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Tip: This town is best known for hosting the annual Merrie Monarch Festival.

Sightseeing on Kauai

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Called Maha’ulepu, this 2,900-acre wilderness area is really a living museum, populated with rare plants and endangered animals. As if Maha’ulepu’s geological and cultural significance were not enough, it’s also a place of scenic beauty where you can snorkel in Kawailoa Bay or swim at Ha’ula Beach, a 10-minute walk over an old lava field. The lumbering Hawaiian Monk Seal, a critically endangered species, makes frequent visits to this coastal area.

Polihale, an uncommonly beautiful beach on Kauai’s west side, hugs the shore below steep mounds of blazing sand dunes and is framed by the cliffs at the west edge of the Na Pali Coast. Known for its 17-mile stretch of golden sand beach and hot cloudless days.

Air traffic, in and out of Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge, is brisk. The refuge is a regular stop on the flight path of the largest colony of seabirds in the main Hawaiian Islands. Big and easy to spot, they’re a bird watcher’s delight.

Waimea Canyon is a geological wonder located in plain sight along the road to Koke’e State Park. Approximately 10 miles long and 3,000-feet deep, the canyon was formed by a deep incision created by the Waimea River and arising from extreme rainfall on the island’s central peak—Mt. Wai’ale’ale, which is among the wettest places on earth.

Spouting Horn is dual-lava tube breathes air making an eerie dragon sound while the other tube shoots a powerful spray of salt water. The tubes are set about 10 feet from the shoreline and on large south-swell days, the spray can exceed 30 feet.

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