I just got back from the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii. After finding a roundtrip ticket for $270, I couldn't pass up the trip. The weather was mostly overcast, but the island is so lush and gorgeous that I didn't mind too much.
We flew into the tiny airport Lihue from Los Angeles then went to a rented oceanfront villa in Poipu.You definitely need a rental car there since there aren't really any forms of public transportation, but the island isn't very big so driving is very easy.
The Waimea Canyon is a popular attraction. It is the largest canyon on the Pacific at 10 miles long. I haven't been to the Grand Canyon, but I imagine that this is a close second.
The northern part of the island has stunning views of mountains and waterfalls. Ha'ena Beach is lovely. It was fun to see surfers riding gigantic waves. There is also a very cool dry cave. The Kilauea Lighthouse (pictured) nestled on a cliff in Princeville is also a must-see.
One of my favorite activities was snorkeling. It's super inexpensive at $8 for top-of-the-line gear rental and is great fun. I saw tons of colorful fish, an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal and a green sea turtle.
If you are fortunate enough to visit Kauai, you should dine at the oceanfront Beach House Restaurant; try some shave ice in the Li Hing Mui flavor (a Hawaiian salty dried plum); buy fresh fruit from a street vendor; sip on a Mai Tai while watching the sun set; and go snorkeling in Kaloa.
After visiting, you will be able to see why movie classics like Jurassic Park, Hook, Blue Hawaii and Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed here. Aloha!