We flew from Maui through Honolulu to Kauai on a Tuesday evening. Using google maps we made our way to our hotel, which took us past the shipping docks to who knows where.
The following morning we were up and on our way before sunrise. After about an hour and a half, and a quick breakfast in Waimea, we made our way up to Waimea Canyon.
We were greeted by the official bird of Hawaii – the rooster.
We made our way through the park until we reached the famed Kalalau Overlook. If it looks familiar, it should, it was used in Jurassic Park.
We are about 4000′ above the ocean at this point.
Look closely you will see the helicopter well below in the valley.
The other highlight of the area is Waimea Canyon.
Waipo’o Falls cascades into the canyon.
From a distance you can see why it has the nickname Grand Canyon of Hawaii.
It is immense, especially given how small the island is overall. This area of Kauai is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and well worth the trip.
We made our way back down to the coast, and found this dirt road that continued in the direction of the bluffs we had just been on.
Eventually we reached the end of the road and found this amazing secluded beach with a view of Ni’Hau.
The waves, while not as impressive as what was in Maui, still made a great ‘Hawaii Five O’ look.
But it was the view of the cliffs that made the dusty ride worthwhile.
On our return trip to Lihue we stopped by the site of a Russian Fort, which was near the town of Waimea. Just down the hill from this fort a river ran into the ocean making some great sand dunes.
Further along the coast we found Salt Pond Park and Beach. Nearby pools produce the famed Hawaiian sea salt, but the beach was more picturesque.
Our final stop of the day was at Kauai Coffee. Very touristy, but amusing.
They claim to have 4 million coffee trees, and near the visitor center you can take a walk amongst them.
They also had some displays on how the beans are dried. These are for show, as this is a large commercial processing facility (that does not offer real tours of the plant).
Remember that drive in the dark – it was much better in the sun!
An amazing view at the Menehune Fishpond, literally a mile from our little hotel. The moral of this view is don’t always trust first impressions, the hotel and the views were spectacular – you just have to go through the cargo shipping area when you come from the airport.