Famous Hanalei Bay is a spectacular location with a picturesque Hawaiian beach. It's a sort of natural circle, half of which is a beautiful wide curve of sand set against ancient volcanic cliffs, the other half made up of coral reefs underwater, sprinkled with what's left of an ancient king's sunken ship to complete the ring.
It's a diver's paradise, but also perfect for sunbathing, Frisbee-throwing, sunset strolling, and swimming, especially at the westernmost curve where the water remains relatively calm most of the time. The beach's gentle surf is always soothing, but in summer the swimming is more carefree as the water turns into a smooth glassy lake.
The beach has 2 miles of shoreline and runs almost a full mile inland (travel a couple miles farther inland and see waterfalls falling from 4,000 feet!). It's almost always busy and is also a great spot for surfing, fishing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking. There are lifeguard, picnic, parking, and restroom facilities, plus a boat ramp on the Hanalei river bank leading into the bay.
Pass Princeville on Hwy. 56 then turn right onto Aku Rd. (off what is then Hwy. 560) in Hanalei town. Take another right onto Weke Rd. and the parking lot with beach access is at the end.