Stay at the Hanalei Colony Resort. It has no telephone, television or radio in your room, so you’re free to luxuriate in the Old Hawaii way of life. Rates from $240, hcr.com.
Eat what you find at the Waipa Farmers Market. Arrive before 2 p.m. to find the item you want before it sells out. Sample lilikoi chevre, pick up a jar of Kauai-made honey and learn the art of eating pimply red-sknned lychee. The market is tucked under the luscious green Namolokama Mountains, streaming with waterfalls.
Visit the sweeping crescent of white sand at Tunnels Beach in Haena, on the North Shore. In the summer, the views are beautiful, the beach is perfect for strolling, and the underwater reefs that form the “tunnels” have some of the island’s finest snorkeling. In winter when high surf and fierce currents keep swimmers out of the water along the North Shore beaches, head to family-friendly (and usually sunny) Poipu Beach, on the South Shore.
Kayak up the Wailua and Hanalei Rivers. During the summer months sea-savvy kayakers on all-day tours can take in the plunging waterfalls, deep caves, and secluded beaches beneath the towering cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. It’s not hype: Floating offshore as the sun colors the corrugated pali above you is sublime.
Hike the Kalalau Trail, which starts where the road along the North Shore ends. It’s Hawaii’s most famous trek. This 22-mile round-trip route along the sheer cliffs of the Na Pali Coast is arduous and dangerous in places. However, visitors young and old can tackle the first stretch, a breathtaking two-mile hike to Hanakapiai Beach. The views of the cliffs and Kee Beach are unforgettable. Dress for showers, and be prepared to clamber over occasionally steep trails lined with rocks and tree roots.
Learn more at gohawaii.com/kauai.