Hawaiian Hanalei Bay Beach Vacation Ideas

When visiting Kauai consider a stay at a Hanalei bay resort, one of the conveniently located condos or contact one of the property owners to reserve one of the beach vacation rentals. My husband and I took advantage of a discount vacation package recently and went to Kauai on the travel advice from some of our friends. One of the insider secrets that they share with us was this special location.

After tossing other beach vacation destination ideas around, I made the decision that we would give the area a chance. After all, it was voted as one of the world's best beaches a few years back. But as we had visited the Hawaiian Islands so many times I really wasn’t expecting anything so different and pleasantly surprising. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be the Hawaiian beach adventure of a lifetime that it was on so many levels.

Although we have been to the Hawaiian Islands, we had not yet made reservations at a resort on Kauai, known as the Garden Island.

When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised at the tropical lushness of the island with its dramatic coastline and quickly came to the conclusion that Hanalei Bay might be one of the best Hawaiian beaches that we had ever visited.

We stayed on the North Shore but most of the Hanalei Bay resorts are located on the South Shore. We were looking for a b&b or a house in a less crowded place so we stayed nearby in a small town named Hanalei, at the Princeville Resort (We spent $309 a night for our room at the resort). But for our next Hawaiian beach vacation at Hanalei beach Kauai, we would not be adverse to the idea of trying out some other options. And there are plenty of nice places to stay, in fact there are over 2600 well-equipped Hanalei Kauai vacation rentals on the island to choose from for relatively inexpensive prices.

Everywhere you look on this majestic island, you will find manicured gardens. There are a lot of frequent tropical rain showers, and the combination of the island’s sun and rain results in the rich lushness of the landscape. Huge mountains and extinct volcanoes occupy the island, and much of the island is inaccessible except by hiking, so if you are physically fit and up for some adventure, pack your hiking and backpacking equipment and go exploring. One sight that you don’t want to miss is the rugged cliffs hugging the Na Pali Coast that are especially beautiful.

Be sure to pack some waterproof clothing because some parts of the island get regular downpours. For instance, Mount Wai’ale’ale towering over the Waimea Canyon is the rainiest spot on the Island, receiving around 440 inches of rain per year. Many tourists who don’t venture out very far don’t know this fact because the beaches only get approximately 20 to 85 inches of rain which is considerably less than other areas.

Our favorite thing was to begin each day with a stroll on the un-crowded beach of Hanalei and rev up our engines slowly. We made sure we set aside plenty of time for beach activities and our ongoing search for the perfect Mai Tai. I noticed seniors hanging out at the Hanalei Pier and killed a bit of time there myself while engaging in some interesting conversations about travel in the past compared to modern tourism.

It was no surprise that surfing the waves and water sports are a big deal. The good thing is that every bit of equipment or toy you could ever want is available for rent:

  • Body boards
  • Surfboards
  • Kayaks
  • Floats
  • Beach chairs and umbrellas.

There’s lot of other fun stuff to do in Hanalei Bay like:

  • Snorkeling
  • Helicopter tours
  • Cruise through the local Farmers Market
  • Tour the Guava Plantation
  • Take the botanical garden tour

I highly recommend helicopter tours as a fabulous way to get a bird’s eye view of the overall layout of the island, since most is remote and inaccessible by car or even by hiking on foot. There are several different companies who offer this service and many tourists have their own ideas of which is the best Hanalei Bay helicopter pilot, so I won’t make recommendations that might sway you and prevent you from forming your own opinions.

Next year we will be returning to the Hanalei beach for what I’m sure will be one of many breathtaking Hawaiian vacations.

In closing I can only say that I’m indebted to our friends who discovered Hanalei and let us in on their insider secrets that resulted in one of the best Hawaiian beach vacations at one of the best Hanalei Bay resorts.

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