Unique best describes Kaua`i and the experiences to be had on the Garden Island. You may be one for powerful waterfalls that sooth the soul, or the best location for the vibrant sunset, and Kaua`i is the place. The lush island is home to serene spots reachable only by hidden trails, refreshing rivers, epic waves, and active underwater worlds.
On the west side, Glass Beach proves that one person's trash is another's treasure. Here, the black and gray sand beach is blanketed in a thick layer of colorful beach glass that offers hours of treasure hunting and sparkles beautifully. Swimming here is best done in the small tide pool rather than in the open ocean, but it's worth a visit. The photo op here can't be beat, and having fun with the camera is very rewarding. To here, head west and turn left on Waialo Road toward Port Allen. Turn left on Aka Ulu then right at the fork in the dirt road and you'll see the beach.
Glass Beach — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Just after the National Tropical Botanical Garden at the end of Lawai Road is the explosive Spouting Horn where sea water shoots through the cliffs and high into the air. The height depends on tide and wave size, but it's always fun to watch. Hawaiian legend says that a huge lizard called a mo`o (Hawaiian for lizard) lived here, and would try to eat anyone who tried to fish here. Legend says that a man named Liko made that mistake, and the lizard speared hi min the mouth and stuck where the blow hole is. Today it makes a wonderful photo opportunity and an peaceful experience sit and watch.
Spouting Horn — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
For an adventurous hike that should only be done during the summer months when the ocean is completely flat, make the hike to the Secret Beach Tide Pools. The half hour hike leads to an ocean side waterfall and tide pools that offer a refreshing swim. The over all isn't strenuous, but there's two roughly six-eight foot high vertical climbs to pass over. Other than that it's pretty flat along the way. Head to the north end of Secret Beach in Kilauea and simply keep going. Do not forget a camera on this one, preferably a water camera. This is one of the most secluded and enjoyable spots on Kaua`i.
Secret Beach Seems to Go on Forever — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Stargazing has become an overlooked past time in a world where technology is in our everyday lives, but on mellow Kaua`i, a group of locals make a point to do it, and welcome visitors. Of course you can stargaze anywhere on the island, Kaua`i's serene beaches are an ideal spot, and up in Koke`e the cool weather offers a different feeling. But if you're looking for organized stargazing, join the Kaua`i Educational Association for Science and Astronomy out on the west side for time under the stars. From June through September, once a month the organization gathers at the Kaumakani ball field to watch the celestial cinema. You can contact them at 808/332-7827. On the desolate west side, the stars seem to glow brighter than anywhere else.