Hawaii and Pacific: Hawaii - Kaua'i | a Movie Set of Cliffs, Canyons & Waterfalls

Find a movie set of cliffs, canyons and waterfalls in Kaua'i

Find the best vendors in Hawaii here!
by Lori Seto

Kauai, the Garden Isle, is the oldest and fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands and a nature lover's dream (or anyone who wants peace and quiet). Kauai is a total sensory experience, a place where the richly hued Waimea Canyon shares real estate with white-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, ginger-scented jungle, rare seabirds, wild fruits, lush forests, fern grottoes, and cascading waterfalls. Luxury lairs plus ample outdoor activities and spellbinding sights make it a fantasy island for travelers both energetic and idle.

When To Go: Kauai at its best

Best weather: Mild year-round though summer temps can reach the low 90s; slightly less rainfall between April and November. May to September are the best months for hiking.
Best prices: Mid-April to June; September to mid-December

What To Do

Festivals: Local musicians and American composers join hula dancers and art exhibitions for the Prince Albert Music Festival in Princeville in May. All islands celebrate Lei Day on May 1; Kamehameha (named after a Hawaiian king) Day in June; Obon season (Buddhist temples have festivals featuring Japanese folk dances and drumming) in July and August; and Aloha Festivals (a celebration of Hawaiian culture with dancing, street parties, and crafts) in September and October (Kauai's is the third week in October).

Outdoor action: Tons of tour companies are available for kayaking, sailing, rafting, diving, and snorkeling tours along the Napali coast or off Poipu Beach. Or take a seaside swing at the palm- and lagoon-studded Kauai golf courses including the renowned Makai and Prince (among Kauai's toughest) courses. Hiking is also popular: the 45-mile network of trails in Kokee State Park, at the north end of Waimea Canyon, is a wilderness park where indigenous birds and plants thrive in forests.

See celluloid scenes: Kaua'i's valleys and waterfalls starred as a dinosaur preserve in Jurassic Park; Harrison Ford escaped natives via snake-filled seaplane from Papa'a Bay in Raiders of the Lost Ark and returned only to be stranded in Six Days, Seven Nights (poor Harrison). The list goes on: Film buffs should sign up for a five- or six-hour film location tour with Hawai'i Movie Tours, (800) 628-8432.

Explore an old culture: On the west shore, visit Waimea, where Capt. Cook first landed in 1778, and Hanapepe, a sleepy town where plantation-era buildings line the main street and old Hawaii is evoked. Shop for local foods like taro chips, pineapple, coconuts, honey, and papayas -- and have them shipped -- at Kauai's Fruit & Flower Company.

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