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A Little About Kauai

Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, is renowned across the world for its unspoiled natural beauty, luxurious resorts, and beautiful weather year round. Kauai covers a total area of about five hundred and sixty square miles of land in the middle of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Kauai is the fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands and includes a population of more than sixty thousand residents. In addition to the uninhabited islets of Kaula and Lehua, Kauai County includes Niihau, known as the Forbidden Island. The name “Kauai” translates to “place around the neck,” referring to a Polynesian term for a place for a favored son or child. Kauai maintained a unique linguistic dialect for several centuries, deviating from other iterations of the Hawaiian language and remaining independent from the rest of Hawaii until the conquests of King Kamehameha. Kauai was formed nearly six million years ago, and was first discovered by Europeans in the year 1778. Kauai has been influenced by a number of cultural forces over the years, including European missionaries, Native Hawaiians, Russian imperialists, Filipino plantation workers, and various other immigrant groups, resulting in an intriguing ethnic melting pot. Before the tourist industry exploded in the latter half of the twentieth century, the most important element of the Kauai economy was the sugar trade.

In recent years, nearly a million and a half tourists visited the island of Kauai, the vast majority of whom came from the United States mainland. One of the often overlooked attractions on Kauai is the thriving agricultural industry, which produces such diverse crops as guava, coffee, pineapple, star fruit, and sugarcane. Another important crop is taro, which was an important part of ancient Hawaii’s diet and which continues to be critical to traditional Hawaiian celebrations such as luaus. One of the unspoiled gems of Kauai is the Na Pali coastline, found on the northwestern coast of the Garden Island. The Na Pali Coast State Park is entirely uninhabited and covers more than six thousand acres of scenery observable from helicopter or boat. The two largest towns on the island of Kauai are Kapaa and Lihue, although there are also a number of smaller rural villages, hamlets, and resort communities. Kauai is served by Lihue Airport, which maintains routes both to the United States Mainland and other Hawaiian Islands. Kauai’s verdant, tropical landscape has been the backdrop for a number of Hollywood blockbusters, including South Pacific, Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park.

Kauai’s beaches are world renowned for their pristine white sand, great surfing spots, and clear blue waters. They range from Hanalei Bay – immortalized in the song “Puff the Magic Dragon” – to the family friendly Lydgate Park. There are a number of resort facilities concentrated around Poipu Beach State Park, while Mark Twain waxed poetic on the amazing natural beauty of Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Residents of Kauai’s homes, apartments, and condos, can also enjoy a wide range of world class golf courses and outstanding hiking spots such as Sleeping Giant, also known as Nounou Mountain. The local and state governments have made an effort to maintain high class recreational facilities throughout Kauai, resulting in facilities like Polihale State Park, Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, Wailua River, and the McBryde Garden. One of the curious oddities of Kauai is its wild chicken population, which ranges across many parts of the island and adds a distinct unique rural feel to the island. Kauai is home to some of the best small neighborhood restaurants in the state, such as Hamura’s, which is well known for its fruit pies and its world class noodle dishes.

Information provided by Kauai real estate agent Jeff Manson - American Dream Realty broker.

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