Things to Do

Top 12 Things To Do In Hanalei Kauai

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Things to do in Hanalei include visiting Hanalei Beach, going for a kayak tour at Hanalei Bay and more. The town has something to offer for every traveler.

The town of Hanalei is the northernmost town on the island of Kauai which features stunning settings from scenic beaches to lush vegetation.

This town is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts since you can go hiking, kayaking, surfing and much more. Here is a list of 12 things to indulge in while you visit Hanalei.

1. Visit The Hanalei Beach

Things to do in Hanalei Kauai is to visit the beautiful Hanalei Beach. You can enjoy plenty of beach activities and water sports at this place.

The oceanfront place is a popular destination located on the north shore of Kauai known for its breathtaking natural beauty. It features a crescent-shaped sandy shoreline and the lush green mountains act as a backdrop.

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Hanalei Bay Beach is among the best beaches in Kauai for swimming since the waves are gentle. You will find yourself in a great place to relax in this secluded area.

You can engage yourself in a boat tour or kayak excursion to explore the coastline or explore the sea caves. Or simply lay down on the warm sand and soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

2. Kayak And Snorkel Tour In Hanalei Bay

Best things to do Hanalei are to go for a guided kayak and snorkel tour in Hanalei Bay. Explore the picturesque and lush landscape of the Bay and the vibrant marine life found here.

Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauai island with the Hanalei town as its midpoint. Getting on the waters to explore the area is a popular recreational activity here.

Many rental shops and tour agencies offer tours and provide the necessary equipment for kayaking. You can book a tour with Kayak Hanalei for $160.49 per person.

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Hanalei Bay AM Kayak and Snorkel Tour is a 5-hour tour where you get up close and personal with the spectacular scenery of Hanalei Bay. The kayaking trip begins along the Hanalei River and later swapped for a snorkel.

  • Departure Location: Kayak Hanalei, 5-5070A, Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714
  • No. of People: 16 per group at max
  • Snacks, water and juice are provided

3. Organize A Picnic At Waioli Beach Park

Things to do Hanalei Kauai for a memorable trip is to go picnicking at Waioli Beach Park. Located on the west end of Hanalei Bay, this place has lifeguards and few onsite amenities.

This Park is also known as Pine Trees and covers an area of 6.4 acres of lawns that stretch for almost 400 yards along the shoreline.

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Multiple parking lots are available near the beach which is one less thing to worry about for the visitors. This southernmost oceanfront area also serves as a perfect starting point for all your beachside adventures.

You will find plenty of picnic tables and shady areas at Waioli Beach Park which will make your family trip memorable. There are two sand volleyball courts if you seek some entertainment.

4. Embark On A Guided Food Tour

Things to do in Kauai Hanalei for a unique experience is to embark on a guided food tour. Ono Kauai Food Tours offers 2 hours of culinary expedition for $119 per person.

The Walking Food Tour Exploring Hanalei is a guided tour that takes up to 12 people per group. It helps visitors avoid the tourist traps and experience culinary delights the way you deserve.

A guided food tour is one of the best things to do in Kauai to make your trip to the Garden Isle memorable. Savor the delicious offerings ranging from tropical to international cuisines.

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After you have made a booking, you will meet your group at a local spot in Hanalei. Once you get to know each other, the group will begin sampling delicious food.

The walking tour makes stops at local restaurants as you explore the town and learn its history. Signature entre and dessert tastings are also included here.

Visitors are requested to bring comfortable walking shoes and travel comforts such as jackets, sunscreen, etc with them.

5. Go Shopping At Hanalei Center

Things to do Kauai Hanalei is to go for shopping at the popular Hanalei Center. This is the best place to stop by if are keen on buying some souvenirs and local items.

The modern shopping complex is spread across a few historical buildings including the Old Hanalei School. The unique architectural design gives Hanalei Center its quaint and unique appeal.

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Here, you will find an eclectic combination of boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops, apparel stores and restaurants. Most shops are locally owned and sell locally-made Hawaiian items.

The shopping complex boasts a collection of local shops, service shops and restaurants. It often serves as a hub for the local community, hosting events, fundraisers, and cultural activities.

Hanalei Center most often showcases elements of local Hawaiian culture, including art, music, and traditional crafts.

6. Surfing Adventure In Hanalei Bay

Hanalei things to do in Kauai is to get on a surfing adventure in the stunning Hanalei Bay. The consistent surf conditions and the scenic beauty make it a go-to place for surfers.

The Bay is equally inviting for both beginners and experienced surfers since the place offers a range of surf breaks suitable for all skill levels.

The waves are comparatively smaller in the summer months, making it an ideal time for beginners. In the winter, the waves can get relatively large, attracting more experienced surfers.

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Kauai Surfboard Rentals is one of the leading rental companies based in Hanalei. They provide necessary surfing equipment including surf and paddle boards and also provide delivery service.

The renting prices offered by Kauai Surfboard Rentals include $40 per day (from 8 am to 5 pm) and $150 for a week. They have a wide range of board collections and offer:

  • Adjustable paddle
  • Basic paddling technique
  • Straight or coiled leash
  • Surf racks for your car

7. Visit The Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art

Hanalei things to do Kauai is to visit the Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art located in Hanalei Center. This place features a collection of treasures from the countries of Oceania.

Many of the items on display here are museum quality, or made using centuries-old techniques. These one-of-a-kind items include masks, tikis and contemporary jewelry influenced by primitive designs.

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During your visit to the northern part of Kauai, make sure to stop by this unique Art Center and observe the priceless and timeless artifacts. 

Every table, sculpture, calabash, and necklace has its own interesting story. These fantastic and beautiful items are rich in traditional culture, spirit, and mana.

  • Address: 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy G, Hanalei, HI 96714
  • Opening Hours: 11 am to 5 pm Daily
  • No Entry Fee

8. Enjoy Sundown At Hanalei Pier

Kauai things to do in Hanalei is to visit the famous Hanalei Pier and enjoy with your friends and family. The spot is perfect for several water sports and sightseeing.

The Pier itself is a stone slab built into Hanalei Bay that features a cabana and two picnic benches at the end. This place has been established as a tourist spot since it was abandoned for shipping in 1933.

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While you visit this popular landmark, you will find a small boat ramp where you can launch kayaks to paddle the Hanalei River. The kid-friendly place has a calm spot for children to play in the surf.

There are no lifeguards on duty here so, visitors need to be mindful of the tides while getting in the water. You will immediately sense the laid-back feeling this place offers as soon as you take a step.

Simply, lay back and enjoy the picturesque view of Namolokama Mountain, and enjoy a stunning view of the sunset in the evening.

9. Camping At Black Pot Beach

Kauai things to do Hanalei is to enjoy beach camping at Black Pot Beach. This scenic spot is located at the point where the Hanalei river meets the sea.

The beach park is easily accessible from Hanalei Town and boasts a spacious lawn area with tall shade trees, a sandy shore, and the peaceful Hanalei Pier.

The name of the beach is a nod to a large black pot that used to be present at the park for cooking fish during celebrations. You will find a  single dirt parking lot tends to fill up during busier times

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At this oceanfront place, you will find horseshoe pits, sinks, cold showers, picnic tables, and benches. Here, you will find a single dirt parking lot which can get busy at times.

Tent camping is allowed for the general public on the weekends and holidays. This beach park is open to the public from 12 pm each Friday to am very 

10. Hike Along The Okolehao Trail

Hanalei Kauai things to do for a thrilling experience is to hike along the Okolehao Trail. This famous route is located in the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.

This trail is an out-and-back route that stretches over 2.6 miles and gains an elevation of 281 meters. It is often referred to as the Hanalei River Trail and Hihimanu Trail. 

Visitors can easily access the trail at the end of the Hanalei Plantation Road. There is limited space for parking so, it is wise to arrive early.

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This ridgeline ascent behind Hanalei offers a one-of-a-kind view of the valley and the ocean beyond. It is a moderately challenging path that offers you a chance to explore the lush, tropical rainforests of the island.

Things to be noted: The Okolehao Trail is a relatively short hike however, it involves steep inclines, uneven terrain, and muddy conditions. Therefore, sturdy hiking shoes are highly recommended.

11. Explore The Charming Hanalei Town

Kauai Hanalei things to do for a memorable vacation is to explore the charming town of Hanalei. This small town in the north is home to various attractions from historic places to contemporary art galleries.

Hanalei has earned a reputation for its gorgeous beach and bay and is generally considered the gateway to the north shore and the Na Pali Coast.

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This picturesque little town is a hub for delicious delectable, shopping and sightseeing. For couples looking for places to stay romantic hotels like 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay offer comfortable lodging.

There are several restaurants throughout the places that serve Hawaiian, American, and Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Shave Ice is a must-try item while you are on a food tour in Hanalei.

12. Go For A Boat Tour And Sightseeing

To do things in Hanalei Kauai is to take a boat ride and wonder at the beautiful Na Pali Coast. You can easily find agencies that offer guided boat tours in Hanalei.

Na Pali Catamaran is a famous boat tour agency based in Hanalei. It is located in Ching Young Village Shopping Center and offers services including Online appointments and Onsite services.

As you board the vessel and head out toward the coast, you will get a chance to observe some majestic views firsthand. The agency offers two types of tours.

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The Morning Sightseeing and Snorkeling Tour is offered for $289 per person. The boat departs from Hanalei Bay at around 7:30 a.m. and returns approximately at 11:30.

Similarly, the Afternoon Sightseeing and Snorkeling Tour, which is offered at the same price range departs the Bay at around 12:30 p.m.