It's tough to choose which way is best, to see the stunning Napali Coast: by helicopter or by boat. But perhaps the optimal way is: both; first, from the sea, and later from the air.
The Napali Coast State Park is in the northwest of Kauai and -- simply put-- has some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth: fold after fold of thousand-foot-high cliffs, by the sea.
Several companies run day-long cruises in summer months. (In winter, waves get gigantic; cruises switch to whale-watching in the south.)
Even in August, wave action made for an exciting ride on our sample cruise on a catamaran. Take seasick pills if you or your kids have any tendency to motion-sickness! And think twice before choosing a "zodiac" version of the trip. (Zodiacs are rigid inflatable boats that ride low in the water.)
The beauty of the Napali Coast is all the more dramatic because it's inaccessible by road. Visitors can take a short 2-mile hike to Hanakapi'ai Beach, or the 11-mile Kalalau Trail (with possible overnight camping -- get a permit, first.)
However you experience it, the Napali Coast is a must-see, on Kaua'i.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary activities for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.