Cruise Diva Goes
Ashore in Hawaii
to see & things to do
northernmost island features a juxtaposition of lush vegetation,
barren desert, and gleaming beaches.
Appearing as a backdrop to Hollywood’s most glittering
stars, Kauai has set the scene for feature films from South
Pacific and Blue Hawaii to Jurassic Park.
Considered by many visitors to be the most beautiful and
natural of the islands, it is also the most independent; local law
prohibits buildings that exceed the height of a coconut tree.
dock at the island’s main harbor, Nawiliwili, and are met by shore
excursion buses and vans. Automobile
rentals are also available and independent tours can be arranged in
advance. Helicopter tours are
particularly popular, especially those that fly over Waimea Canyon
and along the Na Pali Coast.
nearby Lihue, two interesting museums illustrate the island’s
geological and social history. Using
artifacts and even a replica of Captain Cook’s ship, the Kauai
Museum traces the island’s history from its volcanic origin,
through its discovery by Polynesian settlers and European explorers
and all stages of development to the present.
The Grove Farm & Homestead Museum is the best remaining
example of life on a sugar plantation in Hawaii.
but no less imposing than the mainland’s original Grand Canyon, is
Kauai’s “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
More accurately, this is Waimea Canyon, a great gulch of ever
changing color. Filled with
observation points overlooking waterfalls and the Waimea River far
below, the scenery changes from barren and desert-like to lush
during the sixteen-mile drive to Kokee State Park, located in the
midst of an abundant rain forest. The
coastal drive to Waimea Canyon passes Spouting Horn at Kikuiula Bay,
a blowhole that blasts spouts of seawater from ten feet to as high
as six stories into the air.
of Nawiliwili, the Coconut Coast is another of Kauai’s most scenic
areas with abundant coconut palms swaying with the trade winds.
The oldest and most popular attraction is a boat ride down
the Wailua River to Fern Grotto, a natural amphitheater filled with
ferns. Elvis fans will recognize this area from one of the most
beautiful scenes in Blue Hawaii.
In Wailua River State Park, an overlook affords a view of
Opaekaa Falls, a restored Hawaiian village, and, if you look just
right, you can see the fabled “Sleeping Giant” outlined atop the
north along the road to Hanalei is tropical grandeur to rival that
of Tahiti’s fabled islands and the mythical idyllic Bali Ha’i.
Past Princeville, resorts and development give way to the
greens of the valley and blue shadings of the sky and sea.
The gorgeous and unspoiled scenery is the main attraction
until the road ends. Then the
real Hawaii takes over where the untouched Na Pali Coast begins.
the road between Nawiliwili and Lihue, the Anchor Cove complex has
shops with collectibles. In
Lihue, the Kauai Museum’s store is the best bet for arts and
crafts made in Kauai as well as highly prized Niihau shell leis.
Between Lihue and Poipu, the Kilohana Plantation contains a
sprinkling of galleries and shops. Poipu
itself is mostly touristy but neighboring Old Koloa Town has some
fun gift and souvenir shops in its single block.
Scattered throughout Kilauea and Hanalei on the North Shore
are a variety of high end boutiques selling arts, crafts, and aloha
wear, as well as the funkier stores where the locals shop.
of Kauai’s best beaches is Kalapaki.
Located near Lihue and very close to the cruise pier, it is
sheltered by a jetty and very safe for swimming.
To the southwest, Poipu Beach Park is actually two beaches in
one and is excellent for swimmers, snorkelers, and surfers.
The jetty provides a protected area for children and a grassy
lawn is perfect for picnics under the palm trees.
On the Coconut Coast, head for Lydgate State Park north of
Lihue. The rock wall fishpond
insures the only safe swimming area and the best snorkeling
conditions on the eastern shore. These
beaches all have rest room and shower facilities.
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