Kauai is not quite like the other Hawaiian islands. There are whispers of magic – trees so green and waters so blue the colors take on new meaning. There is a pureness to the place because it is so small, uncharted, and uncommercialized. It is a place for equal parts exploring and relaxing. Kauai is filled with endless hiking trails and the beaches are surprisingly never crowded, each has their own personality. Leore Hayon writes about her time on the island: “I feel so at peace when I am on an island. Especially when I’m in the water. My soul feels at home and my mind slows down.” Kauai is like another world, asking you to slow yourself and look around.
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi
Waimea Canyon is breathtaking. Its vastness, and complex palates of green foliage and red soil feel like a make-believe world. It has been described as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It can be accessed via the state road 550, which is 18 miles long. There are plenty of places to pull over for taking pictures and deep breaths. There is a certain serenity to the area and a peace that comes over you with such a site.
Queens Bath is a tide pool on the north shore of Kauai in the town of Princeville. This unique and magical destination is made from a sinkhole surrounded by igneous rock. It’s accessible via a short hike and well worth the brief trek, you pass a waterfall along the way. The crystal waters of Queen’s Bath is a popular attraction for the area, but be wary in the winter months as high surf can become extremely hazardous to the swimmers. Read this to get a proper layout of the area.
Awa’awapuhi Trail is an adventurous hike not for the faint or lazy. The change of 1600 feet in elevation as you ascend from the Kokee State park down into the valley of Nualolo and Awa’awapuhi winds you through rain forest and high desert. The hike requires careful footing at times but offers up sweeping views of the Napali coastline. The hike is three miles each way with the option to connect to the Nualolo trail, and will add five miles on each way. Be sure to pack tons of water because there is none along the way and apparently everyone runs out.
Wailua Falls is easily accessible and seriously epic. The double stream falls cascade some 80+ feet down into a pool below that feeds into the Wailua River. Located a bit north of Lihue it’s the perfect mellow day trip and you can spend the rest of the afternoon wandering and eating back in town. You can view the falls from the parking lot but there is a small trail that leads to the base and depending on the weather is well worth the foot work.