By Caitlin Moore
If Hawaii is on your mind, either because you’ve never been and feel that you’re missing out on something, or because you have been but need another taste of paradise, then it’s time to figure out the where, what, and why of your next trip. Well, the “why” is easy, you’re overworked and jonesing for a jaunt to one of those too-good-to-be-true kinds of places. The other two questions will take a little more examination. Put yourself on the right track by narrowing things down a bit, perhaps focusing on Kaui; its north shore, to be exact.
Here is where you’ll find Hanalei, a dreamy little spot that sits at the foot of the mountains and encompasses a city, a beach, a bay, and so much more. The name means crescent shape, and as you look out over the valley you’ll see the unique geography and stunning scenes reaching out into the sparkling blue water, inviting you to go exploring. Start at one corner and work your way around, you surely won’t regret a single moment of your Hawaiian adventure.
Starting with the obvious, the beach is where you may end up spending the bulk of your time. White sands frame the ocean and provide a striking contrast to the rolling mountains that rise behind you, and the conditions are perfect for surfing and boogie boarding. Grassy stretches make for good picnic spots, and lifeguards are standing by to ensure a safe time is had by all.
Enjoy Hanalei Beach Park Pavilion, as it’s certainly different than anything you see on a daily basis. Even kicking back for a nap on your towel or finally taking the chance to read a book for pleasure will count as properly enjoying the scenery, as every glance towards the sky you indulge in and every breath you take will contribute to your overall sense of well-being.
Hanalei is the site of several taro fields, or kalo lo’I, in case you were wondering what native delicacy was being grown in patchwork formations all around this region. This Hawaiian staple is used to make poi, among other things, so try some while you’re here and appreciate the fact that it is truly authentic and homegrown.
There are several shops and restaurants in Hanalei, so sample the local fare and pick up a few souvenirs for the guys back home. You’ll also want to drive around a bit and explore the waterfalls that cascade towards the poi fields and ultimately, the sea, as well as the Hanalei Bridge, which looks rickety but will promise to keep you safe.
Note that much of Hanalei is a wildlife refuge, so keep your eyes open for exotic flora and fauna. This is how Hawaii exists in its natural state, and any worries of visiting an overly trodden tourist trap will disappear once you stop to absorb the sweet sound of quiet and the goose bump-inducing sights of rainbows, mists, and lush green hills.
Princeville, another spectacular North Shore gem, is just down the road, and a number of vacation rentals can be found sprinkled throughout this end of Kauai. If you’ve done the hotel thing one too many times, consider booking a special place for this special trip. Having more than just a square room with a mediocre view will bump this trip to a first-class affair, and after having known what its like to have a kitchen, porch, and hot tub all to yourself, it’ll be hard to go back to your old ways.
As long as you don’t mind learning to treat yourself right on vacation, then start exploring all the Hanalei Vacation Rentals you can see online. This destination will certainly deliver the goods, so dive into the planning process without hesitation.
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