Location in Kauai County and the state of Hawaii
|• Total||0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)|
|• Land||0.6 sq mi (1.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|• Density||736.7/sq mi (284.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Hawaii-Aleutian (UTC-10)|
|GNIS feature ID||0359039|
Hanalei is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kauaʻi County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The population was 450 at the 2010 census. Hanalei means "lei making" in Hawaiian. Alternatively, the name Hanalei also means "crescent bay" and may be indicative of the shape of Hanalei Bay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) is water. The total area is 20.73% water.
In the early 19th century the Imperial Russians were present here. In 1815 the German physician and agent of the Russian-American Company, Georg Anton Schäffer, came to the Hawaiian islands to retrieve goods seized by Kaumualiʻi, chief of Kauai island. On arrival he became involved with internal Hawaiian politics, and Kaumualiʻi planning and manipulating to reclaim his own kingdom of Kauai from Kamehameha I with the help of the Russian Empire. Kaumualiʻi signed a "treaty" granting Tsar Alexander I protectorate over Kauai. From 1817 to 1853 Fort Elizabeth, near the Waimea River, and two other Russian forts near Hanalei were part of the tsarist Russian America.
At the 2000 census, there were 478 people, 193 households and 115 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 736.7 per square mile (283.9/km²). There were 303 housing units at an average density of 467.0 per square mile (180.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 57% White, 18% Asian, 3% Pacific Islander, <1% from other races, and 21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.
There were 193 households of which 25% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40% were married couples living together, 10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size is 3.10.
24% of the population were under the age of 18, 7% from 18 to 24, 27% from 25 to 44, 30% from 45 to 64, and 12% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.8 males.
The median household income was $34,375, and the median family income was $55,750. Males had a median income of $31,500 versus $28,500 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,241. About 22% of families and 25% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older.
Those who explain the Peter Paul & Mary song "Puff, the Magic Dragon" as a marijuana metaphor explain that Puff's homeland "Hanah Lee" is actually the town of Hanalei, which, according to them, is renowned for its marijuana. The cliffs on the side of the beach are said to look like a dragon. This interpretation was rejected by the song's authors.
Hanalei was mentioned in "Twin Peaks" as a place of residence for the town psychiatrist and his wife.
Scenes for the movie "The Descendants" starring George Clooney were filmed in and around Hanalei, on the beach at Hanalei Bay and in nearby Princeville.
Hanalei is served by the Hawaiʻi Department of Education. Hanalei Elementary School is located in the community.
- Pukui, Mary Kawena (1974). Place Names of Hawaii. University Press of Hawaii. ISBN 0-8248-0208-X.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- William DeWitt Alexander (1896). "Proceedings of the Russians on Kauai, 1814-1816". Papers of the Hawaiian Historical Society (6) (Hawaiian Historical Society).
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Bad timing cited for filming in Hanalei". Kauai Garden Island News. April 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Mikkelson, Barbara and David P (2001-01-09). "Urban Legends: Puff, the Magic Dragon". snopes.com. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
- Leatherman, Stephen P. (2011-05-27). "America's Best Beach: Past National Winners". Dr. Beach Website. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2013-02-09.