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Hawaii is the name of a chain of several islands and are among the numerous Pacific Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Of these, the islands which have significant tourism are: Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Lana'i.

Kauai is the smallest of the four listed here and may also be the least developed. Known as the "Garden Isle," Kauai includes such scenic spots as the Wailua River with its double waterfall, the deep and colorful Waimea Canyon, and the remote and jagged Na Pali Coast. Mount Waialeale, located near the very center of Kauai claims to be the rainiest location in the world.

Kauai, Hawaii

Northernmost and oldest geologically, Kaua段 is the fourth largest of the major Hawaiian Islands. Nearly circular in shape, Kaua段's land area encompasses 533 square miles: 25 miles long by 33 miles wide at its farthest points.

Kaua段 is known for its abundance of uncrowded sandy beaches. Visitors soon learn that mauka means on the mountain side of the road, and makai means on the ocean side. With Lihu'e as the point of origin, it is easy to explore the island by traveling to sites along its eastern and northern coasts, then visiting attractions around Lihu'e itself, and finally traveling out toward the southern and western coasts.

Kaua段 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 Kaua段's 111 miles of coastline is lined with beautiful beaches, derived mainly from wave erosion of reef producing coral and algae.

There are mountains, cascading waterfalls, verdant fern grottoes, mist-shrouded caves, and a lighthouse designated a National Historic Landmark. All around the island are scenic overlooks.

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弾 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 Kaua'i'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段'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.

A Kaua段 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.

Kaua段 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 Kaua段's lagoons. Wildlife preserves protect endangered sealife.

Kaua段 has been a favorite movie location for years. "Blue Hawaii," "Donovan's Reef," "King Kong" all were shot on Kaua段. 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.

The Garden Island of Kaua段 offers a warm welcome to all visitors. It provides a showcase of incomparable natural beauty, unlimited recreational possibilities set within the framework of the traditions and cultural heritage of the ancient Hawaiians. For a family vacation there is no finer venue than the Garden Island of Kaua段 This idyllic island paradise embodies the true spirit of aloha.
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