While all of the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago are beautiful and have their own attractions, Kauai might just be the most scenic of them all. It has mountains (the highest is Kawaikini at 5,243 feet), a canyon (Waimea Canyon, called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), the dramatic Napali Coast, and several gorgeous bays and beaches.
Oh, those beaches. On the island’s north side you’ll find Hanalei Bay Beach, a near-perfect two-mile semicircle of white sand. And Kee Beach, with a reef that provides some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling. On the east side there’s Kalapaki Beach, a favorite of surfers. Poipu Beach Park highlights the south shore, with its crystal clear waters and the occasional appearance of monk seals. And the west side offers Kekaha Beach, uncrowded and great for sunbathing.
Kauai has only about 60,000 residents, and more of them are involved in welcoming tourists than any other business. It’s the fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands, and is 105 miles northwest of Oahu. Whether you’re looking for an active vacation, with hiking and snorkeling, or a purely relaxing one, Kauai might be the Hawaii you’re looking for.