Hanalei Beach is an awesome beach located in Hanalei Bay, the largest Bay on the north shore of Kauai.
Looking for a large north shore beach with all of the amenities?
Are you staying in the Hanalei town area and hoping to walk to a gorgeous beach that you can lounge on for an entire day?
Hanalei Beach Park is a perfect location to enjoy it all. There is a full complement of facilities at this beach as well as its proximity to Hanelei town opening up the opportunity to shop, find a great restaurant, and enjoy the relaxed island vibe.
Due to the resorts in the area this beach is really popular, but its large size makes it feel not crowded.
- Quick Facts:
- Location of Hanalei Beach Park
- What to Expect at Hanalei Bay
- WHERE TO STAY IN HANALEI
- Known For: Water sports, walking paths and gorgeous mountain views
- Facilities: Restrooms, picnic tables, and showers
- Lifeguards: yes
- Parking: decent amount
- Cost: Free
- Other: proximity to Hanalei Town
Hanalei Beach also goes by a number of other names:
Hanalei Bay, Hanalei Bay Beach, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, Hanalei Beach Park, Black pot Beach (next door)
Location of Hanalei Beach Park
This beach is in a great location on the island of Kauai. It is located directly in Hanalei town on the north shore of the island.
If you drive to this beach from the airport you will wind around the island to get here. The drive will take you about an hour.
Find all >> Hotels in Hanalei
Hanalei Beach Parking
There are a couple of parking lots. While one of them was completely full, we found space in the other. Even though the lots aren’t that big you will see more people on the beach. This is likely because most of the other visitors walk to the beach from a nearby hotel.
What to Expect at Hanalei Bay
This beach really does have it all.
Hanalei Bay has Full Facilities
This beach has showers, picnic tables, lifeguards, and restrooms. A lot of other beaches lack some of these facilities so it limits the types of activities.
Find all >> Hotels in Hanalei
Hanalei Bay Rentals
This beach also offers rentals of the expected beach equipment – boogie boards etc.
Hanalei Bay Activities
- Surfing! Beginner surfing lessons offered here.
Hanalei Bay Tours
Hanalei Bay morning Kayak & Snorkel Tour – This tour is a great opportunity to see parts of Hanalei you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. It includes Kayaking down the Hanalei River and then snorkeling in Hanalei bay! Sea turtles are often spotted here. Read more about Hanalei Bay Kayak & Snorkel Tour here. Check out the reviews here.
Hanaley River Paddle and Bay Snorkel Tour – instead of kayaking and snorkeling like the tour above this one uses paddle boards.
Check out the photo below for a view of the Hanalei river you will kayak down.
Top ways to experience Hanalei Bay
These are the best ways to experience Hanalei Bay!
Hanalei Bay Sunset
Not only does this beach have beautiful sand and water, but it is framed by the stunning Kauai mountains, and depending on conditions you can even see waterfalls from the shore. Highly recommend staying for the Hanalei Bay Sunset, it’s spectacular.
The large size of the beach helped disperse the crowds. We saw a good amount of families on the beach. While we definitely didn’t have it to ourselves, there was plenty of space to call our own.
Hanalei Beach Park is an all-around awesome choice for a north short of Kauai Beach. It is no surprise that the Hanalei town was built up in this location.
WHAT TO PACK FOR KAUAI
- Dresses – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
- Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
- Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
- Sports bra – This SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
- Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
- Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
- Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOS, Nordstrom and Revolve as well.
- Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out! Warning – they both sell out really quick.
- Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking this trail but I would recommend tennis shoes. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These Nike high tops are my current favs. They look so cute with shorts too!
- Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!
- Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
- Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.
Planning a trip to Kauai? Read everything we know about Kauai here:
My husband and I have been to Kauai many, many times and have written up more guides to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Kauai travel guides to help you plan your trip.
Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai
- TUNNELS BEACH IN KAUAI (amazing snorkeling, swimming, seals) – one of my personal favorite beaches own the entire island!
- KE’E BEACH ON KAUAI – great snorkeling, swimming, but you have to make reservation in advance – it was a nightmare.
- Hideaway’s Beach – Amazing snorkeling on the North Shore.
- Anini Beach – (Snorkeling, fishing, swimming) Great for basically everything.
- Kalapaki Beach in Kauai – Kids beach. Perfect beach for families, beginner snorkeling and swimming!
Best Cliff Jumping in Kauai
- SHIPWRECK BEACH ON KAUAI – Amazing cliff jumping beach
- QUEEN’S BATH KAUAI: COMPLETE GUIDE – Another must visit!
More awesome beaches
- MOLOA’A BEACH ON KAUAI – Insanely underrated. Giligans Island was filmed here. This beach was another one of my favorites. Practically empty.
- Lumaha’i Beach Kauai – What you need to know before going
- Secret Beach Kauai! (aka Kauapea beach) – MUST see beach!
- Haena Beach – We saw a Monk Seal on this beach!
- Gillin’s Beach – Fairly secluded beach where you can ride horses!
- Donkey Beach – Underrated – practically deserted beach
- Hanalei Beach – Gorgeous beach, perfect for sunsets.
- Salt Pond Beach Park – Amazing beach for kids and families (You can camp here as well)
- Black Pot Beach
Kauai Hiking Guides
- WAILUA FALLS HIKE ON KAUAI – AMAZING WATERFALL HIKE! Probably my favorite hike I have ever done.
- KALEPA RIDGE TRAIL – BEST HIKE IN HAWAII…SERIOUSLY. Trust me, don’t leave this one off your list! It’s GORGEOUS!
- MAKALEHA TRAIL – Amazing trail that is extremely muddy. 100% worth it!
- CANYON TRAIL TO WAIPO’O FALLS
- Pihea Trail – Easy hike on Kauai with Na’pali Coast Views!
- Makauwahi Cave Trail – Kauai Hidden gem
Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.
Read all other posts on Kauai here.