Haena Beach is somewhat off the beaten path. You won't find any restaurants, shops, convenience stores, or tourist traps here. If you want those, you'll have to head back to Hanalei.
As we approached Haena Beach, we saw the cluster of perhaps eight to ten tents just a few feet west of the beach area. The thing that first struck me was the fact that, while these camping tents were here, no one was on the beach or in the water.
My husband and father in law couldn't wait to jump into the ocean here to use their newly rented boogie boards, which were rented in nearby Hanalei. Like two little excited boys, my husband and father in law went running for the ocean - only to be stopped by the Haena Beach park ranger and told they could not enter the water. As it turns out, the ocean here in winter is generally far too rough to swim or surf in. That explains why no one was in the water.
There seemed to be a lot of tourists stopping here briefly to check out the cave across the street. However, a lot of tourists seemed to be avoiding the beach area all together. I think the presence of the hippies here (who were obviously camped out here for an extended period of time) scared some of the tourists. They didn't scare me! However, they did seem somewhat possessive of this beach - regardless of the fact that it is the property of the state. It was plain to see that they didn't want us there. Nevertheless, we walked the beach here, checked out the beautiful scenery, and spent a short while sunning on these golden sands watching the large, royal blue waves crash in front of us.
We were pleasantly surprised to see fruit and nut trees growing here, such as lychee (a native fruit tree and a local favorite) and almond trees.
There are no water sports rentals directly on this beach. Rent your aquatic gear, such as surfboards, kayaks, etc., in Hanalei (on the way to this beach). If you want to do anything in the water on this side of the island, you need to avoid coming here during the winter months.
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by Jim & Jan
May 31, 2004
From journal Aloha
New York, New York
August 7, 2004
From journal Kauai: without the proposal, the wedding or the honeymoon!
October 9, 2004
From journal 2 Weeks in Kauai On An East Side Beach - Serenity