Hanalei Bay Kauai Hawaii

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, Kauai: Complete 2024 Visitor Guide!

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is one of three beach parks located on the large and picturesque Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai.

Situated right about the middle of the bay, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park offers a long stretch of golden sand stretching out in both directions.

To the east you can view Hanalei Pier and Black Pot Beach Park, and to the west are gorgeous views of the mountains.

Hanalei Pier Kauai Hawaii
Hanalei Pier in Kauai, Hawaii

The beaches of Hanalei Bay are among the top Kauai north shore beaches, offering both beauty and a variety of activities.

We love strolling the beach at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park. The waters here aren’t as calm as by the pier, so this stretch of sand tends to be a little less crowded, perfect for a secluded stroll in the morning or evening.

In this article, we describe how to visit Hanalei Pavilion Beach in Kauai: things to do here, how to get here, where to park and more.

Visiting Kauai? The only way to get a real feel for the rugged beauty of this incredible island is through a helicopter tour!

Hanalei Pavilion Beach in Kauai, Hawaii
The golden sands of Hanalei Bay

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Hanalei Pavilion Beach Directions

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is located along Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai, about 0.5 mile from the center of Hanalei Town.

Drive along the Kuhio Highway (Hwy 560) to Hanalei Town, where you will make a right on Aku Road and then another right on Weke Road, where in a few yards you will find the small parking area for Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Parking

The small parking lot at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is located along Weke Road, just a few yards after you turn onto the road. Look for the parking lot on the left.

If this parking lot is full, you can drive further up Weke Road and park in the larger lot at Black Pot Beach Park, and then walk back about 0.5 mile.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park Map

The Hanalei Pavilion Beach map below shows the location of Hanalei Pavilion Beach, and the main attractions nearby.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Access

From the parking lot along Weke Road at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, you can walk right out onto the sand.

If you do not find parking at the lot here and have to park at Black Pot Beach Park (by Hanalei Pier), you have to walk back about 0.5 mile to Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Reservations

At this time, reservations are not required for Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park in Kauai.

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park Amenities / Facilities

Location: Hanalei, north shore of Kauai
Lifeguard: Yes
Beach Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, pavilion, grills
Food Nearby: Restaurants in the town of Hanalei
Parking: A free public parking lot, and another one at Black Pot Beach Park
Directions: Highway 560, right on Aku Road, right on Weke Road

Best Things to Do at Hanalei Pavilion Beach

Hanalei Pavilion Beach Swimming and Boogie Boarding

On days when the waves are calm, usually in the summer, Hanalei Pavilion Beach is a wonderful swimming beach.

There is a lifeguard, and with its small waves, the beach is an excellent spot for boogie boarding or body surfing as well.

Stroll Hanalei Pavilion Beach

One of the absolute best things to do at Hanelei Bay is stroll the long stretch of golden sand, right by the turquoise waters of the bay.

The views of the mountains to the west and the pier and cliffs to the east are spectacular on nice weather days.

We especially like to walk at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park in the mornings, when there are barely any people on the beach.

Kayak or paddleboarrd at Hanalei Pavilion Beach in the summer

You’ll see people enjoying many water activities at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park, from kitesurfing to kayaking and paddleboarding.

You can rent equipment in nearby Hanalei town and enjoy the waters of the bay when calm.

Sunbathe or Relax with a Book on Hanalei Pavilion Beach

A long stretch of fine golden sand and beautiful views make Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park the perfect place to soak in the sun on nice weather days.

Although the beach is popular you’ll find room to set out your beach chairs or spread your towel for sunbathing or relaxing with a book.

And if you bring a meal, there are shaded picnic tables where you can eat.

Hanalei Bay Kauai Hawaii
The golden sands of Hanalei Bay

Stay Back for Spectacular Sunsets

Hanalei Bay is a fabulous place to watch sunset on Kauai, and the beach at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a popular place to enjoy this nightly event.

Take a romantic stroll on the sand with your significant other and admire the colorful skies as the sun goes down over the Pacific Ocean.

Surf Hanalei Pavilion Beach in the Summer

The winter surf at Hanalei Bay, and, indeed, most of Kauai’s north shore is dangerous in the winter, and suitable only for experts.

With variable waves in the summer, the bay is suitable for beginner or intermediate level surfers, depending on conditions on the day.

Snorkeling and Water Activities Gear Checklist

Though you can rent snorkeling gear or use the ones that come with tours, we invested in our own gear, mainly due to Covid-19 (why take the risk?).

Ocean Safety Tips

Hawaii’s beaches are beautiful, but ocean activities can be dangerous. Ocean conditions are dynamic and can change without warning.

Here are some tips to enjoy the ocean and beaches safely:

  • ALWAYS heed posted warning signs.
  • Check conditions just before you arrive at your chosen beach, and watch conditions at the beach for a bit before you decide to enter the water.
  • Swim at a lifeguarded beach and ask the lifeguard for advice before you enter the water.
  • Never turn your back on the ocean, whether you are standing at the shore or on a cliff above. If you see wet rocks or sand, it means the water has been here recently.
  • Know your limitations, especially if you are not an experienced swimmer. If in doubt, do not go out.
  • If you choose to enter the water, go with a partner or in a group.
  • Know that alcohol can impair judgment and motor skills in the water.
  • Keep children close and always keep your eyes on what they are doing in the water.
  • Watch for sharp coral or rocks or sea urchins.
  • Check advisories regarding water quality at various beaches here.
Hanalei Bay in Kauai, Hawaii
Hanalei Bay

Best Kauai Tours

Have you booked these top Kauai guided adventures yet?

Sunset catamaran tour of the Na Pali Coast (relatively more stable ride, insane views on good weather days!)

Doors-off helicopter tour of Kauai (unobstructed views, chance to see more of the island than you can by land, no middle seats!)

Kayak on the Wailua River plus hike to a waterfall (a super fun activity for active travelers, albeit a little muddy sometimes!)

Raft trip to the Na Pali Coast plus snorkeling (prepare to get wet on this exhilarating adventure!)

Eurocopter ECO-Star helicopter tour over Kauai (the most booked Kauai helicopter tour on Viator with close to 2K reviews and a 5-star rating!)

Entire Kauai Island Air Tour (super popular, less expensive than a heli tour, large bubble windows for flightseeing!)

Renting a Car in Kauai

The best things to do in Kauai are scattered all over the island.

Public transport options on Kauai aren’t great, so if you want to explore the island beyond your base, you’ll want to book a rental car for your Kauai trip.

We always use Discover Cars to book Kauai car rentals. They search across a variety of rental car companies, both budget and brand, to offer you the best deals, AND they offer free cancellations. Plus, there are no hidden fees.

>> Check availability and prices on Kauai car rentals now!

Lihue Airport-Hotel Shuttle

Not planning to pick up a rental car at Lihue airport? Pre-arrange round trip transfer from the airport to your hotel and back!

This shared shuttle serves hotels or vacation rentals in Princeville, Kahala, Poipu, Kapaa, or Lihue, and then back again. It’s convenient and inexpensive, and saves time and hassle!

>> Check prices and availability for shared round-trip airport transfer in Kauai now!

Where to Stay in Kauai

Depending on whether you want a vacation rental with more room and the option to cook some of your meals, or you want a resort or hotel experience, and depending on which part of Kauai you want to choose as your base, you have a variety of options.

Since you’ll likely want to base in a couple places on your trip to Kauai, we suggest starting your search for Kauai accommodations by browsing vacation rentals on VRBO.

We have stayed in VRBO rentals in both Poipu and Princeville and find that the choice and quality are generally great.

>> Look for a Kauai vacation rental on VRBO now!

Want detailed recommendations for accommodations in Kauai? Check out our comprehensive guide to the best places to stay in Kauai!

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More Kauai Travel Inspiration

Considering a trip to the Garden Isle in Hawaii? You’ll definitely want to check out some of our other comprehensive Kauai travel and attraction guides!

If you are a first-time visitor to Kauai, start by discovering the best things to do in Kauai! From beaches and botanical gardens to cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls, Kauai has it all, and our round-up lists all of Kauai’s must-experience activities and attractions.

Planning to split a week between Kauai and another island? We have a 3 days in Kauai itinerary article you must read to help flesh out what you would like to see and do!

Learn about the best things to do in Hanalei and Kauai’s scenic north shore, the best things to do in Poipu and Kauai’s south shore, and the most exciting things to do on Kauai’s Coconut Side or east side.

Read our in-depth guide to visiting the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. We give you the full scoop on the best ways to visit this stunning coast in the remote northwest of the island.

Discover our round-up of the nine spectacular state parks in Kauai, which house some of Kauai’s most treasured natural wonders.

We also have visitor’s guides to popular parks like Waimea Canyon State Park, which protects the namesake canyon, nearby Kokee State Park, and the remote but beautiful Polihale State Park.

Also check out the ultimate guide to visiting Haena State Park on Kauai’s north shore, and a full guide to hiking the epic Kalalau Trail.

Check out our round-up of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kauai, from waterfalls you can view from the road to falls that require hiking and falls that are best seen from a helicopter or sightseeing flight. We also have an article on everything you need to know to visit Secret Falls Kauai on an exciting kayaking and hiking tour.

Read our guide to Wailua River State Park to discover two easy-to-access Kauai waterfalls, and our trail guide for the easy hike to Ho’opi’i Falls. We also have an article on the best Kauai waterfall hikes.

And if a helicopter tour is part of your plans for Kauai, read our article on the top-rated helicopter tours in Kauai!

Hiking enthusiasts will want to read our article on the best hikes in Koke’e State Park: the trails here are some of the best hikes in Kauai!

We have detailed trail guides for the most popular Koke’e hikes, from the scenic Canyon Trail to the top of Waipo’o Falls, to the epic Awa’awapuhi Trail, challenging but very rewarding!

Also discover the best hikes in Waimea Canyon State Park, and the best hikes on Kauai’s north shore.

We also have a trail guide for the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail on Kauai’s scenic south shore, an article on how to hike the Sleeping Giant Trail, and a guide to the Kuilau Ridge Trail, one of the easy hikes on Kauai.

Get the scoop on the best botanical gardens in Kauai, from Limahuli Garden on the north shore to McBryde and Allerton Gardens on the south shore.

Read our guide to the best swimming beaches on Kauai, from Hanalei Bay on the north shore to Poipu Beach on the south shore!

We also have a guide to the best snorkeling beaches on Kauai, a round-up of the best Kauai north shore beaches, and an article on the best Kauai south shore beaches!

And if you love watching the sun go down in a burst of color, be sure to read our article on where to go for the best sunsets on Kauai!

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Discover the complete guide to visiting Hanalei Pavilions Beach Park in Kauai, Hawaii. Things to do at the beach, how to get there, parking, and more.


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