Kauai County, Hawaii
Kauai is the state’s fourth largest island of Hawaii and is also known as the Garden Island. Kauai’s formation comes mainly from volcanic matter, covered by mountains. The highest mountain, Kawaikini Peak, measures at 5,243 ft above sea level! Talk about enormous! With the fertile soil on this island, sugarcane and tropical fruits are developed. Kauai is also known for its canyons, the deepest of which is Waimea, going 10 miles directly into the Earth! And if you are brave enough, you can even take a guided expedition down there, close enough to not burn yourself hopefully. The main population centers of Kauai are Lihue and Kapaa. The area of Kauai County is 552 square miles and combined population 58,303.
Historically, Kauai was the last Hawaiian island to be added to King Kamehameha’s Kingdom of Hawaii in the 1800’s due to strong resistance by Kauai’s ruler, Kaumuali’i. In face of threat and invasion, Kaumuali’i chose to join the kingdom without bloodshed in 1810. There is a rich feeling to this island, that you can only fully understand when you are here. Be sure to check out Na Pali Coast while in Kauai. This is a breathtaking spot of rocks and water located on the shores of Kauai. The steep landscape, however, make it impossible for road navigation, so tread carefully! Also, the wettest spot on Earth, with an annual average rainfall of 460 inches, is located on the east side of Mount Wai’ale’ale, Kauai! Very cool!!
Kauai County, known as the Garden Isle, lies in the middle of the riveting Pacific Ocean. It is one of Hawaii's most-loved counties because of its tropic richness and majestic appeal. Home to different races, this tropical paradise is just a 20-minute air travel away from Aloha airport in Honolulu, Hawaii's capital. But no matter where you are coming from, Kauai County is always within your reach. The weather is fair to mostly sunny at daytime and clear, high sky at night.
Kauai's sparkling beaches and coastlines are perfect spots for an adrenaline-rush adventure during the day and romantic viewing of the sun kissing the earth at sunset. Its five regions-- West Side, North Side, Coconut Coast, Lihue Kalapaki, and South Shore-- are homes to many natural wonders that will surely bring every tourist in a blissful trance of superb enjoyment. The postcard-perfect sceneries are sure to enchant every soul visiting this indescribably majestic tropical paradise.
Just like most of Hawaii, the sugarcane industry was the first industry in Kauai. The first triumphant sugarcane plantation started operations in 1835 and in just two years time, it produced two tons of raw sugar. But nowadays, tourism is the booming industry in this pristine county. With its high English speaking population, tourists are sure to get their way so easily from arrival to departure. Kauai music is also addictive and of course, a vacation in Kauai will never be complete without experiencing the fun of dancing and hula. Aloha!
Kauai County's History
It was from a natural calamity that the beauty and allure of Kauai was born. The bursting fire from the heart of the Pacific reached wide enough to form the lands of Kauai and the rest of Hawaii.
It was about fourth or fifth century A.D that man first set foot on this enthralling place. Kauai's first inhabitants were the first to see the purest serenity of Hawaiian Islands untouched of any human ravage. The settlers brought with them the most basic of food items. Taro came from them and is now among the most anticipated elements in Hawaiian luaus.
It was not until centuries later that Kauai was found by Captain James Cook sidetracking him on his voyage to Alaska. Landing on Waimea, Captain James Cook then set foot on Niihau, a private island that is part of Kauai County. Nature had it to protect this enticing island from any sort of invasion. It was the only one, among all the islands of Hawaii, to have prevented a full conquest of King Kamehameha I. Kauai's King Kaumualii eventually offered Kauai to Kamehameha in very peaceful terms to avoid more bloodshed.
Of all Kauai's legends, Menehune still lives to be the most adored one. Menehune tells a mythical race of small people with a gift of good crating skills, which are used to construct and engineer fishponds and aqueducts and many other admirable structures. They thrived in the woods upon the Hawaiians forces. Menehune today is seen as a sort of bad luck, causing little mishaps like misplacing shirt and having a hard time finding it.
Kauai County's Attractions
Just a few days of vacation in Kauai will surely leave every outsider breathless. The Garden Isle is home to many splendid sceneries, cultural events and activities, natural wonders, and shopping havens that will surely leave expatriates extending for a week or more.
The first to captivate tourists are the fabulous Kauai beaches. Its 50-mile white sand beaches alone is a majestic treat for tourists craving for a great tropical adventure. With Kauai's many beaches, each having its own exclusive splendor, just settling for one is really not enough. Hanalei Beach Park, Anahola, Waioli, Wailua, Kekaha, Lydgate, Poipu, and Salt Pond are just several of the popular beach resorts in Kauai. The beauty of these beaches does not end with its white sands. Kauai beaches are also great diving, snorkeling, and whale-watching sites. A trip anywhere between November and May lets all tourists see frolicking whales even just from the shores.
Also enthralling are the festivals showcasing Kauai's rich and colorful culture. The Kauai Mokihana Festival, which showcases Hawaiian culture and values, is something to watch out for. This festival has cultural workshops and a fantastic three-night hula competition among its line-up of activities. The Matsuri Kauai is also something visitors can look forward to.
A day or two of shopping in Hanalei, Princeville Kapaa Town, Kinipopo Shopping Village, or Poipu Shopping Village is one jaw-dropping shopping experience. This is because of the wide array of very diverse novelty items and souvenir products tourists can choose from to send to their friends and families.
Kauai County's Economy
For several decades, the entire of Hawaii greatly depended on agriculture as its main economic activity. Sugar industry was the most dominant agricultural product of Kauai and the rest of Hawaii. Sugarcane farms and sugar plantations provided job opportunities for both locals and foreign workers. The sugar production industry was for so long the single and major source of tax revenues and capital inflow; these are mainly from raw sugar exports. Even until today, the sugar industry still holds a significant slot in the mostly tourism-dependent economy of Kauai. More than 70,000 acres of land in Kauai are still being planted with sugar cane. The present-day sugar industry in Kauai produces about 340,000 tons of raw sugar each year, keeping the agriculture industry still active.
So far, the biggest industry in Kauai and in most parts of Hawaii is tourism. Due to increased access and lower costs of transportation, local and foreign tourists flood the shores of Kauai in all months of the year. The natural wonders of the Garden Isle attracted much investments and capital inflows also from both local and foreign investors. Hotels, resorts, restaurants, merchandises, and countless shopping sites provide employment opportunities and are great sources of income for the county. More and more tourism projects and programs are being undertaken by the local government to attract more tourists and investors. Tourism authorities are banking on the richness of Kauai's tropical resources for the county's long-term economic plan. A further boost in Kauai's tourism industry is the most likely trend to occur in the coming years.
Other minor industries and economic activities, like electricity production and bio mass energy production, add to the whole of Kauai County's stable economy.