Kauai, Hawaii

When I Went: Feb. 15-20, 2011

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? Not exactly; even though there’s hardly a bad season in Kauai, February is the wettest month. It is, however, prime time if you’re keen to watch humpback whales play.

Why I Went There: My cousin decided she wanted to get married there.

Who Went With Me? A couple of aunts, uncles, and cousins

We Stayed Here: My aunt rented a couple of houses. As guests, we stayed at the Hale Imaka house. It has four bedrooms and has a wonderful garden and mountain view. The wedding party stayed at the Villa Kailani, also through the Parrish Collection of vacation homes.

You Won’t Want to Miss: First is the Napali Coast. This 15-mile stretch of pristine coastal area in the northwestern part of the island can only be reached three ways: hiking, sailing, and kayaking/rafting. It’s a dramatic view unlike any I have ever seen. In the winter months, though, rafting or kayaking to get here is not recommended. The Pacific currents can be strong, and the swells can build up to a height of a foot or higher. Second is the Waimea Canyon.  This “Grand Canyon” of the Pacific can rival its mainland counterpart in awe-inspiring beauty.  The canyon is a geological masterpiece created by lava flow and sculpted by erosion for millions of years. The red dirt that’s prevalent comes from volcanic material oxidized to give it the reddish orange hue and the contrasting green is from the vegetation that grows within.  This is the part of the island that gets the most rainfall annually.

Eat Here: Koloa Fish Market for easy-on-the-pocket fresh seafood and poke; Pizetta in Koloa for the Italian lover in you, and if you wish to indulge, The Beach House, which has good food and an excellent sunset view.

Play Here: Poipu Beach. They have plenty of snorkeling areas here for children and adults alike. Gear rentals are less than $10 a day.  There are also plenty of championship golf courses around the island.

If I Went Again: I will drive up to the north shore and visit Hanalei Bay. This crescent-shaped bay is one of the most picturesque parst of the island. I will also brave up and try to zip line in one of the many areas in the east shore. Lastly, I will do a day hike of the Waimea Canyon.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? There are no direct flights from DFW to LIH, so I flew American to Los Angeles and connected there to Lihue. If you fly US Airways, you will connect in Phoenix instead.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: Most of the resorts in the island are open to the public. They are worth visiting just for the scenery. Often times, there are also events and activities within (i.e. guitar player singing by the bar area), so this is a good way to enjoy great views and be entertained without spending too much.

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