Family-Friendly Villas Close to Three Beaches
Lush forests, volcanoes, hidden beaches, and small towns give Kauai, Hawaii, the feel of a far-flung, unspoiled paradise. “I get a stronger sense here that nature is still calling the shots than I’ve felt on any of the other islands,” says Andrew McCarthy of Travel + Leisure magazine. There's an untapped quality to Kauai's wilderness, where you can go snorkeling in crystal-clear waters or hike the vast Waimea Canyon. The Villas at Poipu Kai occupy part of a 70-acre condominium resort that links two pristine beaches, and the upscale property has direct access to Kauai’s natural treasures.
Designed with families in mind, the property features villas with multiple bedrooms and large, fully equipped kitchens. The three-bedroom poolside villas have designer furniture and plantation-style accents such as hardwood floors and natural stone bathrooms. There are also expansive lanais and roofed verandas that extend the spacious living areas to the outdoors. From the villas, you can see the surrounding mountains and ocean. You’re also just steps from the palm-studded pool area, where the sun warms the water naturally and a cascading waterfall pours into the hot tub.
The Villas at Poipu Kai also provide complimentary boogie boards, beach chairs, and coolers, which guests can take to one of the three nearby beaches—all about a five-minute walk away. Between the three beaches, there are pleasant swimming areas, a rocky coastline for hiking, and shaded pavilions selling local food. The resort is also located close to the historic 19th-century plantation town of Koloa.
Kauai, Hawaii: Sandy Beaches, Sheer Sea Cliffs, and Lush Rainforests
Kauai is the fourth largest Hawaiian island, but it's also somewhat secluded from the rest of them—it lies about 100 nautical miles northwest of Oahu. Travel + Leisure recently named it one of the World's Best Islands, citing the peaceful landscape. Here you can watch waterfalls spill from jagged cliffs in lush valleys, and clouds hover over mountains framed by sandy beaches. Many championship golf courses overlook the ocean here, too, and you can find wide, offshore reefs overflowing with tropical fish. Further inland, you can kayak through interior rainforests or ride a zipline through the tropical foliage.
The Na Pali Coast, "one of Hawaii's most spectacular natural attractions" according to Frommer's, is a 16-mile stretch of sea cliffs that tower above the Pacific. It's possible to take a helicopter or boat tour of this landmark, but one of the best ways to experience it is by foot on one of the hiking trails. Kalalau Trail, one of the most popular, starts at a sea-level beach and then climbs steadily uphill along the coastline with sweeping views along the way (albeit with sometimes treacherously narrow pathways).
Another must-see sight is the Waimea Canyon, a dramatic gorge reportedly nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain. But unlike the comparable Arizona site, Waimea is much more colorful, covered in exotic plants and rocks that change hues during the day.
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