In Kauai, at the most southern tip of the area is a town that is called Koala, meaning 'tall cane' to those that are in Hawaii. One of the most impressive sites that a person is going to see when they are traveling to the area is the Eucalyptus Tree Tunnel, which was first planted in 1911. This area is also home to the first sugar plantation that opened in 1835, and the first sugar mill that opened there in 1841, which is still standing. The smaller areas around like Kalaheo, Hanapepe and Waimea are also something that is going to affect a rich history in the sugar fields and something that the person is going to notice as soon as they enter the area. Those areas that were once harvested for sugar, are now used for coffee and macadamia nuts.
The biggest town in the area is Hanapepe, which is the place that anyone who loves art is going to want to visit. There are many art festivals that take place, and the area is known to be home to many just starting artists. Even the homes and buildings around the town are going to impress with their architecture that is simple yet creative and colorful.
On the south shore of Kauai the person is going to find beautiful beaches and weather that is going to be great for going to these beautiful beaches. This area also has many luxurious resorts to choose from. In fact, many of these resorts are often the host of the PGA golf tournaments that come to the area.
The Waimea Canyon is one sight that a person is going to want to see and is only accessible through the South Coast. Those that visit often call this canyon the “Grand Canyon”. Though it is not the same size as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, it still is an amazing sight. Those that want to go are going to find that there are daily tours to go to and the ability to use four wheel drive vehicles to go through this. Hiking or mountain biking is also available to go through the canyon with, while also the helicopter tour is something that most people like to do as well.
Poipu is one of the more lively places to visit that is located on the South Shore of Kauai. There are tons of beaches, hotels and condos that the person can choose from, with weather that are going to be beautiful and dry. The good news in the area is that most of the homes and buildings there are new since hurricane Iniki in 1992 basically destroyed everything.
There are two golf courses located here for those that are interested. While the hotels are going to be an array of comfort levels. For example, the moderate Aston Poipu Kai and Poipu Point to the uptown hotels like Hyatt Kauai.
For those that want to visit some of the natural sights in the area, then they are going to want to stop by and see Spouting Horn. This is basically a small geyser that is in the middle of the ocean that is a spectacular sight to see.
For those that are concerned with lodging they are going to find many hotels, and much bed and breakfast in the area. There are even vacation condos that the person can rent in order to feel right at home while they are on vacation. There are such places to choose from as Marjorie’s B&B, Kuhio Shore Condos, and there are many more rentals to choose from that are located right on the beach.
Once the person leaves Waimea, they are going to pass by the Menehune Road. This is a road that they should consider taking since it leads to the historic Menehune ditch. This is a sight that not many people can explain just how it came to be during the early days, which was why the Menehune were given credit for building this huge irrigation ditches, fish ponds and temples that are found on the island since the technology of the time was out of reach of most Hawaiians. The Menehune only were three feet in height, and had big red faces and eyes, according to the legends of the people. It was also believed that they worked on these sights only at night.
The canyon itself is around ten miles long, two miles wide and around 3,600 feet deep. Along the floor of the canyon is the Waimea River. There are even waterfalls that the person can see, if it has rained recently. The canyon is a great place to explore since it is very friendly in terms of weather and hiking conditions in the area. Those that do decide to hike into the canyon are going to be in for a real treat since they are going to see many sights such as rainbows, tropical greenery and so forth.
The Kokee State Park is the last stop before reaching Pu'u o Kila viewpoint. This park was once the main place for how Hawaii got its kola wood that was used to make surfboards, furniture, paddles and so forth. The Kokee Natural History Museum is a great place to go to really get an understanding of the history of the canyon, as well as learn about the flowers and plants that call the canyon home. Many of the hiking trails that you can take through the canyon are going to start at the state park. You can stay overnight in the canyon as long as you get a permit to camp from the park beforehand.
Once you have finished with your time at the canyon and state park, you should make sure that you stop at Waimea Town. This is where the western history of Hawaii begins. Captain Cook first landed upon this area in 1778, and you are going to see a monument of Captain Cook right near the landing sight. Captain Cook ended up dying here after unsuccessfully trying to kidnap a Hawaiian chief to trade.
Once you leave Waimea Town you are going to run across Fort Elizabeth, which was built by the Russians in 1820. The history behind this fort is one that is very interesting. The Russian doctor, Georg Scheffer had plotted to overthrow the King Kamehameha and the fort being built was the first step in his plan. Though, he was called back to Russia, while the King got the fort in the end.
Some of the finest beaches can be found on this island, and with an abundance of places to stay the person is going to find that they are always within walking distance of a great beach to lounge at and enjoy.
Polihale Beach Park
This beach is located at the western end of Kauai, and is many times deserted by people that are visiting. The beach is several miles long of white sand, and can be accessed by driving on a dirt road. Those that go to this beach are going to enjoy having the beach almost to them. So much so that the person can enjoy a few nights of camping on this beach with the right permits.
Salt Pond Beach
On the west shore, at the southern most point of the island is Salt Pond Beach. This is a beach in which swimming is not advised due to the strong currents that are found here. However, for those that want a breath-taking scene, this is the beach to visit.
Poipu Beach Park
This beach park is made up of small coves and bays and offers some of the most wanted resorts in the area. The water is relatively calm here and swimming is a huge activity that takes place here throughout the year. For those that want to surf or boogie board, then they are going to want to head to Brennecke beach because it has bigger waves.
Further down from Spouting Horn road is the Lawai Beach, which is a snorkeler’s dream due to the fish that it attracts at the reefs. And due to the waves and the water, this is one popular place to surf for those that are interested, though during the winter months is when the person is going to get the biggest waves.
Kalapaki Beach and Lydgate State Park
In front of the Westin Kauai Hotel resort is the Kalapaki beach and the Lydgate beach is just south of this location. Both beaches are safe for swimming throughout the year. While Lydgate offers a lifeguard that is on duty, which is rare for beaches on Kauai.