Escaping to Kauai the Garden Isle

No not today.   I’m currently in the Great Northwest, where we are in the throes of Snowmageddon.  That’s what we call a few days of heavy snow in Seattle and surrounds and yes we are wimps compared to the rest of the country.  This is the view from my office this morning and while I like it just fine I thought it was time for some armchair travel to warmer climes.

So let’s go to Kauai, the Garden Isle!

Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands so it’s more tropical and lush than the others.  It’s the smallest too so less crowded and easier to navigate.  Here’s what I enjoyed the most from my trip a few years ago.

Waimea Canyon

I learned about the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ when researching the islands years before we went, and it was on the top of my list of things to see.  I have to say, it lived up to the hype!

At nearby Koke’e State Park we also had amazing views of the lush Kalalau Valley from 4000 feet elevation and the famous Napali Cliffs.

The young and brave take the Kalalau Trail – 11 miles each away – along the north shore to experience the cliffs close up. Perhaps if I were 20 years younger?  Okay, maybe not even then.  The next best way to see the cliffs is by boat around the Napali Coast but those waters can give the heartiest traveler seasickness so we passed on that too. Still I think I got the general idea here from above don’t you?

A land called Hanalei and the Historic Pier

This area served as a backdrop to many movies including ‘South Pacific.’  According to, the Hanalei Pier was “originally built of wood before 1892. In 1912 it was lengthened to 340 feet, but the wooden deck proved difficult to maintain in the tropical climate. In 1921 the legislature authorized $25,000 for a concrete deck.”  As you can see it was rainy and overcast the day we were there but I still managed to enjoy the trip to the pier.


There are lots of drive-up waterfalls in Kauai and here I am enjoying beautiful Wailua Falls.

Well, that’s enough for now.  So I’ll close with pictures from our hotel on the Coconut Coast, the east side of the island,

and looking north,

and our final sunrise.

Ahhhhh.  I loved Kauai, but honestly I was surprised it wasn’t my favorite.  Maybe because it’s the rainiest of them all –  one of the rainiest places on earth in fact – and since I’m from Seattle,  I get my fair share of rain already!  Or maybe it was the size.  Being the smallest of the major Hawaiian islands meant there was less to do than on the others.  Or maybe I just need to give it another chance?  Hmmm.  There’s an idea.

We shall see.

~ Susanne

13 Comments on “Escaping to Kauai the Garden Isle

  1. Oh no! Going all that way, only to find somewhere even wetter than Beetley. Now that would be a disappointment. 🙂
    Looks lovely though, Susanne.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I see that Portland is getting slammed. At least by Portland standards. My good friend who lived here and moved to Portland is amused by the hysteria around a couple of inches. Then again, Portland doesn’t have a huge fleet of plows. If New England shut down over less than two feet of snow, we would be out of business. Even two feet gets removed in 24 hours. Stay warm and dry.

  3. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Kauai! We spent the most time there and enjoyed the lushness of it all. But really, except for Honolulu, isn’t all of Hawaii wonderful?

  4. I haven’t got to Kauai yet, but I’d like to see it, rain and all. The landscape is so much older and weathered than the Big Island, and much greener overall. The canyons look terrific in your photos.

    • Thanks so much. 🙂 I loved seeing Waimea Canyon and the Napali cliffs and fortunately had good weather too. But the day we headed to the North Shore it was raining heavily so didn’t see as much as I would have liked. Maybe I should try again and hope for better weather.

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