This weekend I went to Kaua'i (it's easy to go for a weekend when you have Furlough Fridays off). Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Isle,” which is an entirely accurate description. It is the oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain and is littered with valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs that are pretty draw dropping. Centuries of growth have also formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls.
If you've never been to Kaua'i, you may nevertheless be familiar with its scenery. The mountains and coast were backdrops for movies such as Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Six Days Seven Nights, and South Pacific. It was also the setting for the TV show Gilligan's Island. Kaua'i is nothing like O'ahu. It is as secluded and untouched by development as you can get and has none of O'ahu's city-like feel. There is only one major road that follows the coast and only a few minor roads that go to the center of the island. In fact, vast parts of the island can only be seen or accessed by boat or helicopter.
Kaua'i is circular in shape with lush, mountainous regions in its center and beaches covering almost half its shoreline. Kauai's age makes it one of the most scenic islands in Hawaii from the 3,000-foot elevations of Waimea Canyon to the waterfalls and deep gorges of 5,148-foot Mount Waialeale in the uninhabited center of Kauai, which you can only view by air. We didn't have much of a plan when we arrived, but had a pretty packed weekend of activities. Someone recommended we hike the Na Pali coast, so we did that when we got off the plane. We also went to Waimea Canyon, the Waimea Brewing company (more beer reviews to come!), the Kauai coffee company, and a beach.