Hanalei Bay: North Shore, Kauai, Hawaii
The Spot: A jewel in the crown of Kaui’s North Shore, Hanalei Bay is a wide arc of white-sand beach surrounded by steep mountains.
Why It Matters: The outer reefs at Hanalei are challenging monsters, who shine in the winter. Above the Hanalei rivermouth, a powerful right rifles across the reef. This is the wave Bruce and Andy Irons made famous, and it draws elite surfers from around the world. Farther inside the Bay is a sandbottom beach break known as “Pine Trees.” On a big swell, it’s a challenging wave, but generally, Pine Trees is smaller than the outer reefs. Hanalei offers the usual hazards of a powerful winter break. The local wildlife adds another — Hanalei is a favorite hang-out for tiger and hammerhead sharks. And during the summer, it’s mostly flat and a scenic spot for a swim or SUP session.
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