at the east end of Hanalei Bay near Hanalei Pier. Several other beaches along Hanalei Bay are also popular, with lifeguards stationed at Hanalei Pavilion Beach and Waioli Beach Park. Be sure to stick around for sunset!

Surfing – A family friendly environment, Hanalei Town offers many options for surfing lessons or rental surfboards for an afternoon of fun in the bay, or Stand Up Paddle boards for a scenic paddle up the river. Please call our concierge for bookings at (855) 434-4716.

Yoga – Whether you're looking for deep relaxation, an intense workout, or anything in between, Hanalei yogis have what you need! Located in the center of town, check out Yoga Hanalei Studio & Boutique offering multiple classes daily, or travel across the bridge and up the hill to enjoyed heated vinyasa flow at Yoga with Lulu in Princeville. We also arrange private yoga sessions with personalized classes and experienced teachers right from your home! Please call our concierge for bookings: (855) 434-4716 

Shopping – Small Boutiques line both sides of the street in Hanalei and offer a variety of local made items from clothing, to Kauai keepsakes, and art. Take a stroll through the Ching Young Village Shopping Center to find everything you need from Kauai souvenirs, gifts and food, beachwear, and surf shops. 

Farmers' Markets – Every Saturday there is a Farmers Market in Hanalei at 9:30 am at the Hanalei Neighborhood Center & Ballpark on the mauka (mountain) side of the highway just past the post office. Every Tuesday there is a Farmers Market at 2 pm at Waipa just past Hanalei Town.

Hanalei Restaurants

Hanalei Bread Company – Start your day at this organic bakery and coffee house offering breakfast and lunch items before 2 pm, open daily from 7 am to 5 pm. 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy #4, Hanalei, HI 96714, (808) 826-6717

Banadi - A more decadent option, Banadi offers delicious and healthy crepes, milkshakes and Kauai grown coffee. Banadi offers a variety of sweet and savory breakfast, lunch and dinner options with locally sourced ingredients. 5-5190 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, (808) 634-7989

Kauai Grill – Fine dining at the St Regis hotel in Princeville. Menu is inspired by French and Asian cuisines and features fresh ingredients indigenous to the island. Spectacular views of Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai. Reservations recommended. 5520 Ka Haku Rd, Princeville, HI 96722, (808) 826-9644

Wishing Well Shave Ice - Beat the heat with shave ice at this colorful food truck and local favorite. Wishing Well offers a wide variety of organic shave ice (in many flavor combinations), acai bowls, and coffee, there is something for everyone! 5-5080 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI, 96714, (808) 639-7828

Kauai Ono – Amazing farm to fork concept served in Hanalei on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6:30pm.  Outdoor dining, set 5 course meal, BYOB.  Local, seasonal, organic. Reservations required. (808) 634-3244

The Hanalei Dolphin Restaurants, Fish Market, and Sushi Lounge – Since the early 1970s, The Dolphin Restaurant has been a favorite of visitors and locals alike. The establishment is known for the freshest cuts in seafood, second-to-none service, nostalgic river ambiance, a world-class sushi lounge, and stunning views. The fish market offers premade sushi rolls, sandwiches, drinks, and snacks. They do not take reservations. 5016 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei HI 96714, (808) 826-6113

Bar Acuda - In the heart of Hanalei town, tapas-style menu. Best ambiance on the North Shore, hip spot to see and be seen. Open daily for dinner 6pm-9pm. Reservations recommended. 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, (808) 826-7081