How much do you know about Kauai - the "Garden Isle"?

Kauai map

Okay- let's work out the apostrophe thing straight off. Kauai is REALLY Kaua'i in the standard Hawai'ian dialect...

...but since we mainlanders use Kauai (and because the internet makes the use of apostrophes difficult!), that's what we'll use from here on out.

Besides, I'm thinkin' that usin' apostrophes while I'm writin' Hawai'ian kind'a words could've gotten out'a hand if I wasn't kind'a watchin' where I'd've been usin' 'em...

See? I'm neither well-versed enough in the Hawaiian language, nor smart enough to use them properly, so I'm just going to use 'em where I see fit....make sense?

Lihue airport sign
Welcome to Kauai!

Because we've been here so often, we know a little about a lot of things on Kauai.

This page is a mixed bag of facts, figures and fun things to know about the island...

Tiki statues
Ancient tiki statues

I guess we can start off with a little history of the island.

The beginnings of the "Garden Isle" go back 5,000,000 years or so, so rather than writing a freaking book, here's my version of Kauai's history .

I know, I know, I may have skipped a few things in there, but you get the idea, and hopefully you understand how different it is from some of the other islands.

This is an island that has progressed at a different pace, and with a different level of care, and that's what makes it so wonderful!

Kalalau Valley
Wet and foggy in the Kalalau Valley...

Next, let's talk a little about the climate and weather on the "Garden Isle."

A sunny beach
...sunny and dry on the south beaches!

There is something really special about a place where you can drive 30 minutes and feel like you're in a completely different world.

Waialeale crater
Waiʻaleʻale gets over 460 inches
of rain a year!!

You can go from sea level at the beach to 5,243 feet ABOVE sea level at Mt. Kawaikini... can go from the sunny and dry western shore, to one of the wettest places on earth, Mount Waiʻaleʻale with over 450 inches of annual rainfall per year... can go from lush, tropical jungle surrounding
Ke'e Beach to the relatively bare red rock cliffs at Waimea Valley...

Kukuiula Market
Local Kukuiula Market...
Kauai Costco COSTCO!!

...and you can go from the Kukuiula Market to Costco!

Like I said, different worlds!!

Here are some interesting facts and figures about Kauai:

It is the OLDEST of the major Hawaiian islands... is the 4th largest Hawaiian island with a land mass of about 552 square miles...but it's shoreline has the most beaches!

Kauai County also includes the private "Forbidden Island" of Ni'ihau, as well as the tiny uninhabited islands of Lehua and Ka‘ula...

Hawaiian Flag
The Hawaiian Flag is the state flag of Hawaii...the 8 stripes represent the 8 major islands, and the "Union Jack" represents the long ties Hawaii has with Britain as a protectorate...

Mokihana Flower
Mokihana "Flower"

...although the Hawaiian state flower is the "Pink Hibiscus", Kauai has its own "flower", the Mokihana berry. As you can see, it's not really a "FLOWER"...

...and the island also has an official color, which is PURPLE...

...according to census figures, there were 58,463 people living on the island in the year 2000...Caucasians were 26%, Hawaiians or "part" Hawaiians were 23%, Filipinos made up 17%, and Japanese were 12%...

...and in 2007, when figures show that Asians were 55% of the population, I found it interesting that the Census Bureau worded that particular 55% figure as "...Asians were the largest minority group in Hawaii..." Umm...isn't 55% a MAJORITY?? But I digress...

...the Capital city , and the main hub of government and business is Lihue...

...the largest city (most populated)is Kapa'a with around 10,000 people...

Blue Hawaii
Elvis' Blue Hawaii

...this beautiful island was relatively unknown until Elvis shot "Blue Hawaii" here...since then, many Hollywood movies have been shot here including "South Pacific", "Jurrasic Park", "Raiders of the lost Ark", and most recently "Tropic Thunder", just to name a few...

...and now, over 1,000,000 visitors come to the Garden Isle each year! No wonder so many residents feel like their island is being taken over by rich outsiders!

The U.S. Military uses the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the southwest side of the island for training exercises and developmental tests...they have about 42,000 square miles of remote sea and air space that is virtually encroachment free.

The four most important agricultural products are sugarcane, fruit/vegetables, taro and beef...

West Kauai Technology and Visitor Center
West Kauai Technology
and Visitor Center

...the West Kauai Technology and Visitor Center which houses high technology companies is probably the best "least known" tourist attraction on the island...

...and the "tourism" industry provides around % of the available jobs on Kauai.

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