Haena, Hawaii Guide

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Address , Haena, HI 96746
Complete guide to the town of Haena, Kauai, Hawaii.

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• General: Educational • General: Guide
• General: History

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Haena Location


The town of Haena is located along the northwest coast on the island of Kaua'i. It's easy to reach as the island's main road, the Kuhio Highway (560), runs through the town. That same road also dead ends at Ke'e Beach Park which makes this town the farthest place to the northwest you can reach by car on the island (as the road does not continue southwest around the entire island).

To the east of this area is the popular and touristy, northshore city of Hanalei and the upscale Princeville area. Since the road ends here, the only option to travel further west (which will actually be southwest) is by foot via the infamous Kalalau Trail or via boat along the rugged Napali Coast.

Haena History


Haena is home to some interesting caves, such as the Maniniholo Dry Cave and Waikanaloa & Waikapalae Wet Caves, which are said to be over 4,000 years old. Other archaeological sites within Ha'ena State Park are associated with hula, including a heiau dedicated to Laka - The Goddess Of Hula.


On a less pleasant note, the area has also been home to some tragic Tsunami events in the 20th century. The first was in 1946 and hit the area with two powerful tidal waves, said to have brought 45 feet of water onto the land. The bridges leading to the area were all washed out and the adjacent village of Wainiha was flattened. As least 14 people died and many homes were washed away.

The second was on March 9, 1957 when another Tsunami wave struck the area and destroyed 75 homes which included 25 of the 29 homes in Haena and left around 250 people homeless. Six Kaua'i bridges in the area were completely washed out, isolating around 1,000 people. Amazingly, no deaths or injuries occurred but the Haena School was destroyed.

Haena Attractions


For a relatively small area, you'll find that Haena offers quite a bit to occupy your time. First up is Ha'ena State Park which is home to Ke'e Beach Park, one of Kauai's best beaches, as well as the start of the Kalalau Trail. If you're up for a two mile hike along this trail you'll reach Hanakapi'ai Beach and if you're prepared for a far more difficult 8 mile hike then Hanakapi'ai Falls awaits you as well. Only well prepared experts should attempt the full 11 mile hike.


If you aren't looking for an insane hike and want to do a little spelunking, and we do mean a little, then check out Maniniholo Dry Cave and Waikanaloa & Waikapalae Wet Caves.


Other popular beaches in the area include Makua Beach / Tunnels Beach and Ha'ena Beach Park / Maniniholo Beach or give in to your inner botanist and check out the Limahuli Garden and Preserve - National Tropical Botanical Garden.

View all that Haena has to offer here.

Haena Fun Facts

In the Hawaiian language, the word Haena means "red hot" or "burning red" which makes perfect sense on a hot summer day here.
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