Kauai, known as the Garden Island, caters to all types of visitors, with accommodation choices from rental homes and villas to mid-range and high-end resorts on both the south and north coasts. Where I stayed: Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort; Kauai Marriott Resort, St. Regis Princeville Resort, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach
Surfing, diving and snorkeling, beach and watersports, golf, horseback riding, hiking, ziplining, kayaking, birdwatching, visiting Kauai’s natural wonders.
With 50 miles of white and golden sand surrounding the island, Kauai has many beautiful beaches. Some are located on quiet lagoons but strong currents are common in some areas. Visitors should heed all warning signs and safety guidelines and swimming at beaches with lifeguards is recommended.
Food and Drink
Fresh fish and seafood, including poke (cubed raw fish mixed with salt and seasonings), SPAM musubi (rice ball topped with friend SPAM, wrapped in seaweed), saimin noodle soup, poi (made from taro root), pineapple and other fresh tropical fruits, macadamia nuts, coconut, and shave ice (similar to a snow cone, but better). Hawaiian beer: Kona
Airport code: LIH (Lihue Airport). Direct flights from mainland U.S.: San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), San Jose (SJC), San Diego (SAN), Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), Phoenix (PHX), Denver (DEN). (Other flights connect through Honolulu (HNL)).
The state of Hawaii is located near the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Kauai, the fourth largest of the main islands (and the oldest) is located northwest of Oahu, which is 2,392 miles west of San Francisco, CA. It is 4,039 miles east of Tokyo, Japan, and 4,536 miles northeast of the Australian coast.
Kauai’s overall vibe is mellow, low-key and unhurried. Most Kauai residents you’ll encounter will display what is often referred to as the “Aloha spirit” – an attitude of friendly acceptance or “joyfully sharing life.”
Visitors Bureau: www.gohawaii.com/en/kauai
Waimea Canyon, called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep.
Allerton Garden is one of three National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai. The massive Moreton fig trees pictured were featured in the Jurassic Park movie. The other two gardens include McBryde Garden and Limahuli on the north shore.
Spouting Horn, a blowhole that releases a spout of water up to 20 feet or more into the air, is near Allerton Garden.
Take a helicopter ride over Kauai, since less than a third of the island is accessible by land. Photographers should book a tour “with the doors off” to maximize photo opportunities. We used Jack Harter Helicopters and would highly recommend the company to others.
Sail up the Napali Coast by catamaran, for views of the distinctive jagged cliffs lining the coast.
Securely strapped into my seat, I’m about to experience one of the most exhilarating hours of my life. The doors of the fourpassenger Hughes 500 helicopter have been removed to maximize photo opportunities.
“No glare from the windows” is the main benefit for photographers, according to Casey Riemer, manager of Jack Harter Helicopters, in operation on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for decades…
Read the rest of the article, published in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, by opening a PDF here: Kauai Article