Hanalei And The North Shore

Hanalei, with only about 500 residents, is an offbeat tiny town that time forgot. There are no malls, McDonalds, or high-rise hotels – no building is higher than a
coconut tree. We bought fresh fish sandwiches and sushi at the Fish Market—and picnicked outside the door -- on the Hanalei River. Nine-year old Moriah loved the shave ice – with coconut and pineapple ice cream. We bought her a hand-painted Puff the Magic Dragon T-shirt (later, the artist admitted that Puff never visited Hanalei).

We drove along a narrow road and crossed several one-lane bridges. Hidden behind hibiscus, ginger and plumeria we saw multi-million dollar beach villas and wooden cottages – some are rental properties. Or if the water’s too rough, watch the windsurfers. And there are amazing hiking trails.

From Hanalei it’s a magnificent 4 miles ride next to jagged mountains laced by waterfalls, until you reach Ha’ena, the last outpost on Kauai’s North Shore. Tunnels Beach is a favorite of favorite of sun worshipers and windsurfers. Snorkelers and scuba divers love the reef. In winter, though, the surf can be dangerous.

The road ends at crescent-shaped Ke’e Beach. The outer reef has protected swimming and snorkeling in the summer. During the winter, beware of large waves and rip currents. This beach was made famous in South Pacific. The mystical island of Bali Hai is actually a pinnacle that rises above Ke’e Beach and is the beginning of the Napali Coast.

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