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The Garden Isle - Hawaii's Island of Kauai
by Roy Witman © 2008

Each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own distinct personality. Hawaii (The Big Island) is well known for outlandish adventure and a dramatic nightlife. Oahu is more family friendly and is draped in history. Then there is Kauai, the “Garden Isle.” No other description could be more appropriate.

If nature is your best friend, you'll adore Kauai. Largely undeveloped, this 552-square mile canvas displays vast canyons, the only navigatable river in all the Islands, jagged black cliffs, lush green forests, azure-blue seas and much, much more! And this is her calling card. Kauai invites you and your family to enjoy a truly distinctive adventure in what romantics are sure to call “God's country.”

According to the Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, “Majestic Manawaiopuna Falls was shot in Jurassic Park. The tranquil Wailua River was used in Blue Hawaii. The Anahola Mountains were the backdrop for Raiders of the Lost Ark.” In total, over 60 films have been shot on Kauai because of its rare beauty and stunning scenery.

Explore the Napali Coast

Truly a state of gorgeous contradiction, the Napali Coast delivers a little bit of everything. Rocky mountains, plant-covered hills, plummeting waterfalls, narrow valleys and the mighty Pacific Ocean crashing onto the white-sand beaches.

Hikers will literally have a field day exploring this area of Kauai. But even non-hikers will love the amazing scenery as they are escorted by professional guides via helicopter, kayak or Zodiac boats.

Discover Waimea Canyon

Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is literally breathtaking. Early in the morning, as the sun rises to its peak, the various shades of sunlight dance across the magnificent surface of this canyon to produce a lightshow of vibrant blues, deep mauves, rich golds and jet blacks. There's simply no better way to start your morning!

Trails for cars as well as those for novice and seasoned hikers are available to give you a firsthand encounter with this regal wonder.

Play at Poipu Beach

The Travel Channel isn't the only one who thinks Poipu Beach deserves an “America's Best Beach” award. Visitors from all across the country as well as local wildlife agree! Grab a snorkel set and head off to uncover one of Poipu's coves filled with many different varieties of tropical fish.

A chance meeting with large, green sea turtles or monk seals is highly possible when swimming or sunbathing at Poipu Beach. Native to the area, they don't mind sharing their favorite turf, if you don't.

Whether you choose a rugged hiking adventure, a thrilling ride down a tropical zip line or a leisurely day at the beach, Kauai will gladly accommodate. It's a fabulous place with a slower pace for the entire family to enjoy!

Read more about Hawaii Cruises.