"Old-Time Feel of Rural Hawaii" Top 5 Page for this destination Hanalei by Hopkid

Hanalei Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 125 photos

Where time stands still on Kauai

The last town on the Kuhio Highway is Hanalei on the North Shore of Kauai. Here the visitor will find charming wood buildings, many in the Hawaii plantation style, mostly one-store tall. Hanalei has a small collection of shops, restaurants, a post office, school, and the historic Wai'oli Hui'ia Church. There are no hotels so the main drag in Hanalei, all two blocks of it, doesn't get inundated with tourists like in Waikiki. At least not during April or September, the months that I've visited. Most day-trippers drive over from nearby Princeville, Kapa'a, and the resorts on the South Shore in Poipu. Visitors wishing to stay in the area can rent homes in town or further west on the Kuhio Highway in Wainiha or Haena.

One can't help but fall into a relaxed state while strolling around the small town center, browsing the shops, eating al fresco at one of the restaurants, and just reveling in the fine weather and the sight of tall palm trees and the mountains to the south and the sunset on Hanalei Bay and the municipal pier. So visit, grab a coffee, smoothie, or shave ice, grab a seat outside the Hanalei Center, an old school house that now contains shops and an eatery, and soak in the relaxing atmosphere of the North Shore.

This is the main drag, Kuhio Highway, through Hanalei

Blooms at Wai'oli Hui'ia Church

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small town feel, interesting shops, restaurants
  • Cons:The stay is never long enough
  • In a nutshell:Where it's all at on the North Shore of Kauai!
  • Last visit to Hanalei: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Apr 16, 2007
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Reviews (15)

Comments (5)

  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    Hi Andy - we just returned from a week in this area and enjoyed many of the same things. Great place!

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2007 at 3:41 PM

    We spent a week in Hanalei a couple of years ago and it is still my favorite place in all of HI. We went to all the places you mentioned. Best part was those narrow bridges kept out the tour buses. No hordes of daytrippers from cruise ships!

  • birchy99's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2007 at 4:38 PM

    Nice pages!! Can't wait to go back. Looking at next October. Hello from Oregon. Mart

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2007 at 9:46 PM

    Hanalei is fun, but did you get to Ka'pa'a Beach?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2007 at 7:56 PM

    I think my dad has some of those vintage Hawaiian shirts, wonder what they'd fetch on Ebay?


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