Hanalei (rhymes with “lay,” notwithstanding the pronunciation in the song, “Puff the Magic Dragon”) may well be your pick for Hawaii’s best walk-around beach town. You’ve got the spectacular scenery of the Waioli Mission House, the preserved Wilcox homestead from the 1840s (pictured), and the nearby Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, with a taro fields that get photographers clicking like maniacs. You also get a funky-arty town center with two shopping areas set well off lazy highway, with more galleries, eat joints and restaurants spread along the river. You won’t find Maui-style glam shops, but for sure some finery awaits—along with crystals, surfware, flip flops and camp gear.
The whole place is circled by those jagged green mountains that bleed a handful of white-ribbon waterfalls after rains. Then a few beach-cottage blocks away is Hanalei Bay. Black Pot Beach. Hanalei Pier. Pavilion Beach. Catch this place on the right day (which is MOST days) and you’ll never forget it.
About the authors
Photographer/designer Janine Sprout and writer Jerry Sprout have travelled the American West together for more than two decades. They publish the Trailblazer Travelbook series, which includes all-around adventure guides for Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island, as well as No Worries Hawaii, a vacation planning guide for the Hawaiian Islands. Completing the set is their flagship book about the Sierra from Tahoe to Yosemite (Alpine Sierra Trailblazer) and a comprehensive guide to the outdoors of San Francisco and Marin (Golden Gate Trailblazer). The books are widely available online or at retail stores, or directly from the publisher at www.trailblazertravelbooks.com. In the works now is No Worries Paris, a photographer’s walking guide.