Hawaiian Islands

Kauai Overview

Nickname: "The Garden Isle"
Size: 4th Largest

Kauai, also known as the "Garden Isle" is the 4th largest island in the Hawaiian chain, and is also the oldest. The island was formed by Waialeale, a volcano which rises above 5,000 feet and is located in the center of the island. The island of Kauai is full of lush tropical rain forests, with certain areas receiving over 400 inches of rain annually, making it one of the wettest spots on Earth.Kauai

Lihue is the main town of Kauai and is home to the state and county buildings as well as Kauai's main airport. Like all towns throughout Kauai, Lihue exudes a plantation like feel with it's architectural design and slow pace lifestyle.

Located on the north west side of Kauai are the Na Pali cliffs. This coastline is one the most dramatic of all the islands and can only be fully viewed by air or sea. While visiting the northwest side of Kauai you will definitely want to visit the Kokee State Park and Hawaii's "Grand Canyon", Waimea Canyon. Rising over 3,000 feet this spectacular canyon offers breathtaking views of the Kokee State Park and Waimea river.

Traveling to the south side of the island will bring you to the towns of Hanapepe, Kalaheo, Koloa and Poipu. Known for it's white sandy beaches and sunny weather, the south side of Kauai is popular with both tourists and residents. South Kauai also hosts many historical sites such as, the first sugar mill in Hawaii and several historical structures.

The southeast side of the island is home to many of Kauai's gems such as, the Fern Grotto, Wailua river, The Pacific Tropical Botanical Gardens and Wailua falls. The towns of Kapaa, Wailua and Hanamaulu also grace the south and east side of Kauai.

Traveling north from Lihue will bring you to the lush tourist destinations of Hanalei and Princeville. The valleys are filled with taro patches, waterfalls and lush forests. The Hanalei river also runs through the valley.

When making travel plans to Hawaii you should really take the time to visit Kauai, as the breathtaking scenery can only be described as "Heaven on Earth".