LuvTrip Romantic Getaways
Romantic Guide to Kauai

Kauai Travel Details

Northernmost and oldest geologically, Kauai is the fourth largest of the major Hawaiian Islands. Nearly circular in shape, Kauai's land area encompasses 533 square miles: 25 miles long by 33 miles wide at its farthest points. Kauai is known for its abundance of uncrowded sandy beaches. Kauai is the most geologically mature of the main Hawaiian Islands with extensive development of broad, lush erosional valleys and coastal features such as sandy beaches. Spectacular Waimea Canyon, at over 2500 feet deep, is Hawaii's largest erosional valley. Nearly 50% of Kauai's 111 miles of coastline is lined with beautiful beaches, derived mainly from wave erosion of reef producing coral and algae.

Traveling north from Lihu'e, the visitor encounters green pastureland, lush valleys, and untamed tropical wilderness. An area rich in history and legend, this was where one of the first communities of Polynesians settled more than 1,000 years ago. As the road turns west, tracing the island's north shore, there are historic plantation towns and the resort of Princeville. The road then winds upward into the wilds around Ke'e Beach and Na Pali Coast State Park. The main road south from Lihu'e leads to an area of warmer and drier air in the approach to the region called Po'ipu. The sun shines steadily on the populated, friendly beaches. Condominiums and hotels line the coastline, and an impressive variety of water sports is available.

Heading west along Kauai's south shore, town after town of former plantations pass by. At Waimea, a road skirts the rim of magnificent Waimea Canyon beyond which is the crisp, cool climate of Koke'e, 3,000 ft above sea level. Sequoia forests and swamplands are home to unique, indigenous birds and plants. Kaua’i is home to numerous golf courses; including three of the top ten rated golf courses in Hawaii. The exquisite coral reefs are teeming with multitudes of colorful fish. Snorkeling is popular in the clear, warm waters of Kauai's lagoons. Wildlife preserves protect endangered sealife.

Kauai's weather is nearly perfect year-round with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's, slightly warmer in the summer. The northeast trade winds provide refreshing breezes. Rain showers usually fall in the evening and early morning hours, predominantly over the mountain ranges. The temperature of the ocean ranges from 68 to 80 degrees. Rental cars are strongly recommended to get around and see Kauai. There are only two major highways, so it is easy to navigate throughout the island. For those interested in visiting the cliffs of Na Pali, access is available via foot, helicopter or boat.

A Kauai rule is that no building is to exceed the height of a coconut tree (between three and four stories.) There is a subdued nightlife on this least commercially developed of the islands, and no opulent shopping malls. Instead, there is the beauty of the unspoiled rainforest, the endless array of spectacular beaches, the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, the drama of the Na Pali Coast and the spectacle of Hanalei's 4,000-foot-high Namolokama mountain range.

Kauai has been a favorite movie location for years. "Blue Hawaii," "Donovan's Reef," "King Kong" all were shot on Kauai. So too were "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Honeymoon in Vegas," Jurassic Park (I and II), and "George of the Jungle." The musical "South Pacific," was filmed where the Hanalei Bay Resort now stands. A favorite activity is a 4-5 hour van tour of the cinema sites, accompanied by commentary and film clips.

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