Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park — Two Miles of Surf, Sand, and Adventure in Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Perhaps the most popular of the beaches around the bay, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park lets you bask in the beauty of paradise while having an amazing time. Unlike many of the other nearby beaches, this one features lifeguards on duty much of the time, giving you a bit more peace of mind as you take a dip.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

At the southeastern edge of Hanalei Bay, you can find Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park awaiting your arrival. As the most popular of the beaches around the bay crescent, this beach gets busy, making it a great place to make friends and enjoy the close-knit Kauai community atmosphere.

Even if you fly solo, you’re sure to enjoy exploring its two full miles of golden sands, and then taking a dip into the cool waters. Although it’s still a bit covered in debris from the last big storm, the sandy beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll through paradise. As you walk along the shore, you’ll be treated to tons of spectacular sights, especially if you’re there during sunrise or sunset.

Although walking Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park always makes for a fantastic time, the waters will undoubtedly call your name sooner than later. So, hopefully, you arrived well-prepared with a boogie board, paddleboard, or even just a pair of flippers. You also cannot go wrong by bringing a rental kayak to try out as the calm waters make for an awesome experience.

Unlike the other nearby beaches, lifeguards are regularly on duty and watching for signs of trouble. So, you can swim, paddleboard, or kayak to your heart’s content without worrying about something going awry. With its gentle yet swift waves, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a prime spot for boogie boarding as well. Just kick out to catch the wave, and then let it bring you back to shore like magic.

As you swim and paddle around Hanalei Bay, you’re sure to work up a big appetite. Thankfully, you’re just a few blocks from the many restaurants along the Kuhio Highway, including Tahiti Nui, Hanalei Poke, and Fresh Bite Kauai. If you prefer a small snack, you can grab a couple of donuts from Holey Grail Donuts and shave ice from Wishing Well Shave Ice before heading back for more beachside adventures.

You’re also welcome to bring your own food and cook it up at the outdoor grills. You can then park yourself at the onsite picnic tables and watch all the action while eating your meal. If you’d like to get cleaned up before you eat, just zoom over to the outdoor showers of Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park for a rinse. There are also bathrooms right by the outdoor showers for your convenience.

Before you pack it all up and leave, however, do yourself a favor and take a bit of time to build a sandcastle. The soft golden sands are perfect for castle building, which is why many competitions are held here throughout the year. Even if you don’t have a shovel and a bucket, you can form your castle by hand and leave your eco-friendly mark on the world — at least until the tide comes back in again.

No matter how you choose to enjoy this beach, it will definitely leave you endlessly impressed with its sheer beauty. After just one trip, you’ll undoubtedly be planning your return well before leaving the water’s edge.

Insider Tips:
-Due to storm damage repair efforts, the Kuhio Highway gets closed down at regular intervals. Check the official Kauai website for road closure announcements before heading out to avoid having to turn around.  
-Plenty of parking is available close to the beach park. This Black Pot Beach Parking: here is a great parking lot nearby!
-If you want to skip the crowds, plan your trip for the early morning hours.
-When you cannot find parking in the lot, go down Aku Road and park in the residential area. Be sure to avoid parking in tow zones when you do that, or you could come back to an empty spot.
-As you enjoy the beautiful waters in the bay, watch out for boat traffic. Many tour operators land here as they show their guests the magic of Hanalei Bay.