Before traveling to Hanalei we were told we’d be spending time in paradise. In some ways, our expectations were met and exceeded. In other ways, not so much. The first thing you should know about Hanalei is that it is a small town. I’d guess that the entire thing is about one square mile in size. That being said, it is a gorgeous square mile.

My wife and I spent four nights in Hanalei at the Hanalei Bay Resort, and we were really pleased with our accommodations. The location was great because it put us within half a mile (easy walk) to probably the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I can’t speak for any of the other resorts or hotels, but it’d probably be hard for anyone to complain about location in this town because it is small enough to walk anywhere, and the entire place is breathtakingly pretty.

There were some decent restaurants and a grocery store nearby that was reasonably priced, so we didn’t have to eat out for every single meal. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in Hanalei, you will likely get bored with the restaurant selection because there simply aren’t that many choices. There was enough to keep us happy for four days but probably not much more.

As far as attractions and entertainment go, you should know what you’re getting into. If you are looking for an exciting vacation, you will probably end up being a little disappointed. Other than some snorkeling or guided tours (we did one on kayaks that was pretty cool) there isn’t much entertainment available. However, if what you’re looking for is a beautiful place to unwind, relax and enjoy some peace, then I can’t imagine a more perfect place than Hanalei. Seriously, any pictures and my best attempts at explaining it will never do the real experience justice. So if rest and relaxation sounds like paradise to you, then Hanalei fits the definition perfectly.

Guest Post by Vincent Stokes, a Portland native, world traveler and freelance writer for Summit Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @TravelingGlobal


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