Of all Hawaii’s different islands, Kauai is where vacationers who are after a peaceful getaway most often land.
The island features a laidback spirit, a frequently undeveloped landscape and abundant breathtaking views from the Kilauea Lighthouse on the northern coast to a neat “tree tunnel” on the southern side planted more than 150 years ago.
It also boasts great hiking in Koke’e State Park; Poipu Beach was named one of the world’s best by The Travel Channel; and it has more rivers and waterfalls than all the other Hawaian islands. It also features Mount Waiaeale – what is considered the wettest spot in the world.
Even though 82 per cent of the island is inaccessible by car, there are plenty of ways to see its gorgeous coastline, mountains and lush forests.
The best way to enjoy Kauai is to aim for a harmonious balance between relaxation and adventure. The island offers some rich spectacles that can be found nowhere else on Earth. Take a drive up the coastline, take a tour of the island’s interior, or snorkel to discover the sea turtles (but no touching).
But the island is also the perfect place to kick back on the beach and spend hours just staring out on the Pacific. Take advantage of the fact that you’re more than 2,400 miles away from the next closest state (California) and enjoy the rich smell of the ocean and peaceful sounds of crashing waves.
Na Pali Coast
Truly a sight to behold, this 15-mile coastline of amazing cliffs is inaccessible by car, but boats offer several-hour tours. From the water, visitors can see it all — majestic sea cliffs, waterfalls and even spinner dolphins. It’s also known as one of the fastest-eroding cliff lines on the planet.
The magnificent canyon (10 miles long by one mile wide) is visible from tourist lookouts, where you can take panoramic photos, and hiking trails that provide a more intimate view. The best time to go is by noon, before the fog rolls in. It’s known as The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Kauai’s sea creatures can be found simply by tossing on some snorkeling equipment or by signing up for a scuba adventure. The island’s lush interior and jungle terrain can be discovered in many ways. Visitors can take tours by kayak, zipline, ATV and helicopter. Movie tour buses point out spots where movies such as Jurassic Park, South Pacific and Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed.
• Best restaurant — Not only does The Beach House Restaurant offer sensational food, it’s said to be the best eatery on the island to watch the sunset – so make sure you book a table on the outer part of the seating area
• Local dish — It’s almost impossible to go wrong with a seafood dish in Kauai, but ahi (yellow fin tuna) and ono (wahoo) are two that tend to be popular.
• When to go — Let’s put it this way: There’s no bad time to visit. But some things to keep in mind are that hurricane season runs from June to November, when the rainy season is said to begin. Some say the best weather can be found in April/May or September/October.
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