It was about 6 million years ago that the island of Kauai emerged from the Pacific Ocean. It was over 1000 yeas ago that Polynesian travelers first saw this majestic island rising from the ocean waters. It was over 150 years ago that the first boat of Europeans arrived. And it was just today that our latest batch of guests arrived.
Kauai is a magical place that blends the beauty of the native Hawaiian culture with the majesty of its surroundings. Here are 7 places on Kauai that you need to visit next time you come for a visit:
- Waimea Canyon - Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is a site to behold. Though not as big as its Arizona cousin, the Canyon offers the same plunging cliffs, multt-color strata, and magnificent views in every direction. Water flowing from the high peaks of the island continues to carve spectacular wonders.
- Waipo'o Falls - Though part of Waimea Canyon, Waipo'o Falls deserves its own mention. This two-tier waterfall drops 800 feet into the Canyon below. You can get to the top of the Falls via the Canyon Trail, but views of the waterfall are almost non-existent from that vantage. The best way to view the Falls is to take a helicopter ride up close and personal.
- Hanalei Beach - If you want to take the perfect picture with the iconic beaches and mountains in the background, Hanalei Beach is the place to go. The Beach itself is over 3 miles long and sits on Hanalei Bay. When the tides are right, you will see dozens of surfers out taking in the waves. Divers can visit the coral reefs that sit on either end of the Bay.
- Limahuli Garden and Preserve - Native Hawaiian plants are being preserved and cherished in the Limahuli Garden and Preserve. The botanical garden offers visitors a chance to see a mix of native species along side plants introduced during the plantation era. The Preserve is a special place where botanists and conservationists are working to preserve native species against invasive intruders.
- Kilohana Plantation Estate - Plantation estates dotted the Hawaiian landscape from the late 1800s through the mid 20th century. If you want to see what a typical 20th century plantation looked like, the Kilohana Plantation Estate is the place to visit. You can see the historic plantation up close and personal. You can also take a train trip, visit the shops, and enjoy fine dining. This is also home to one of my all time favorite rums - Koloa Rum Company, who makes an incredibly tasty dark rum.
- Kamokila Hawaiian Village - Living as a native Hawaiian hundreds of years ago is definitely different than living today. Kamokila Hawaiian Village offers a chance for visitors to see and experience what life was like back then. Take a ride on a traditional outrigger canoe to see how the Polynesians arrived so long ago.
- Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge - If you want to catch a glimpse of natural Hawaii, you can do no better than at Kilauea Point. You will see dramatic cliffs plunging into the Pacific Ocean. You will get to see one of the largest nesting bird populations in the Islands, along with glimpses of spinner dolphins, monk seals, and the nene, the endangered goose of Hawaii.
Kauai is a place that many visitors return to multiple times. They keep finding special places to see and creating special memories they want to revisit. Where is your favorite place on Kauai?