Kauai: Hawaii’s Garden Isle

Every February-March, my editor asks if I can once again update the Destination Hyatt books for the Maui, Kauai and Waikiki resorts. I look forward to this assignment because I’m a wordsmith, and it’s a chance for me to get creative, writing new sidebars, little-known facts, and intros for each of the resorts and the islands they inhabit. And that means I have to come up with new themes and ideas each year.

A few years ago, I wrote this one for Kauai. And since I just returned from six days on the Garden Isle, now seems like the perfect time to put words and photos together for a blog post. My husband calls this “flowery” writing, but I call it fitting for a garden island.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any Kauai experiences, do tell.

A father takes a photo of his five children at sunset on Brennecke’s beach, Kauai.

Kauai: The Magician

Abracadabra! Endless stretches of powdery-sand beaches strung together like jewels glittering gold in the sunlight. Throngs of red-footed boobies and other acrobatic sea birds soaring gracefully above the cliffs and lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. An impregnable mountain fortress known as Na Pali flaunting its steepled spires, sea arches, and isolated, idyllic pillows of sand.

When it comes to sleight of hand, Kauai is a master, transforming the raw lava of a once barren volcano into an emerald-robed Garden of Eden complete with groves of coconut palms and a smorgasbord of fruits: papaya, banana, breadfruit, guava, lychee, mango, passion fruit, and the tempting mountain apple.

Like pulling a rabbit out of its hat, the island reveals hidden gardens filled with colorful tropical flowers, the languid Wailua River and its ethereal Fern Grotto, waterfalls galore, a replica Grand Canyon known as Waimea, and towering Mount Wai‘ale‘ale—the wettest place on earth.

Once Kauai has mesmerized, resistance is futile. You’ll find yourself playing 18 holes on a world-class, cliff-top golf course, hiking into Waimea Canyon’s wilderness of pastel reds and yellows or along Na Pali’s carved-into-the-cliffside footpath, kayaking a rainforest river, sipping coffee made from the island’s homegrown beans, relaxing in a rejuvenating spa, visiting locations where movies such as Jurassic Park and South Pacific were filmed, exploring by horseback or astride an ATV, stretching out on a beach in the company of a Hawaiian monk seal or green sea turtle.

Kauai waves its magic wand and you gladly fall under its spell.

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Categories: flowers, Hawaii, nature, Photography, Stock Photography, Sunsets, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Kauai: Hawaii’s Garden Isle

  1. You are indeed a Wordsmith, in more than one way. You images never cease to inspire whether they are created in prose or pixels.

  2. Hawaii has always been a dream destination for me and you have just made it more desirable.

    • Wonderful, Valeria! That is one of my goals. Wait until you get here, inhale the fragrance of frangipani and feel the gentle tradewinds caressing your skin; it is even more desirable in person than you can imagine or than I can show through photographs.

  3. I’ll be on the first plane out :-D

  4. I have alway wanted to go to Kauai. Your pictures are beautiful. I probably never get there, because it is such a long airplane ride. I once went on a cruise to Hawaii, but we didn’t stop at Kauai.

    • Oh, I do hope you make it one day, Connie, and if you do, contact me, and I will be your virtual tour guide. And omg, how could a cruise to Hawaii NOT stop at Kauai???

  5. Some day … sigh …
    [#TALU]

    • Sooner than you think, perhaps (hopeful). All those wonderful Kauai foods and flavors (a mixture of east and west) are calling to you :). We had the most delightful fish (lightly battered) tacos with mango salsa one day for lunch.

  6. Kauai is so lovely! Too long since I’ve been there. Your pics are a great reminder. Thanks for posting.

  7. I like your article about Kauai and the photographic views. I’ll put it on my long list of places to visit.

    • Please do, Mary. Kauai is quite unique, with its beautiful beaches, desert-like canyon, plentiful hiking trails, Na Pali cliffs, quaint towns, friendly people, fabulous food, and the wettest spot on earth, Mount Wai’ale’ale. Be sure to go on a helicopter ride over the island when you get here :)

      • Sounds exciting. PS: Would you believe my first airplane ride was over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was in a small twin engine that hit an air pocket and developed engine problems. I thought at age twenty this was the end, but thank goodness it recovered and I’m still here.

    • What an introduction to flying. I’m surprised you got back in another plane. Those little ones can be quite bouncy. I bet you had some fabulous views, though. It actually sounds like a good adventure to blog about :)

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