Haena State Park
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Perfect Kauai trio of hike, sunset, and dinner
Kauai is all about adventure activities, and after awhile the kayaking and ziplining can take a toll on the wallet. Luckily, my favorite experiences there involved little but my own two feet and the setting sun. The rugged, inaccessible Na'Pali Coast sounds and looks intimidating if you're not accustomed to backpacking, but you don't have to go all out to get a strong taste of its beauty. We grabbed lunch in the town of Hanalei before driving to the end of the road on the northwest side of the island, parked our car at Haena State Park, and hiked the first two miles of the challenging, 11-mile Kalalau Trail. The views were stunning and the beach we reached was lovely, complete with a cave accessible only at low tide. We hiked back out just in time to cool our tired feet in the Pacific and watch the sun set from the beach at Haena State Park while the waves crashed endlessly at the break just off the coast, then headed to Postcards Cafe for the best meal of our vacation. (Hint: the Postcards Platter appetizer for two makes a fantastic dinner for one, and the Kailani Farms Organic Greens salad with beets is to die for.)
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Original mauna kea beach hotel