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April, 2009, Page 104
Photos Courtesy Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Resort and Spa, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Kokee Natural History Museum, Kaua'i Marriott Resort & Beach Club
Lush rainforests, stunning ocean views and plenty of adventure await on Hawaii’s oldest, most pristine island.
It might be a stretch to say that Kaua'i, Hawaii, is the Arizona of the Pacific, but consider these similarities: Hawaii's northernmost island is renowned for its scenic attractions, such as Waimea Canyon, a 3,567-foot, 14-mile-long gorge dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific;” the weather is near perfect year-round, with temperatures hovering between the 70s and mid-80s most months; activities abound, with enough hiking, horseback riding and golfing to satisfy the most ambitious traveler; and visitors from around the world flock to this geological wonder to get a glimpse of paradise.
So why leave our idyllic setting for something that feels so much like home? The 43 white sand beaches might have something to do with it – or the crystal clear Pacific water perfect for snorkeling, sailing and surfing – or those lush, green cliffs on the Na Pali Coast that tower 3,000 feet above our heads.
Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort & Spa
As you might have guessed, there are plenty of reasons to escape the desert for a trip to Kaua'i. In fact, be forewarned: The island’s cool ocean breezes, stunning scenery and welcoming culture will lull you into a hypnotic state of perma-vacation, i.e., you’ll never want to leave. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to fall in love with Hawaii’s first born.
As the fourth largest of the main Hawaiian islands, Kaua'i may be dwarfed in size by its brothers and sisters, but it holds rank as the oldest sibling, geologically speaking. Scientists believe the island was formed roughly 5 million years ago when two separate volcanoes – Waimea on the west coast, Lihu'e on the east – collapsed and eroded over time, forming the circular shape of the mountainous island.
Today, there are 552 square miles of the island to explore, whether by land or air, and five distinct regions that give Kaua'i its reputation as one of the most serene spots on earth.
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