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A bronze statue of Capt. James Cook greets visitors to the sleepy coast town of Waimea, where he landed near the mouth of the Waimea River in January 1778. A plaque on a litter-strewn beach with murky water marks the spot. You soon discover Waimea's history is more interesting than the present. Rubble of Fort Elizabeth recalls an 1816 Russian plot to take Hawaii. The sugar planter's era is preserved in restored relic cottages. Once Kauai's capital, now enroute to other diversions, Waimea is best known for Waimea Canyon, the 15-mile long, 3,000-foot deep gash Mark Twain dubbed Grand Canyon of The Pacific. Where the road ends, discover ...

A bronze statue of Capt. James Cook greets visitors to the sleepy coast town of Waimea, where he landed near the mouth of the Waimea River in January 1778. A plaque on a litter-strewn beach with murky water marks the spot. You soon discover Waimea's history is more interesting than the present. Rubble of Fort Elizabeth recalls an 1816 Russian plot to take Hawaii. The sugar planter's era is preserved in restored relic cottages. Once Kauai's capital, now enroute to other diversions, Waimea is best known for Waimea Canyon, the 15-mile long, 3,000-foot deep gash Mark Twain dubbed Grand Canyon of The Pacific. Where the road ends, discover Miloli'i Beach, beyond 17-mile Polihale Beach, Hawaii's biggest, and Barking Sands Beach. Go uphill to discover Alakai Swamp, the upland bog where native honeycreepers flit in the mists of Mt. Wai'ale'ale, wettest spot on earth. Avoid the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Mana Point. At Koke'e State Park, 12 rustic cabins in a redwood grove full of roosters await wilderness trekkers. Eat at Koke'e Lodge to discover the joy of Portuguese bean soup after hiking in the cloud forest. Sleep well in turn-of-the-century Waimea Plantation Cottages near the beach Cook discovered.

Rick Carroll
About the Expert

Rick Carroll has written dozens of articles on Hawaii and the Pacific. His books include Great Outdoor Adventures of Hawaii, Madame Pele: True Encounters with Hawaii's Fire Goddess, and Travelers' Tales Hawaii.

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Rick Carroll for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Area on the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. Waimea is a popular place for tourists, especially hikers who travel through the nearby canyons and ridges.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime, but summer in the cloud forest is likely to be drier for hikers.