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Hawai'i: Highlights of Kaua'i


Hawai'i: Highlights of Kaua'i

story by: Mike

They call Kaua’i “The Garden Isle”, but it’s like no garden you’ve ever seen before. Its mountain peaks trap the rainclouds that roll in off the Pacific, so its peaks and valleys are draped with lush vegetation. Geologically it’s the oldest of the four main islands of Hawai’i, so it’s had plenty of time to develop some spectacular scenery. Mark Twain described Waimea Canyon as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific", while another highlight is the Na Pali Coast, where sheer cliffs rise thousands of feet straight out of the ocean. This coast is only accessible by boat or helicopter, but it’s well worth the effort. Of course, you don’t have to travel so extravagantly to appreciate Kauai’s wonders – hire a bicycle from Kapa’a and cruise the cycle path that follows the coast for several miles. You’ll find your own patch of paradise.

  • KOLOA HERITAGE TRAIL – It covers 14 cultural, historical and geological sites from Old Koloa Town to Poipu.
  • KILAUEA LIGHTHOUSE – Visit this 52 foot high lighthouse, built in 1913 as a beacon for travelling ships. Its light was turned off in the 1970s. The view of the rugged northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific makes this the perfect spot for photos. It’s also the location of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for seabirds.
  • SPOUTING HORN BLOWHOLE – Located on Kauai’s South Shore, it is quite spectacular and one of the most photographed spots. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a huge spout of water during large swells.
  • WAIMEA CANYON – Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon Lookout provides panoramic views. There are numerous trails to traverse for beginners and seasoned hikers.
  • NA PALI COAST – The only land access to this enchanted area is via the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile trail that starts at Kee Beach, crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach.
  • FERN GROTTO – Visit the Fern Grotto on Kauai’s East Side. Accessible only by a short boat trip up the Wailua River, the grotto is a natural lava-rock grotto, lush with
    hanging ferns and tropical foliage, cooled by the mists of a waterfall. There was a time when the Grotto was off-limits to all but Hawaiian royalty, but for more than
    50 years, riverboats have provided tours of the site. It’s no wonder this unique Kauai setting is such a popular destination for wedding ceremonies.

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