Hanalei Bay – the place to play


Walking Hanalei Beach, you’ll see shore-break surfers and joggers, and pass a number of beachfront homes, some of which are historical landmarks, and bed-and-breakfast cottages—all set among palm trees and gardens. If it looks familiar it just might jog your memory since this was the location for the recent movie “The Descendants”.

After about .5-mile on packed sand you come to the Hanalei City Pavilion, the main station for the lifeguards, who are among the best-trained in the world. From the pavilion, it’s about .75-mile to Waioli Beach Park, which ends at Waioli Stream. (You pass the picnic tables and ironwoods of Pine Trees Beach along the way.) Across the stream is called Waipa Beach, which leads to the stream of the same name. Cross Waipa Stream and you’re headed for Waikoko, at the far end of the bay. This walk has numerous options built in, starting at any of the access points described in the parking instructions, and popping out from the beach to quiet roads to take in beach life, Hanalei style. Be Aware: Steep soft sand in the middle of the bay gives way to riptide channels during high surf; watch out when wading. The streams can be difficult to cross after rains. Driving directions in your Kauai Trailblazer guide.