Hanalei is a small, beautiful town, located amidst a grand mountain range and beautiful beaches. It is a popular tourist spot. It has also been used as a backdrop in a large number of film productions. Be it adventure sports, festivals, walks, or the beaches, there are activities all year around and you can never be short of things to do in Hanalei.
Surfing – No Hanalei visit is complete without surfing. This is an experience of a lifetime, as the town offers the finest and most uninterrupted surfing opportunities, especially during the winter months. For beginners, training is offered by surfing schools, which are amongst the best in the state of Hawaii.
Kayaking and snorkelling – Kayak Hanalei offers great kayaking and snorkelling packages for beginners as well as experienced kayakers. It is a guided experience and makes for a wonderful day trip.
Horseback riding – Although this isn’t an adventure sport as such, it has been a great tourist attraction over the years. Silver Falls Ranch and Princeville ranch stables offer great horseback rides set amongst scenic locations.
Hiking – Princeville Ranch Adventures’ Zip and Dip adventure is one experience that shouldn’t be missed. With well-maintained gear, excellent guides, an amazing hiking trail and a dip in a waterfall as a finale, this makes for an adventurous and fun-filled tour.
Places to visit
Lumahai Beach – One of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches, this has been featured in a great number of television shows and movies. It is great place for a Sunday afternoon picnic.
Limahuli Garden and Preserve – If what you’re looking for is leisure amidst beautiful scenery, this is the place to visit. It is dedicated to plants that are either native to Hawaii or were brought in by the first Polynesians. A guided tour is also available.
Hanalei Taro Farm – Hanalei is home to traditional farmers who still work in the muddy farms. The now fifth-generation farmers give an interactive and interesting tour of the taro farms. It is altogether a different experience.
Waioli Mission House – Arguably the best hidden piece of history in Hawaii, this Mission House is a must for every history lover. The house is devoid of the hassles of a tourist museum and the tour is completely personal and free. A donation of $10 is usually requested.
McMaster Slack Key Concerts – If you’re looking for a true Hawaiian musical experience, these concerts must not be missed. Sandy and Doug McMaster give authentic slack key and ukulele concerts at the Hanalei Community Centre. The concerts happen twice a week and the McMasters make it a point to mingle and interact with the audience before, during and after the concert.
Hula Temple – Reputed to be the birthplace of the hula, the famous Hawaiian dance which was at one point of time a form of prayer, this is a magical spot on the island.
Hanalei Valley Lookout – When you’re on your way back from a vacation at Hanalei, this valley lookout is a perfect place to stop for a final Hawaiian experience. The taro fields and the Hanalei River with mountains at the background make for a spectacular view of the Hanalei Valley.
Shopping and restaurants
Hanalei is home to talented new-age artists. Galleries are thus prominent in the serene town. Small shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts are also a common sight. Ching Young Village Shopping Centre is a great place to shop and offers a lot of variety. For a real taste of Hawaiian food, Hanalei Taro and Juice Company is the best place to go to. The food is great and yet affordable. Klypso Island Bar and Grill offers great food amidst a wonderful atmosphere.