Week 1
Kauai - The Garden Island

On any list of the world's most spectacular islands, Kauai ranks right up there with Bora Bora, Huahine, and Rarotonga.  All the elements are here:  moody rainforests, majestic cliffs, jagged peaks, emerald valleys, palm trees swaying in the breeze, daily rainbows, and some of the most spectacular golden beaches you'll find anywhere.  Soft tropical air, birdsong, the smell of ginger and plumeria, golden sunsets, sparkling waterfalls - you don't just go to Kauai, you absorb it with every sense.  It may get more than its fair share of tropical downpours, but that's what makes it so lush and green - and creates an abundance of rainbows.

Kauai is essentially a single large shield volcano that rises 3 miles above the sea floor.  The island lies 90 miles across the open ocean from Oahu, but seems at least a half-century removed in time.  It's often called "the separate kingdom" because it stood alone and resisted King Kamehameha's efforts to unite

  • Another "Anniverary" Tour
  • In The Beginning . . .
  • Another "Anniverary" Tour
  • Hawaii .  In the end, it required a royal kidnapping to take the garden isle.  After King Kamehameha died, his son, Liholiho, ascended the throne and gained control of Kauai by luring its king, Kaumualii, aboard the royal yacht and sailing to Oahu.  Once there, Kaumualii was forced to marry Kaahumanu, Kamehameha's widow, thereby uniting the islands.  Today the independent spirit lives on in Kauai, which refuses to surrender its island to wholesale tourism.  A Kauai rule is that no building may exceed the height of a coconut tree - between three and four stories.  As a result, the island itself, not its palatial beach hotels, is the attention-grabber.  There's no real nightlife here, no opulent shopping malls.  But there is the beauty of the verdant jungle, the endless succession of spectacular beaches, the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, and the drama of the Na Pali Coast.

    Kauai's beauty has played a supporting role in more than 50 Hollywood films from South Pacific to Jurassic Park.  But this island is not just another pretty face:  Its raw wilderness is daunting, its seas challenging, and its canyons forbidding.  Nearly two-thirds of the island is impenetrable.  This is the place for active visitors:  There are water sports galore; miles of trails through rainforests and along ocean cliffs for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders; and golf options that range from championship links to local courses where chickens roam the greens and balls wind up in coconut trees.

    But Kauai is also great for those who need to relax and heal jangled nerves.  Here you'll find miles of sandy beaches and quiet spots in the forest, perfect for just sitting and meditating, and an endless supply of laid-back lazy days that end with the sun sinking into the Pacific amid a blaze off glorious tropical color.

    So if your ready for Week 4, just click on "Sunday, July 30" for a trip to the oldest island in the

  • Another "Anniverary" Tour
  • In The Beginning . . .
  • Another "Anniverary" Tour
  • Hawaii an chain!