Where We Be
|The "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" lives up to the hype on a clear morning
|Kauai, Hawaii -- Waimea Canyon
|We found this quiet spot to watch the sun set, had dinner at
Brennecke's Beach Broiler, then drove home and fell into bed
We took in a whole lot of scenery in one day,
most of it in the southwestern portion of the
island. First up was the "Grand Canyon of the
Pacific," Waimea Canyon, a must-see on just
about everyone's Kauai list. The richly colored
canyon is particularly impressive when you
consider it's tucked away on a small Pacific
island. Helicopters buzz their way up the
chasm, looking microscopic against the
backdrop of the canyon, which is a mile wide,
about 10 miles long, and over 3,000 feet deep.
Further up the same road is Koke’e State Park,
where two famous overlooks let you peer down
onto the Na Pali coast towards the remote
Kalalau Valley. We thought the highest lookout
(Pu’u o Kila) offered the best views of the
green pleated cliffs and rugged surf far below.
Our final stop of note was Polihale State Park.
This vast beach hugs Kauai’s western shore
for 17 miles. It is breathtaking in its length and
breadth and for the sheer power of its waves.
The beach ends where the Na Pali cliffs rise up,
impeding all forward progress.
|Kauai really is a beautiful place!
|We parked at the Sheraton Kauai (near Poipu Beach)
and strolled the pleasant walkway along the ocean at sunset
|At Spouting Horn Beach Park you can watch a
water spout explode periodically as the waves roll in
|Tables with umbrellas offer a welcome place to relax
|Here you can try as many free samples of coffee as you like:
Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Banana Nut, Hawaiian Coconut Caramel Crunch...
|After the vastness of Polihale we needed something small
and comforting. The Kauai Coffee Company was just the ticket.
|Rental cars aren't supposed to drive the last five bumpy unpaved miles to Polihale.
If you decide to go anyway, stop when you feel the road turn sandy and walk from there.
|If you're looking for secluded and spectacular, Polihale
might be for you. You can even camp here with a permit.
|This is one of those remote "land's end" kind of places
|This beach blew our socks off -- it felt so remote and wild and vast.
We could hear the surf roaring even before we cleared the ridge to the beach.
|In the town of Waimea we had tasty garlic shrimp for lunch at
The Shrimp Station. Scavenger chickens roamed the premises.
|Several interesting hikes emanate from the Pu'u Kila Lookout
|The Na Pali cliffs rise up and block all forward progress --
but you still have 17 miles of beach to enjoy in the other direction
|We went in up to our knees but no further -- even
then you could feel the undertow pulling at you
|To-go cups in hand, we took a self-guided tour around the property.
Turns out this is the largest coffee operation in all of Hawaii!
|The colors of the rugged mountainrs are just gorgeous here
|This could almost be an overlook at the Grand Canyon -- but it's a small Pacific island!
|This is the view of the Kalalau Valley from the Pu'u O Kila
Lookout. The mist is already starting to roll in here, too.
|Get here early -- already by 10 am you can see the mist starting to roll in