Whether you’re a Hawaii resident, or a visitor new to the feeling of hot sun and sand, the second you view the beginning of Hanalei from high above the valley at the Hanalei Overlook, you’ll be smitten. Shortly after you’ll descend into Hanalei Valley, via the single lane road that weaves the cliff side in a u-shaped curve. While waiting for a minute or so for a few cars to allow you room on the one lane bridge you will see the radiant glow of green taro leaves in the lo`i taro (taro field) that decorate acres of land just behind the town.
As you slowly cruise down Kuhio Highway, the other signs of a local, ocean loving sun drenched culture become evident. The Hanalei Taro Co., serving up Hawaiian food with a modern twist, and the Hanalei River with stand-up paddlers lazily cruising down, and an array or surf lessons and board rentals and beach wear and surf shops lining the road. Yet they’re in quaint historic buildings that aren’t offensive to the natural beauty of the region.
Before or after lunch you’ll feel your feet become alive while immersed in the fine white sand of crescent shaped Hanalei Bay. Surfers, children, and beachcombers will be wandering the peaceful sands of the bay, simply enjoying the serenity and peace of the seaside stretch.
Then it’s sunset. Maybe at the Bay, maybe on the lawn in front of the St. Regis Princeville Resort overlooking the entire bay and its majestic cliffs and waves. Today we haven’t discussed what’s beyond Hanalei, that’s a more thorough story for another day. But Hanalei is heavenly, magical, and majestic. Come to Hanalei to immerse yourself in the ocean and watch the waterfalls cascade down the green cliffs (the more rain there’s been, the more waterfalls there are), and enjoy. Just relax and enjoy.