Na Pali Reverie

    Photo: courtesy, Hawaiian Visitors Bureau

Forget hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai's famed NA PALI COAST. You'll get a much better view of these fluted green cliffs by boat—and winter is prime time to see humpback whales that have migrated here from Alaska. This season, Na Pali Explorer, a Kauai-based outfitter, is offering morning whale-watching trips on a 48-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat, in addition to its established afternoon trips. Captain-cum-marine-biologist Tara Leota leads outings to watch the humpbacks breach—and nurse their 10- to 16-foot-long young—with the fern-covered 4,000-foot cliffs as backdrop. Plus, if you're lucky and weather permits, you'll get to splash around with a sea turtle or two at a secret swim spot, the site of ancient fishing grounds. $79 for a three-and-a-half-hour tour; 877-335-9909, www.napali-explorer.com

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