Kauai, The Garden Isle
Kauai is known as the Garden Isle, but that’s just the beginning. This small island is teeming with tropical rainforests, cascading waterfalls, vast red rock canyons, white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Whether you are visiting for a day or a week, it’s hard not to fall in love with Kauai.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas for discovering the incredible beauty of Hawaii’s Garden Isle.
Visit the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
Waimea Canyon, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is located on the Western side of Kauai and spans an incredible 14 miles wide. To get to Waimea Canyon, drive for about one hour along Waimea Canyon Drive, a winding road with gorgeous lookouts along the way. There are restrooms stops on this route, but no drinking water, so don’t forget to bring bottled water for the road. Be sure to go all the way to Kalalau Lookout where you can see the Kalalau Valley and Na Pali Coastline. Don’t forget the camera, that’s a picture you’ll want to hang on the wall.
Find Your Perfect Trail
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a hike along the Kalalau Trail. To reach the trailhead, drive all the way North until you reach Ke’e Beach at the end of the road. It’s best to arrive early in the morning to ensure you’ll find parking. There is a marked sign indicating the beginning of the Kalalau Trail. From here, you can hike up to Hanakapi’ai Waterfall, or head to the beach with the same name. Both routes will take you about three hours in and three hours out.
Experienced hikers can make the journey all the way to Kalalau beach. This is an eleven-mile hike, and hikers must obtain permission to enter the valley and camp here. Those who have done this hike say it is an amazing experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Explore the Coastline
Searching for the perfect wave? Kauai has plenty. Be sure to check out the waves at Ha’ena Beach if you visit during the winter months, or Poipu Beach during the summer. Right across the road from Ha’ena beach is Maniniholo Cave. Young explorers, and even the young at heart, should bring a flashlight and walk through this ancient dry sea cave.
Finally, if you happen to visit on Kauai during the first Saturday of the month, check out Kapa’a town’s cultural festival. Here will you find food, drinks, local arts and crafts, music, and even some dancing as the sun goes down.
Whether you’re in search of a laid-back island escape, a few adventures, or the hiking experience of a lifetime, there’s truly something for everyone on the island of Kauai.
Written By: Sole Girolami