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Imagine a place where worries vanish in the trade winds, warm saltwater laps the shores of golden sand and rain-forests are home to our earth’s rarest plants and birds. Your adventure begins at the edge of a lost world. Thousands of miles from any significant land mass, the tiny tropical island of Kauai has kept herself charmed, mysterious and unconquered. You will experience her secrets as you dive into the beauty Kauai has to offer. From the moment you step off the plane the balmy trade winds will remind you, “You’re not in Kansas anymore. “
Adventure, romance or pure relaxation? Kauai has it all. Your only worries are how to fit it all in. Kick off your shoes, slip into your casual wear and throw your cares to the wind. It’s all good!
Kauai’s raw interior, rugged Na Pali Coast, and the countless miles of remote white sand beaches are a bit on the wild side. But exploring her untamed allure is where the fun begins. While activities like tow-in surfing 40-foot monster waves do exist, there are other activities for the mere mortal traveler that will give you an equal dose of adrenaline.
On the North Shore the roads narrow, life slows down and it’s apparent why Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Island.” Waterfalls cascade a thousand feet from emerald green mountains to manicured taro fields on the valley floor. These are your first signs that you are now entering the “laid back life on the other side of the bridge.” The beautiful and quaint little surf town of Hanalei is full of water-sport shops, eclectic boutiques and local flair. You will find plenty to see and explore whether in the village or in the water of the magical Hanalei Bay, a year round hub of water sports.
Rent a kayak or a SUP (stand up paddle board) and make your way through the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. You will be skimming the calm water amongst a myriad of wildlife and hanging trees that frame the banks of the Hanalei River. If this is too tame, then just paddle back down the river and test your skills surfing the Bay. Either way you will surely work up an appetite. So… head back to the village where your choices range from take-out to sit down dining and enjoy a fruit infused Mai Tai, while planning the next activity.
Leaving Hanalei in your rear-view mirror, the next eight miles of winding road will pique your curiosity and divert your attention. Keep your eyes on the road. This last stretch of roadway will take a while as the pace of life slows down even more the further north you go. That is, unless you are in the water!
The horseshoe shaped, coral-fringed reef of Tunnels Beach is a popular destination for snorkelers who want to explore the underwater world of sea caves and exotic tropical reef fish. But the outside breaks, beyond the calm of the protected lagoon, should be left to the experienced. This is also a great spot for to see the locals as they race the winds across the ocean’s surface with their gravity defying kite surfing.
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