08 December 2019
The Garden Island
Abundant sandy beaches, spectacular volcanic scenery, and a wealth of magnificent natural attractions bring tourists from around the world to the famed tropical paradise that is Hawaii. What some don’t know is that Hawaii is made up of multiple islands, the fourth largest being Kauai.
Hawaii’s island of Kauai is rich in natural beauty: emerald mountains, weeping waterfalls, red-rock canyons, jaw-dropping beaches, clear seas, and big waves provide it with an undeniable allure. Most of the land on the fourth largest island of Hawaii is undeveloped mountains and rainforest, earning Kauai the nickname of Garden Island.
With parts of Kauai still only accessible by sea or air, Kauai awakens the adventurous spirit. The beaches on the island’s southern shore are the perfect place for swimming, making it a great area for families with young children. On the opposite side of the island, the North shore offers a hiking wonderland unlike anywhere else in the world.
Visitors can do more than just take in the dramatic beauty; a plethora of outdoor activities allow for exploration of the tropical rainforest, forking rivers, and cascading waterfalls, along with the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean. Kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach, hike the trails of Kokee State Park, or go ziplining above Kauai's lush valleys.
Compared to neighboring Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, Kauai is less populated. However, there are still four cities that serve as good bases for tourists. Hanalei, located between the mountains and a natural crescent beach on the North shore, is a haven for artists, rock stars, surfers, and nature lovers. Plantation-style homes are nestled in the lush valleys of the area and along the coastline of multi-colored beaches sitting in the bays that stretch out along it.
Another city, Hanapepe, is dubbed the Biggest Little Town and is on the Southwest side of the island. It’s evolved from an ancient agricultural hub to a cute and quirky destination of the present. Two further cities come with a dose of Hawaiian history: Koloa was home to Hawaii’s first plantation while Waimea was the place where Captain James Cook first landed his ships in Hawaii in 1778, marking a turning point in the island nation’s history.