Reflections on Kaua'i: The Garden Isle

If I had to choose one of my "worst" weaknesses, it would be the non-stop desire to travel. Seeing new places definitely fuels much of my creative energy. It doesn't have to be far away, but I certainly love seeing places that are complete contrasts to home. Last November, I was fortunate to be invited on a trip to Kaua'i, HI with my husband's family. Ever since finding out that much of Jurassic Park was filmed on the island, I've wanted to see it for myself. The epic, prehistoric landscape and rich tropical forests are certainly a big part of Kaua'i that make it so appealing, but there were a lot of nice surprises too.

 Looking over Ke'e beach as we hiked towards the Nāpali coast.

Looking over Ke'e beach as we hiked towards the Nāpali coast.

There is plenty of inspiring colour and texture to behold around the Island, so for a texture-nut like me, it's heaven. Below are a few of my favourite photos that summarize my experience and some of my favourite things about the island in a nutshell. 

As you can probably see, it's hard to imagine there's anything unappealing about Kaua'i. It's beautiful, has plenty of character, and its very own culture that is separate from even the other islands of Hawai'i. As one of the less developed islands, visitors will quickly find it's easy to get into nature, away from people, and even find the odd quiet beach away from it all.

If you're thinking about going, some of my favourite spots were:

  • Napali Coast: where epic jungle-covered cliff faces plummet down into the ocean.
  • Kapa'a: Where food trucks, street markets, cute shops and colourful buildings abound.
  • Hanalei: for surfing (or watching) and enjoying a casual tropical small town atmosphere
  • Anini Beach (we rented a house on this beach) for swimming with turtles, paddle boarding and exploring reefs, in a calmer part of the northern coastline.
  • Waimea Canyon for stunning contrasts: the dry, hot canyon features vibrant red rock, with lush jungle to explore around it and unreal views to boot.
  • And the wild card: Kauai Miniature Golf and Botanical Gardens. Yes, I'm serious! We were with the nieces and nephews which influenced our decision to go here, but I'm glad we did. It was educational, gorgeous, and lots of fun. You don't need kids to enjoy this place. Also be sure to take some time and explore the Wai Koa Loop Trail just outside the mini golf course property. With views like this, you can't go wrong: 
 Wai Koa Loop Trail views

Wai Koa Loop Trail views

What are some of your favourite travel spots? Have you been to Kaua'i? Would love to hear some of your stories!