Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas

GOING BACK FOR SECONDS

submitted by: Michael Webb

One of the rules of a world traveler is to resist revisiting the same places over and over. Having been to hundreds of destinations in over 30 countries, my wife and I have been able to follow this rule with a few exceptions.

Kauai, the northern island on the Hawaii chain is one of those places too magical to visit only once. It was on the occasion of our ten-year anniversary that Athena and I took this romantic getaway. We opted to go somewhere where we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.

croquetlawnIt had been twelve years since I last visited the “garden island” and it was as lush and breathtaking as I remembered. Think of the most exotic, tropical place you can imagine: rugged canyons, lush rain forests, beaches with picture perfect blue-green water and coconut palms swaying in the breeze.  You’ve just seen Kauai. In fact, if you’ve seen Jurassic Park, you really have seen Kauai.

A romantic drive around the island is a great way to explore its beautiful variety. Be certain to see the Wailea Canyon (a miniature Grand Canyon) on the western end. Don’t miss the excellent snorkeling and beaches on the north shore. Perhaps the most dramatic and scenic part of Kauai is the Na Pali coast. You can’t see it unless you take a helicopter ride or a boat cruise. Either is well worth it.

On this trip Athena and I took a five hour boat tour to the Na Pali coast which included a swim in the ocean, tours of a couple of sea “caves” and snorkeling around a tropical reef, teeming with colorful fish. It was the highlight of our trip.

If you are wanting to include some romantic dining on your visit, I should give you a word of caution. Most of the luaus in Hawaii are expensive and lack any of the romantic charm you might have dreamed of. The meal is buffet-style and often mediocre. You have to share a table with 10 or more strangers. A

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luau for two will set you back almost a hundred dollars. Instead, make reservations for a romantic dinner at Gaylord’s and buy a bottle of champagne.

There are several outstanding hotels on the island. For it’s romantic atmosphere and breathtaking views, a better option might be a stay at one of the luxury condominium units at Whaler’s Cove. For a similar price, you get a lot more space and comfort. If you are vacationing with another couple, the two bedroom units have two spacious bedroom suites making the units even more affordable.

Be forewarned. Your first trip to Kauai will never be your last.

Gaylord’s Restaurant, at Kilohana Plantation, Highway 50 west, Lihue, 808-245-5608 http://www.gaylordskauai.com

Na Pali Eco Adventures 1-800-659-6804. http://www.napali.com

Whaler’s Cove, 2640 Puuholo Rd, Poipu 1-800-367-7052,http://www.whalers-cove.com

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