01/19/2011 08:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

23 Reasons To Head To The Beaches Of Kauai

There may be no better time to dream about a tropical island than during the post-holiday doldrums of January. While the Obamas get their fix of perfect beach days and shave ice on Oahu, little Kauai is the sort of idyllic natural wonderland that seasonal depressive sorts really need. In fact, it's so other worldly that many of Avatar's non-CGI scenes were filmed here. On Kauai, every inch of the island is bursting with life. Just opening your eyes to the spectrum of greens will beat back the grayness of life above the Tropic of Cancer. What to do? Hike in the jungle, trek a 3500-foot-deep canyon, kayak in sea caves, dive off cliffs, roast pigs, swim in lava pools, stay in a rural cottages, drive on dirt roads to empty beaches...

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