Island of Kauai
Story and photographs by Greg Aragon
t didnt take long to settle into paradise. In fact, once our plane
landed at tiny Lihue Airport, we were able to deplane, catch a free
shuttle to the hotel, and begin relaxing on the beach within an hour!
Now thats the way to start a trip.
My getaway to the island of Kauai
began recently at the beautiful 350-room Kauai Beach Resort. Here, with
a warm tropical breeze blowing through rows of palm trees and 25 acres
of lush Hawaiian gardens, we checked into a modern room overlooking
the resort pool and the majestic Pacific Ocean.
The Kauai Beach Resort sits on 25 lush, beach-front
acres of Hawaiian gardens
Featuring a comfy king bed, sofa, flat screen TV, coffee
maker, shower and tub, and office area with desk and wireless internet,
the room had everything we needed for our 3-night stay. Add to this
a large, private balcony with mesmerizing views and it is easy to see
why didnt want to leave.
The room was great, but when visiting a post card island
like Kauai there is so much else to see. So after unpacking we hit the
beach, which is located steps from the resort. On the way to the sand,
we grabbed a couple Mai Tais at the pool bar. While strolling along
the shoreline, we watched colorful fish swim through coral in the emerald
colored water, discovered a small, hidden lagoon next to the resort,
and gazed at the rocky outlines of the islands many mountains.
Set on a beautiful private beach, the resort is
surrounded by ocean, sand, gardens, and serene lagoons
While sitting next to the lagoon, I read about Kauai,
which is also called the Garden Island. As the oldest, fourth largest,
and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai is enveloped in
emerald valleys, pointed mountain tops and jagged cliffs. Eons of growth
have created tropical rainforests, meandering rivers, and tumbling waterfalls.
Adding to the magic and mystery of the island is its seclusion; much
of Kauai is only accessible by sea or air.
Back at the hotel, we watched a traditional Hawaiian
dance and music performance at the pool area. Called E Komo Mai
or welcome reception, the weekly event features free mai tais, Polynesian
music and hula dancing against the backdrop of an unforgettable tropical
The E Komo Mai is a traditional Hawaiian dance performed
weekly at the resort
After the reception, we had dinner at Naupaka Terrace,
the resorts signature restaurant. Inspired by Hawaiis indigenous
naupaka flower, the plantation-style restaurant features creative Hawaiian
and Pan Pacific cuisine, Asian inspired dishes, fresh island catch,
aged beef, salads, pastas and delightful desserts.
Our meal began with salad and red wine on the outdoor
terrace, overlooking torch-lit waterfalls, fishponds and the ocean.
For a main course, my friend had a sizzling New York steak, with grilled
mushrooms and onions, and garlic mashed potatoes; and I devoured fresh
Opah fish, with rice and veggies. For dessert, we shared handmade ice
The resorts Naupaka Terrace serves creative
Hawaiian and Pan Pacific cuisine, such as delectable Opah fish
In the morning we set out for a cruise along the legendary
Napali Coast. Led by Holo
Holo Charters, this memorable Sunset Dinner Sail began in Port Allen
Harbor. Here we met the captain and crew of the Leila, a sleek,
28-ft-wide catamaran. Once aboard Leila, we got a quick seafaring
lesson from Captain Amy, and then held on tightly as the boat zoomed
into the gorgeous Napali Coast.
Featured in movies such as Jurassic Park, King
Kong, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Napali Coast is one
of the most scenic spots on earth. With its jagged peaks, secluded beaches,
lost sea caves and sapphire waters, its easy to see why Hollywood
directors pay thousands of dollars per day to film here.
One of the most scenic spots on earth, the magical
Napali Coast was featured in movies such as Jurassic Park, King Kong,
and Raiders of the Lost Ark
During our cruise, the wind was blowing strong and the
Leila surfed over large waves providing an exhilarating roller
coaster ride that had all of us passengers screaming with joy. When
the waters calmed, we saw wild goats climbing nearby rocks and sea turtles
and dolphins swimming beside the boat. On our way back to port, the
crew put up Leilas massive sails and we cruised into the
sunset while enjoying a great lasagna dinner.
Holo Holo Charters sails along the Napali Coasts,
offering dinner cruises, island hopping, snorkeling and more
The next day we rented a Jeep Wrangler at the hotels
activity desk and drove to Wailua Falls, a spectacular 170-foot doubled
barreled waterfall. Made famous in the television show Fantasy Island,
the falls are located in a lush, bowl-shaped canyon and tumble into
a serene pool. Next to the lookout point, we hiked down a slippery,
makeshift trail to the top of the falls, where we found a jungle stream
feeding the runoff.
Wailua Falls cascades170-ft down into a serene pool
Back at the Kauai Beach Resort, we met two local artists
in the lobby one was painting gorgeous Kauai scenery and the
other was making hand-crafted jewelry. We concluded the evening with
live music at Shutters Lounge and a spell in the Jacuzzi, sipping Mai
Tais as palm trees swayed, the wild chickens strolled by, and waves
crashed against the enchanting Coconut Coast.
Kauai is known for its ubiquitous wild chickens
that roam throughout the island
The Kauai Beach Resort hosts a South Pacific
Dinner & Live Theater each week
The Kauai Beach Resort features four swimming pools,
including 2 lagoon pools with waterfalls and a 75-ft lava tube water
slide, and one with a sand bottom; a full service spa and salon; fitness
center; gift shop; room service and more than 26,000 sq-ft of event
For golf lovers, the resort is currently offering a
$59 gold package on Mondays and Thursdays that includes green fee and
cart, as well as warm-up bucket, discounted club rentals, free beverage
and free roundtrip shuttle to course. Every Wednesday in the resorts
Jasmine Ballroom, the hotel hosts South Pacific Dinner & Live Theater,
a live production of the iconic island musical South Pacific,
presented with dinner.
For information on staying at Kauai Beach Resort, visit
For more information on Kauai, visit: www.gohawaii.com/kauai.
Island of Kaua'i; Oahu's
North Shore; Big
Island Hawaii; Maui's