If you have yet to make it to the Grand Canyon, Kaua'i Waimea Canyon takes a close second. Some have in fact nicknamed this 3,600 foot deep slit in the island's volcanic soil the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific'. Certainly here, as with the better known canyon in Arizona, soaring cliffs, sunlight and shadows contribute to an expansive effect that is almost incomprehensible in scope.
Experience Waimea Canyon first-hand on one of trails that descends into the valley below, bearing in mind that what goes down must, unless you have a car waiting at the bottom, come up again. If you brought your tent and the appropriate permit, stake out at of one of the campsites in neighboring Kokee State Park.
Learn more about the canyon area at the Kokee Natural History Museum and pick up maps.
Wash of any perspiration with a dip and a dive at Kekaha Beach County Park, just up the road from Waimea by the town of Kekaha.
Waimea Canyon State Park is 11.1 miles north of Kekaha on Highway 550.