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Kauai

Kauai is is called the Garden Island, for its lush forests and plant life. There's a spot in the center of the island--Mt. Waialeale--that's known as one of the wettest spots on earth. Like other gardens, this one is quiet.  Kauai is not the busiest of islands once the sun sets. If Oahu claims the big city and Maui the benefits of suburbia, then Kauai is definitely the country. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything to do.  Far from it. By day, there is plenty to stay busy: hiking Kalalau Trail, snorkeling at Kee Beach, golfing at The Prince Club, sailing along Napali Coast, exploring Waimea Canyon, touring a coffee farm.  And, appropriately, meandering among gardens.

Arts & Local Culture

hanalei valley, kauai, north shore

Evidence of numerous cultures exist, including a heiau dedicated to hula; an 1837 mission house; and remains of Hawaii's first sugar mill.
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Beaches

woman walking on sandy beach at ocean's edge, long shot, kauai

With the most beaches per mile in all Hawaii, every beach is different. How to find one that's right for you?
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Food & Drink

roy's hawaiian fusion cuisine gift card in grass

Sustainability. Farm to restaurant table. Community-supported agriculture. These efforts top the food trends on rural Kauai.
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Hiking & Land Activities

Hikers on Sleeping Giant trail, Kauai

Adventure awaits: Hiking, kayaking, ziplining, ATV'ing, horseback riding, golfing, birdwatching and floating down an irrigation ditch.
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Music & Entertainment

Close up of koa ukulele

First-time visitors won't want to pass up a luau, and regulars know when the slack key guitar and hula festivals are.
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Romance & Honeymoons

Extreme close up of Honeymoon couple on Waikiki Beach holding hands

A wedding on Kauai can be as simple as finding a quiet beach. The whole process is fairly easy, but there are some state regulations.
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Sightseeing & Shopping

haena coastline, kauai, north shore

There is only one main road around Kauai, so, think about other unique modes of sightseeing--like a kayak, boat, ATV, horse and/or helicopter.
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Snorkeling & Water Adventures

couple kayaking on ocean

Kayak up a river to a waterfall. Take a surf lesson. Learn to stand up paddle. Snorkel. Dive. Or take a boat cruise along Napali Coast.
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Spa & Massage

white hibiscus, native hawaii plant, close up

In Hawaii, the art of massage is steeped in the culture. Pamper yourself at a resort spa or opt for a traditonal Hawaiian locale.
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Featured Articles

  • Kauai Evokes A Sense of Place

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Napali Coast, Kauai, HawaiiThe sun rose at our backs and escorted us down Highway 50 on Kauai toward Port Allen, our embarkation point for a day’s adventure on the Pacific Ocean. Our journey would take us to Kalalau Valley along the iconic Napali Coast. Then, we’d traverse 17 miles of a sometimes rough ocean, crossing Kaulakahi Channel, to drop anchor on the north side of the privately-owned island of Niihau. When I asked my friend Laura, visiting from Loomis, California, whether she wanted to join me on a boating excursion to Napali and Niihau, she didn’t hesitate. “Yeah, baby,” she said.

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  • Poi to the World

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Islands of Outrigger

    Taro patch in Keanae, MauiPlaces where the cuisine differs from home invite a sense of culinary adventure, a step outside your comfort zone. In Hawaii, there are several foods that all visitors should try. One is poi, the pale purple paste that is the result of the pounding the root of the kalo, or taro plant. A root vegetable, taro is often seen in large paddies, with sturdy stems standing two to three feet and supporting large, heart-shaped leaves.

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  • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge: For the Birds

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Long shot of Kilauea Lighthouse from Crater Hill on KauaiThe walk to the historic lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge takes me about three minutes from the parking lot. As I top a slight hill, a panoramic view of the blue Pacific Ocean and a coastline of serpentine cliffs opens before me, just as if someone drew back a pair of heavy theater curtains.

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  • A Few Ways of Looking at a Blackbird*

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    newell's shearwater by keith swindleNewell’s Shearwaters (NESH) are another story altogether. Known to Hawaiians as 'a'o, the seabird measures approximately one foot in length with a wingspan reaching nearly three times that. As seabirds go, kinda small. It has a sharply hooked black bill, good for snagging fish and squid several hundred miles off-shore, and claws that are equally sharp and hooked for burrowing out nest sites and climbing atop trees to launch into flight.

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  • Red: The Color of the Night

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Closeup of dragon eel by Wendy McIlroyThe first time I was scheduled to dive the area known as “Tunnels” on Kauai, there was an extremely low tide producing strong currents as the incoming water rushed back out to sea through a narrow channel. Another night, there was Hurricane Daniel, which was eventually downgraded to a Tropical Depression when it bypassed the island.

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  • Kauai Reefs: Teeming with Life

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Trumpet fish and convict tangs by Wendy McIlroyThe boat rocked from port to starboard and back again, as regular as a metronome. A diminishing south swell that shut out all dive boat operations for the past week still churned the water—and my stomach. That may have explained my deadpan response to Captain George’s dive jokes, but that wasn’t all. It was early.

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  • Volunteering + Vacation = A Dream Come True

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Profiles & Interviews   Article Source: Outrigger

    Visitor Julie Honnert monitors endangered Hawaiian monk seals on KauaiWhen Julie Honnert comes to Kauai on vacation, she doesn't sit on the beach and read a book.  “One of my messages is volunteerism. I always tell people I am on vacation. Most people have never thought of it—volunteering on vacation. Many turn to their spouse and say, ‘Oh, honey, we should do this.’"

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  • Chuck Blay: On Rocks

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Profiles & Interviews   Article Source: Outrigger

    Geologist Chuck Blay talks rocks on Kauai's Poipu BeachChuck Blay knows rocks. With a Ph.D. in geology from Indiana University, he can talk “rock” with any geoscientist around. On a cliff on Kauai’s north shore, Blay talked about “plate tectonics” and how the entire archipelago of Hawaiian Islands formed.

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  • No Task Is Too Big When Done Together

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Taro patch in Keanae, MauiIt was a cloudy Saturday morning. My weekend to-do list was as long as some of the lengthy street names around Hawaii, but weeks before, I had agreed to help weed a taro patch this morning. I looked outside at the cloud-shrouded mountain in my front yard and considered my options. Do I really want to pull weeds in the rain?

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  • Get Lost in Kauai

    Destination: Kauai   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    gary smith, kilauea, kauai, historianHow do you experience the real, unseen Hawaii? Start by heeding the words of Gary Smith, Kauai plantation expert and preservationist. Hint: it involves ignoring guidebooks.

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