On the rare occasion that I take an entire day off, Hanalei Bay is one of my favorite destinations. As I drive across the one-way bridge, past the taro fields, and into the charming little town of Hanalei, treasured childhood memories come flooding back to me. As a girl, I would spend lazy days building sandcastles on the beach, boogie boarding on the bay, and exploring around on my bike.
To say Hanalei is a “special place” does not even begin to capture the essence of this magical town. It delights me to now share this iconic place with my own children.
We usually start the day by sipping coffee and indulging in a hearty breakfast or pastries at Hanalei Bread Company. Then we pop into a few of our favorite shops. Sand People is a well curated boutique with stylish clothing, unique jewelry, and beach-inspired décor. Hanalei Surf Company in the Old Hanalei School Building and Backdoor in Ching Young Village Shopping Center have fun surf fashions.
Then we head out to the BEACH...
Tip: In the summer months Hanalei Beach is generally calm and glassy – great for paddle boarding and swimming. In the winter months the surf can be large – an apposite place for experienced surfers.
“Pine Tress” (Waioli County Beach Park) is a fabulous spot to surf, watch surfers, or play volleyball. It is usually fairly easy to find parking and has the convenience of showers and restrooms.
If we are meeting up with friends who have younger kids, we often opt for Black Pot Beach at the Hanalei Pier. The water is generally calmer here and there is a grassy area and picnic tables. It is often a bit more crowded and the parking can be more packed out, but it also has showers and restrooms.
My girls never tire of jumping off the Hanalei Pier!
Strolling up and down the nearly two miles of soft, sandy beach provides breathtaking scenery. The turquoise waters of the bay set aside the verdant, emerald mountains with cascading waterfalls, are a backdrop of ever-changing beauty.
After our fill of the beach, we will venture back into town. The gigantic burrito at Chicken in a Barrel will be devoured by our family. To leave Hanalei on a sweet note, we will stop at Wishing Well Shave Ice or Pink’s Creamery for a treat. Oh yes, this is the perfect place for a one-day vacation from the pressures of life.