Hanalei is located on the North Shore of Kauai, and was one of the earliest areas to be settled by the ancient Pacific voyagers. Today Hanalei is home to an appealing blend of laid-back old-timers, newcomers and active surfers.
The main centers of activity in Hanalei town are at the Ching Young Village and across the street at the Hanalei Center. The Ching Young Village houses outdoor adventure and equipment rental companies, grocery stores including Hanalei Natural Foods and other eating options. The Hanalei Center is the historical Hanalei School that was converted to hold several restaurants and snack bars as well as a handful of popular clothing and gift stores, including the Yellowfish Trading Company that sells hard-to-find Hawaiiana and great 1950’s souvenirs.
Famous for its spectacular beauty, Hanalei Bay is just one block from Hanalei town. It is a two-mile stretch of crescent-shaped sandy beach that is great for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding and fishing. In the background is the breathtaking verdant green Hanalei Mountain Range frequently laden with waterfalls and rainbows. The Hanalei Pier and nearby Black Pot Beach are famous landmarks along Hanalei Bay. There are a variety of beachfront and other Kauai vacation rentals in Hanalei town and along Hanalei Bay.
Hanalei's only official historic site consists of three buildings that mark the location of Kauai's second Christian mission. (The first was in Waimea.) This Hanalei mission was established in 1834 by Rev William Alexander. The original Waiʻoli Church was erected in 1841 and now serves as the Waiʻoli Social Hall. The bright green Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church, with its stained-glass windows and neat belfry, was built in 1912 and is often photographed.
Behind these two Hanalei churches is the Waiʻoli Mission House that began as the New England-style home of the Alexanders, but is better known for having housed Abner and Lucy Wilcox who ran the Hanalei mission from 1846 until 1869. Members of the Wilcox dynasty became some of Kauai's leading landowners; the family name is all over Kauai. Family descendants lived in this Hanalei house until the late 1970s. The place is outfitted with nineteenth-century artifacts and provides a real sense of long-ago life in Hanalei. Tours are available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, with donations welcome.
Hanalei is accessed via a one-lane truss bridge that was built in 1912. The bridge was damaged by a tsunami in 1957 and subsequently reinforced. Occasionally when there are heavy rains and high tide, Hanalei River will overflow its banks and flood the valley, temporarily restricting traffic in/out of Hanalei town.
Hanalei Valley Lookout offers one of the most famous views on Kauai. Most of the taro grown in Hawaii is grown on Kauai in Hanalei Valley which is one mile wide and six miles long.
There are a variety of beachfront and other Kauai vacation rentals in Hanalei town and along Hanalei Bay. Contact us today.