Great idea to visit is to see kauai’s na pali coast

Have you dreamed of visiting the Garden Isle of Hawaii? Kauai is home to stunning natural wonders including Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay and Wai’ale’ale Crater, but no visit to Kauai is complete without visiting the majestic 17-mile stretch of the Na Pali Coast.

You have three options when visiting the Na Pali Coast — hiking, helicopter tour and boat ride. I’ll go over each of these options below, but if you only have time for one of these activities while visiting Kauai, book a helicopter flight!

THE BEST WAY TO SEE THE NA PALI COAST IN KAUAI

HELICOPTER TOUR

By far, the best way to view the Na Pali Coast is by Helicopter because most of the areas are inaccessible by land or sea. I booked a flight with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters — the same company we used for a helicopter tour of Maui — and from start to finish, the service was top notch.

If you plan to take any photos, Blue Hawaiian’s pilots fly on the left of the aircraft which means there’s more seating for the best views of the Na Pali Coast. All of the helicopter tours fly from the south, up the coast, so you’ll want to be on the right side of the aircraft and most of Blue Hawaiian’s passenger seats are on this side. I also highly recommend requesting Shay as your pilot!

Blue Hawaiian also provides black shirts to every guest (as a courtesy) because black reduces glare on the windows. I’ve been on flights where the other passengers are wearing white or detailed print clothing — which means their clothing choices are affecting everyone’s photos.

BOAT TOUR

I’ve been on two boat tours of the Na Pali Coast. The first was on a large Catamaran with Blue Dolphin Charters. The weather did not cooperate on this particular trip in June, so many of the passengers got seasick. I have to say, the staff was amazing catering to everyone’s needs — running around, feeding everyone saltines and Ginger Ale, but if you do get seasick, take Dramamine!< experience along this coast was during the last week of August and the weather was absolutely perfect. I booked a zodiac tour with Holo Holo Charters. The zodiac tours provide a closer look at the caves along the cliffs, but I would not want to be in a zodiac on a choppy day.

Both of the above tours go to the same snorkeling spot along this coast. If you are looking for the best snorkeling on the island, this is not the trip to book. For snorkeling, I recommend Poipu Beach or Tunnels.

HIKING

You can hike in some areas of the Na Pali Coast — depending on the weather — but the hikes are not for the faint of heart. This side of Kauai is extremely wet, which results in muddy and slippery conditions along the edges of the towering cliffs. If you do hike the Na Pali Coast, please come prepared with walking sticks and plenty of food and water and check the weather beforehand!

We hiked a section of the Kalalau Trail (an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach) and were advised by a ranger to turn around after 2-miles due to flash flood warnings. The day before we arrived, hikers ignored these advisories and were forced to spend the night along the trail because the water level was too high to pass on their return trip.

HOW TO PACK FOR THE NA PALI COAST

Whether you’re hiking or taking a tour along this strip of coastline, there’s a few things you won’t want to forget.

Trekking Poles: If you plan to do any hiking, bring foldable hiking sticks! Many of our fellow hikers wished they had walking sticks to keep them from falling in the mud and assisting with the river crossings.

Dramamine: Definitely bring this for any of the boat rides along the Na Pali Coast and you may even want to take one before your helicopter flight; it can get bumpy. Dramamine has a Non-Drowsy version that we bring on all of our trips.

Dark Clothing: Wear dark, solid clothing on the helicopter flight — preferably black.

Rain Gear: Let me just say, plan for rain on the Na Pali Coast. Bring a poncho or, even better, a light rain coat.

Hiking Shoes: I forgot my hiking shoes on my first trip to Kauai and my running shoes were completely ruined after hiking the Na Pali Coast. Hiking shoes with ankle support are even better.

How to Prepare for your travelling

images-16CHECK VISA & VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

Every country has different tourist visa and vaccination requirements, so make sure you abide by the guidelines and meet requirements well in advance. This user-friendly interactive guide is helpful in starting your research to ensure you are well prepared. Health updates regarding country-specific illnesses – like the current Zika virus outbreak – should also be monitored regularly.

GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance can cover the cost of lost or stolen personal items, trip cancellations, and even medical emergencies – this can prove to be beneficial in the event of an unplanned disruption of your trip. Just as you insure your home, car, and even your phone, make sure to insure your trip to avoid costly penalties! Different insurances cater to specific needs to travelers (low-cost, medical, international travel) so choose one than fits your travel style and budget.

MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Although nearly everything is sent via email or saved on a back-up drive now, it’s important to realize the value of hard copies. Should your travel documents be lost or stolen, it’s critical to have them saved elsewhere. Keep a folder of these documents on you at all times (in your purse or carry-on) while traveling, and email them to yourself before your trip for added precaution.

  • Passport (Identification page with photo.)
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Driver’s License
  • Credit Cards (front and back.)
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Airline Tickets
  • Reservation Confirmations (hotel, rental car, cruise tickets, etc.)
  • Vaccination Certificates

BOOK ACCOMMODATION

It may be tempting to be spontaneous and book your hotel rooms or lodging on a whim, but it’s not usually something I recommend. Events like holidays and festivals can be a nightmare if you don’t already have accommodation booked.

Don’t be stuck with the leftover, low grade rooms and instead book at least a month in advance. Hotel staff insiders even admit that those who book through their website or over the phone usually get better rooms than those who book last minute or through other online booking sites. Be sure to read online reviews, and beware of additional charges like parking, cleaning, and pool/spa fees.

HAVE A WELL PACKED CARRY-ON

In addition to your travel documents (and copies), you’ll want to have some basic essentials within arm’s reach:

Headphones: Thin hotel walls and noisy plane passengers are inevitable, so come prepared and pack a pair of headphones that can easily plug into your phone or iPod.

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals: Better than any generic ginger chews on the market, Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals contains the clinically-tested ginger dosage required for preventing and treating motion sickness common on planes, boats, and windy drives.

Scott and I both suffer from motion sickness on rocky boats and flights, but we’re hesitant to take something that is going to make us drowsy. I tried these Non-Drowsy Naturals on a recent trip to Kauai –during a zodiac tour of the notoriously choppy Na Pali coast as well as a bumpy helicopter ride — and I did not feel a hint of nausea! These are our new go-to motion sickness pills and it’s something I will not leave home without.

Hand Sanitizer: Don’t overestimate your immune system; the last thing you want on your vacation is to catch a cold. Hand sanitizer, or antibacterial hand wipes, should be compact and easy to stash in your carry-on.

Power Converter: One of the most important things travelers often forget to bring on international trips is a power converter. Check online to see which converter you’ll need for the country you are visiting. I always bring at least two because I have so many electronics to charge.

Reusable Water Bottle: Leave it empty as you pass through security in the airport, of course, but carrying a water bottle with a filter attached will save you money regardless of where you fly! No more shelling out money for bottled water or worrying about catching an illness internationally.

Tips to Get Married in an Overwater

images-17It’s common for newlyweds to describe their wedding day as feeling like they’re walking on air. But for those who would rather walk on water, Sandals Grande St. Lucian just opened a stunning overwater wedding chapel.

The Overwater Serenity Wedding Chapel is Sandals’ first overwater chapel, located at their Grande St Lucian property, and the first overwater chapel in the Caribbean, according to the company.

The Serenity Chapel is an intimate, aquatic space for tying the knot. It’s located at the southwestern corner of the resort and its open-air design gives uninterrupted, panoramic views of Rodney Bay.

The chapel boasts a river stone altar and glass-panelled floor. The entire decor was designed with the seaside in mind. The space can hold up to 20 guests for either a religious or non-religious ceremony.

Use of the chapel is complimentary, but has to be reserved upon arrival on a first-choice basis. So those interested in booking the space should contact Sandals Grande St. Lucian with a “save the date.”

In the event that the Sandals chapel is completely booked, there are a few other places in the world where water-loving couples can exchange vows. The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa has an overwater wedding chapel with glass aisle. And the Four Seasons’ Landaa Giraavaru resort in the Maldives boasts a secluded overwater chapel, which can only be reached via rowboat.

Do You Need Apartment on Mediterranean Sea

With some 38,000 residents spread over less than one square-mile, the city-state of Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world.

But intrepid developers with a vision for new luxury apartments may have found a creative solution to their land shortage: build into the sea.

Authorities from Bouygues Construction are planning a ‎€1-billion luxury development in the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of the Riviera principality. The nearly 15-acre complex is set to feature a marina, public parks, a Japanese garden, a seaside promenade, and several blocks of luxury apartments.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the development of the Principality of Monaco by way of this new land reclamation project,” Bouygues Construction CEO Philippe Bonnave said in a statement, noting that the project would aim for “the highest ambitions with respect to sustainable development and environmental protection.”

The development will be constructed by filling 85-foot tall watertight chambers filled with some 11,000 tons of cement, Global Construction Review reported. These chambers, also called caissons, are often used for construction of piers and other sea projects.

Monaco is perhaps best known to visitors for its casinos, tax havens and of course, the U.S.’ own starlet, Grace Kelly who became princess of the principality after marrying Prince Rainier III in 1956.

With the locally-sourced Michelin-star restaurant Elsa in Monte-Carlo, as well as attractions such as quaint chapels and 15th-century frescoes, this French-speaking paradise offers more than the glitz that first meets the eye.

3D Satellite Maps of Alaska

The White House has unveiled the first-ever 3D topographical maps of Alaska, which were created using commercial satellites.

The mapping project is a result of an executive order issued by President Barack Obama last year, when he asked the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead a collaborative effort to create the first-ever, high-res elevation maps of Alaska by 2016, and the entire Arctic by 2017.

The project, called ArcticDEM, is the first big international collaboration between the science, tech, and defense industries. In addition to the NSF and NGA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the state of Alaska, Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and the Environmental Systems Research Institute all partnered on the project.

In a post by the White House, Dr. France A. Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation, said that the digital elevation maps are “so critical to the Arctic at a time of profound change.”

The new satellite images will be used to track evolving coastal landscapes that are threatened by global warming and changes to seasonal weather patterns, which have caused long-term glacial melting and irreversible erosion.

Rising sea levels pose severe danger to Alaska’s coastal towns, which Obama visited during a historic trip last September, when he became the first sitting president to travel above the Arctic Circle. He toured many coastal towns and cities that are at risk of being swallowed by rising waters as a result of global warming.

“A couple of days ago, I stood on rock where, just ten years ago, there was a glacier,” he wrote in a blog post during the trip. “Yesterday, I flew over Kivalina Island, an Arctic town that’s already losing land to the sea from erosion and further threatened by sea-level rise. I’ve seen shores that have been left battered by storm surges that used to be contained by ice. And now, that ice is gone.”

According to the White House, “better elevation maps can be used to quantify changes in sea level and monitor coastal erosion in order to identify buildings and critical infrastructure at high risk of storm-surge damage, and to identify safe places to shelter when storms come.”

Courtesy of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

The elevation maps are available online, along with exploratory tools, nautical charts, sailing directions, infographics, and a downloadable Pan-Arctic map, in ArcticDEM’spublic portal.

Beach Summer Tips

images-18This year, Provincetown, Massachusetts earned the distinction of being the country’s favorite beach town in our annual America’s Favorite Places survey. But Provincetown’s charm is hardly news—the colorful hamlet at the tip of the Cape has a long tradition of being a beachy summer getaway.

People have been flocking to sandy stretches of coast for much longer than we have been capturing our holidays on film. It’s as if we are all instantly lulled into vacation mode by the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. Black-and-white, vintage photographs of summers at the beach may transport us just a bit farther back in time, but these vibrant images certainly encapsulate the spirit of a summer weekend whiled away on a candy-striped towel.

We’ve sifted through the TIME/LIFE archives to extract some of our favorite vintage photographs of beach scenes from as far back as the 1940s. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a shot from yesterday and one from yesteryear (especially now that chic one-pieces are back in style). Except for the photograph of the woman with toy pistols posing with an ox. That, almost certainly, would never happen on a public beach in the 21st century.

From the famed beaches of Brazil, where competition is fierce for prime waterfront real estate, to quiet, hidden lengths of foam-covered sand, these vivid photographs can ferry you to a balmy, summer afternoon long after Labor Day weekend ends.