Modern day Kauai's single most defining characteristics are it's decidedly slow pace, it's laid back demeanor and it's lush garden-like terrain. Kauai is the least developed and least populated, (2009 census put the population at 64,529) of Hawaii's major islands and even boasts a law that no building can be taller than a palm tree. With approximately 80% of it's 622 square miles of land not developable, Kauai remains spread out and quiet.
On Kauai there are many and diverse options for everyone's interests. Whether you are a book reading beach comber, adventure seeking hiker or a five star resort aficionado, Kauai has your best interest covered.
For the beach lovers, Kauai has many options ranging from the popular and amenity heavy Poipu Beach to the isolated wonder of Polihale. Other beach highlights include world famous Hanalei Bay on the lush North Shore, a two mile long crescent shaped bay backed by ridiculously beautiful mountains and waterfalls. Hanalei offers great swimming, sailing, surfing, kayaking and fishing. Kalapaki Beach in Lihue has protected waters great for swimming and learning surfing. Kalapaki is backed by hotels and restaurants, looks directly at Ha'upu Mountains and has just enough room to spread out and expose your inner Beach Boy. Salt Pond on the West Side also has a natural protected wading pool, rest rooms, picnic tables, great fishing and near perfect weather. There are hundreds more beaches, large or small, isolated or busy all the way around the island. Now get out there and discover your own tropical paradise in Kauai.
For the more adventurous types, Kauai has enough adrenaline inducing activities to satisfy Evil Knievel himself. Maha'ulepu on the South Shore is a wilderness coastline of magnificent beaches, sea cliffs, and hiking trails with constant tradewinds and breathtaking scenery... If kayaking is your thing, Outfitters Kauai offers tours of Kauai's four most famous sites, the Na Pali Coast, whale watching on the South Shore coastline and tours on the beautiful Hule'ia historic Wailua River. If that isn't enough to get your heart rate up a bit try your hand at Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Ultralight flying lessons, helicopter tours, Ziplining tours or surfing lessons. And if you like to hike, Kokee has many fantastic options from short and easy to all-day and mind-blowing.
For those interested is seeing the sites and not really breaking a sweat, take a good look at the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon on Outfitters Kauai's Downhill Bicycle Tour. Hop on a cruiser at the top and ride downhill past the massive canyon while experienced guides fill in details about the natural history of Kauai. And if that is even too much, a helicopter or boat charter is a great way to see inaccessible areas of Kauai-just don't forget the Dramamine!
If your idea of a perfect day of vacation is a round of golf, of course Kauai is packed with world class golf options such as Poipu Bay Resort on the South Shore and Princeville Makai on the North Shore. If shopping is more your thing, unique shopping is available at Kukuiula in Poipu or Historic Kong Lung Market Center in Kilauea on the North Shore. Kauai has a vibrant art scene with galleries on every side of the island and Hanapepe Town has a Art Night every Friday that is gauranteed entertainment for the whole family. And finally for all of those who enjoy pampering and the finer things in life Kauai's Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa in Poipu has just about everything you could imagine to pamper your inner and outer self.
Another defining characteristic of present day Kauai, or character in this case, is the presence of wild chickens. They are everywhere. This is quite amusing to most folks to see these very tame creatures come jumping out of a trash can, beach comb with the best of them, wait in line for a shave ice with you and crow at all hours of the day and night. There are differing stories of how there came to be so many of these multicolored fowl simply walking around the island. All that matters though is the fact that they are here and they aren't going anywhere.
A really large part of Kauai's modern history is its presence in motion pictures. It seems that Hollywood knows where to go to capture tropical paradise. Films such as Pirates of the Caribbean IV, Tropic Thunder, Throw Momma From The Train, Six Days Seven Nights, South Pacific, King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park all filmed scenes here.
So no matter what you are after on your vacation, Kauai offers a feast of options. After spending sometime on this wonderful island you will understand why many people find Kauai to be the most rejuvenating place on earth.