Hanalei Beach (The Gem of Hanalei Bay)

Hanalei Beach Kauai Hawaii
Hanalei Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

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:

  • 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.

Hanalei Beach parking
Hanalei Beach parking

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.
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling

Hanalei Bay Tours

Learn to Surf private group lessons – 2ppl, 3ppl, 4ppl private lessons available. Book here.

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.

Hanalei River Kauai Hawaii
You can book a kayak and snorkel excursion in the Hanalei River and bay.

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.

Hanalei bay Kauai Hawaii
Hanalei Bay Sunset and beach Pavilion, Kauai, Hawaii


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 is the best town to stay on Kauai for a number of reasons. There is just so much to see and do in this town. To check out all the top hotels click here.


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.


  • 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 braThis 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 ASOSNordstrom 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.

Kauai Beaches

Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai
Best Cliff Jumping in Kauai
More awesome beaches

Kauai Hiking Guides

Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.

Read all other posts on Kauai here.

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Hey there! I'm Claire, the founder of avenlylane.com & avenlylanetravel.com. While spending 4 years completely bedridden and miserable from an unexpected illness I decided to begin writing about my past travel adventures and now the rest is history. Thank you so much for visiting the website. I hope you enjoy it!


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