Poipu Beach, arguably the best on the island, is where most tourists roost. And no trip to Kauai would be complete without visiting the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon; the road winding along its rim offers countless lookouts and trails. You'll end up at Koke'e State Park and the Kalaulau Valley lookout, where you can set your sights on the entire Na Pali Coast, thousands of feet below.

LANAI: The Pineapple Island

Who should go: Luxury lovers who want privacy and relaxation.

Minimum stay: Two days.

Pack: A thick, juicy novel.

What you should know: Lanai was once home to the largest pineapple plantation in the world; now, only about 100 acres remain of the 15,000 formerly in cultivation. The island, which is easily visible from Maui and Molokai, is shaped like an upturned bowl, its gentle slopes rising just a couple thousand feet. The least populated and touristed of any of the main islands in the chain, Lanai offers world-class golfing (as do all the islands), mountain biking, snorkeling, horseback riding, and swimming with dolphins. The Garden of the Gods archaeological site is a well-preserved window into the past, and lots of visitors make the pilgrimage to beautiful and aptly named Shipwreck Beach. But you could skip all that activity. This small island is tailor-made for relaxing and getting completely away from your mainland worries.