2013 Winter Destinations: Kauai, Hawaii

Winter is great, except when you’re holed up with no sun all day. Take your weekends back with one of these fresh, easy adventures.

Feb 27, 2013
Outside Magazine
Hawaii Kauai Princeville Queens Bath snorkel

Queen's Bath, Kauai.    Photo: Getty Images/Perspectives


Acres of wilderness at Na Pali State Park.

Surfing gets most of the ink where Hawaii is concerned, but Kauai delivers a trio of adventures without the chest rashes and humiliating wipeouts. And thanks to direct flights to Lihue from Los Angeles (a six-hour hop), San Francisco, Denver, and Portland, Oregon, it’s an easy trip. Check into the new Villas at Poipu Kai, with its lava-rock-surrounded pool (from $269). Connect with Kayak Kauai for a daylong paddle from Golden Coast at Poipu past the Spouting Horn, a volcanic-rock formation that blasts ocean water straight up through narrow tunnels created by crashing waves, and keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales and sea turtles ($145). The next day, trek the 11-mile Nualolo-Awaawapuhi Loop over slender ridgelines for pristine views of the fluted cliffs along the Na Pali Coast. Before heading back to the mainland, take a Zodiac tour with Captain Andy’s, who’s been guiding the coast for nearly 30 years ($185). The six-hour expedition darts in and out of sea caves, plunges beneath cascading waterfalls, and lands you on Nualolo Kai, a remote Na Pali beach where you can hike, snorkel, and feast on Hawaiian barbecued chicken and pork in an 800-year-old fishing village.