Beach + Island

Our Favorite Islands

by Bob Payne

The island: Kauai, Hawaii

The goods: Remember the lost, lush paradise where Jurassic Park took place? That's Kauai, where much of the film was shot. Or how about the scene in South Pacific with Mitzi Gaynor singing "I'm Going to Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair"? That was on Kauai, on the sublime beach of Lumaha'i. Which might make you think this is some kind of mythic Eden. And you'd be right.

Be sure to: Hit the Na Pali Coast (pictured), which begins where the island's main road ends. The eight-mile round-trip hike takes you along the face of towering sea cliffs down to hidden soft beaches and the Hanakapi'ai waterfall. Count on a very tough hike. And count on wishing you'd brought along more water.

Best beach: Although it's often too rough for swimming, for pure walk-it-barefoot beauty Hanalei Beach, a crescent of white sand backed by enclosing cliffs, is as good as any in all of Hawaii.

Perfect season: April and May or September and October, when the weather is good but the beaches aren't packed.

Call it home: The 602 rooms and suites at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa make it big, but happily, the architecture and ambience are classic Hawaii of the 1920s.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Tel: 808 742 1234
Doubles from $490

Kaua'i District Office for Hawaii State Parks
Tel: 808 274 3444

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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