Hanalei is a place where surfers, artists, the rich and famous, and the anonymous go to get away from it all. Life is laid back in Hanalei, there’s nary a worry in the world in this old-style Hawaii surf town.
You’ll initially enter the Hanalei Valley after driving down Hanalei Hill from Princeville. At the bottom of the hill, the view suddenly opens up to the iconic one-lane Hanalei Bridge and a majestic view of green mountains and lush taro fields.
You will usually have to wait a minute or two for traffic from the other direction to cross the bridge. Each side takes turns of between 4-7 vehicles. The pause is fitting, as it’s a gentle reminder to “slow yourself down” for this part of your journey. After the bridge, you’ll drive about a half-mile alongside the Hanalei River before entering the town.
The Hanalei area is nature at its finest, and there are a number of opportunities to take advantage of this attribute. Hiking, camping, cycling, walking, jogging, snorkeling, surfing, bodyboarding, paddlesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, and fishing are just some of the activities found in the Hanalei area.
You’ll work up a big appetite engaged in all of these activities, but not to worry, Hanalei has a host of restaurants to meet your hunger needs. There’s pizza, burgers, seafood, grilled cheese sandwiches and more to be found in Hanalei. Eat up and enjoy because you’ll burn the calories soon enough seeing and doing everything Hanalei has to offer.
Hanalei has plenty of shops too, from souvenir t-shirt shops to contemporary art galleries. The Ching Young Village shopping center is in the heart of Hanalei and contains a number of touristy-type shops where you may be able to find more than just the made in China trinket. Across from the Ching Young Village is the old Hanalei School Building and the Hanalei Center with more shops and restaurants.
At the end of the day, head over to the historic Hanalei Pier at beautiful Hanalei Bay, and take in one of the most beautiful and peaceful sunsets you’ll ever see.
The Old Hanalei School Building has been converted to house retail and dining.
The Ching Young Village Shopping Center is in the heart of Hanalei.
The Hanalei Pier
Entering Hanalei at dusk.