While Hawaii is one of my favorite travel destinations, I took my first trip to Kauai in January. Dramatically different than the arid sprawl of the Big Island, Kauai is smaller and much more lush. I had wanted to check out Kauai to check off the four large islands of Hawaii and I am glad I did.
I stayed at the Waimea Plantation; located on the southwest side of the island at the base of Waimea Canyons. The town itself is a 45 minute drive from Lihue airport (the only commercial airport on the island). You drive through various jungles, next to canyons, and past coffee groves. The town of Waimea itself is small and seems to be stuck in the 1950s. The next town over is Hanapepe, known for it’s art galleries. While you will find tourists here; there are no large resorts on this side of the island.