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Where to Go (or go away)

On Kauai’s Garden Island, you can easily slip away to an uncrowded beach to revel in the beauty of the warm Pacific Ocean’s turquoise waters. Or escape by kayak or boat up one of Kauai’s rivers or streams to secluded picnic spots in the shadows of rugged mountains.

Pack the camping gear and retreat to Polihale State Park’s sand dunes and haunting legends, where the full moon and twinkling stars heighten any romantic experience. The Na Pali Coast at Hanakapiai, Hanakoa, and Kalalau Valleys offer camping retreats for the adventurous (provided proper advance permits are obtained from the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Lihue).

Uncrowded North Shore beach spots include Kalihiwai Beach, the very secret “Secret Beach,” and Lumahai Beach, home to scenes from the film South Pacific. “Public Access to Beach” signs mark other small, remote beaches from Hanalei to Haena.

On Kauai’s sunny South Shore, a multitude of clandestine play spots abound for exploring or splashing in the surf. Mahaulepu (past the Grand Hyatt Regency) offers a pristine beach, accessible only via a guarded cane road (as much fun to find as enjoy). At Shipwrecks Beach (in front of Poipu’s Grand Hyatt) couples can watch expert surfers carve sleek curling wave faces, or observe the tailslapping grandeur of a breaching humpback whale (whale season runs roughly November through March, when these gentle giants frolic in Kauai’s waters).

West Side sunsets are among the most spectacular in the world. Watch the sun slip behind Niihau Island’s cliffs from remote Glass Beach near Port Allen, or from Kekaha Beach’s wide, white sands. The West Side’s Polihale Beach, too, is one of Kauai’s most dazzling sunset arenas, as are Haena and Kee Beach on the dramatic North Shore.

Beyond the beaches, miles of hiking trails and dirt roads are accessible by foot, 4-wheel drive, or mountain bike. Here, couples can get to know each other, as well as Kauai’s beautiful scenery.

At Kokee and Waimea Canyon State Parks, escape to the secluded canyon floor via the Kukui Trail, or languish in a fragrant pine forest near the fairyland stream called Kawaikoi, where a refreshing dip cools any hike’s heat. Slip away down one of the many hiking trails where a romantic couple may encounter the legendary rainbow maiden hiding in a mysterious pool beneath a waterfall.

Weddings, vow renewals, honeymoons, and romantic getaways on Kauai are the dreams of a lifetime, and the opportunity to live them can become real, right here on Kauai.

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