It is one of the world's most spectacular islands, Kauai has an abundance of natural beauty from: rainforests, majestic cliffs, waterfalls, caves, rivers, hiking trails, jagged peaks, emerald valleys, palm trees swaying in the breeze, daily rainbows, and some of the most spectacular golden beaches you'll find anywhere. Soft tropical air, sunrise bird song with some rooster solos, flowering trees such as ginger and plumeria, golden sunrises and sunsets, sparkling waterfalls -- you don't just vacation in Kauai, you live every moment. It may get more than its fair share of rain on the North Shore in the winter, but that's what adds to its lush and green beauty. In Hanalei take a look around when it is raining you will most likely see an amazing rainbow.
Kauai is a single large volcano that rises 3 miles above the bottom of the ocean. The island is 90 miles from Oahu and takes 20 minutes by airplane, it seems at least a century removed in time. It's often called "the separate kingdom" because it stood alone and resisted King Kamehameha's efforts to unite Hawaii. In the end, a royal kidnapping was required to take the Garden Isle: After King Kamehameha died, his son, Liholiho, ascended the throne. He gained control of Kauai by luring Kauai's king, Kaumualii, aboard the royal yacht and sailing to Oahu; once there, Kaumualii was forced to marry Kaahumanu, Kamehameha's widow, thereby uniting the islands.
There's some nightlife in Poipu and Hanalei, with some shopping in Poipu, Princeville, Lihue, Kapaa, and Hanalei. The natural beauty with endless golden sand beaches, the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, and the drama of the Na Pali Coast will make your vacation experience very special. Princeville Resort is now called the St Regis and is a luxury property, does little more than frame the natural glory of Hanalei Bay..
This is the place for eco-tourism: There are watersports surfing, kayaking, swimming, sailing; miles of hiking trails through Waimea, Na Pali rainforests, bike riding, and horseback riding, and golfing that range from champion courses to local courses where chickens roam the greens and balls wind up embedded in coconut trees. Kauai is also great for those who need to relax and heal stressed nerves. Here you'll find miles of uncrowded golden sand beaches, perfect for just relaxing. There are also quiet spots in the forest when you are hiking and listen to the wind in the trees, as well as an endless supply of laid-back. Sunrises and sunsets are romantic, the Pacific ocean providing of glorious tropical color show.
Kauai is 550 square miles. The windward coast, which catches the prevailing trade winds, consists of the North Shore and East Side, while the drier leeward coast encompasses the South Shore and West Side. One main road nearly encircles the island, except for a 15-mi stretch of sheer cliffs called Napali Coast.
The center of the island—Mt. Waialeale, completely inaccessible by car and viewable only from above due to nearly year-round cloud cover—is the wettest spot on earth, getting about 450 inches of rain per year. On Kauai, the directions mauka (toward the mountains) and makai (toward the ocean) are often used. Residents of Kauai tend to refer to highways by name rather than by number.