Hanalei Bay offers almost every water sport imaginable and it is one of Kauai’s best places to learn how to surf. Opt for a private or small-group beginner surf lesson, or take a guided kayak or snorkeling tour. Most tours of Kauai’s North Shore include a visit to Hanalei Bay, and flightseeing tours of the island offer a bird’s eye view of the bay on the way to the Na Pali Coast.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Lifeguards are on duty at Black Pot Beach and Waioli Beach Park.
Each of the three beach parks in Hanalei Bay offer bathrooms and showers.
You can rent snorkel gear, surf boards, kayaks, and more in Hanalei town.
You can camp at Hanalei Beach Park, but you’ll need a permit.
How to Get There
Hanalei Bay is located on Kauai’s North Shore, about an hour’s drive from Kauai’s capital city, Lihue. The Kauai Bus provides service to Hanalei from Lihue and neighboring towns such as Princeville and Kilauea. The circular bay stretches from Princeville to Hanalei Town and beyond and can be accessed from the three main beaches: Hanalei Beach Park, Black Pot Beach, and Waioli Beach Park.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Hanalei Bay is during Kauai’s dry season, which runs from April through October. The busiest season in Kauai is from November to March. High surf from mid-October through March may create strong currents and pounding waves, so check the surf advisories before entering the water during this time of year.
Hanalei Bay Surfing
Hanalei Bay has gentle waves from April through October that make it an ideal place to learn how to surf. Moreover, with plenty of sandy-bottomed spots, beginner surfers don’t have to worry about falling on rocks or a shallow reef. Many surf schools in the area cater to beginners and also offer lessons to intermediate and advanced surfers. The winter season is less safe for beginners but provides plenty of big swells for advanced surfers.