Traveling to Hawaii – Kauai
It’s never too early to think about escaping next year’s cold weather, but what about the harsh summer temps as well? In this series of essays, we’ve looked at Oahu, the Big Island and Maui and now that it is time for the next one, Kauai, it is time to think about avoid 95 degree days in the summer.
Looking at the average temperature in Lihue, Hawaii, the coldest average is 65 degrees and the warmest average is 85 degrees. That’s a great range to escape to anytime of the year. Lihue is also the place where you begin your escape, as that is the main airport for the island. Direct flights are available from LAX during the summer (other cities like San Francisco and Denver have flights as the winter season approaches) but wherever you fly from (for example O’Hare) you’ll be paying about $1,000 to get to Lihue any time from summer well into fall and winter.
Going to Kauai is definitely all about the outdoors and the natural sights. They may even look familiar as blockbuster films like “Jurassic Park,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Tropic Thunder” and “King Kong” were all filmed on Kauai.
After jumping off the plane, ready for adventure, the first sight on your list should be 23 miles down highway 50 and ten more miles on highway 550 to get to Waimea Canyon State Park. Known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” (though having been to the Grand Canyon, it was nowhere near this green) you can take the very easy Iliau Nature Loop to explore the canyon rim or the difficult Kukui Trail that takes you 2,000 feet down into the canyon, which unfortunately means 2,000 feet back up.
If you take the 550 until the road ends, you will end up in Koke’e State Park. Instead of just two trails, this park offers 19 different trails of varying difficulties to allow you to explore and see all the different native plants and animals. To figure out which trail, visit the Koke’e Natural History Museum in the park, and it will also help you to figure out what flora and fauna you see on the trails.
As the crow flies, the distance from Koke’e State Park to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is not far, unfortunately the road does not travel that way, so to get to the North Shore, you have to drive back around to Lihue and then take the 56 to Kilauea, but it is only 64 miles total. The refuge is a popular place to see boobies, because it is a bird sanctuary and home to albatrosses, shearwaters as well as the red-footed boobies. It is also home to the Kilauea Lighthouse, a vantage point that has great scenic views.
However, if you really want to see cool views of the Kauai, you’re going to have to get off the island and onto a boat tour to see the part of the island where the roads don’t travel. Looking at the pictures on the home page of Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures with sightseeing and snorkeling for five hours means that you have found a great way to spend a day for S139.00 each.
After all the hiking and snorkeling, it might be good just to spend the day at Poipu Beach, one of the top beaches in the nation. Here you can just kick back and concern yourself with when you are going to dip your feet in the water. Well, at least until you have to concern yourself with the unfortunate task of returning to the airport to go home.
About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."