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Kauai Travel Guide

Inside Scoop From Kauai Locals

Resorts in Hawaii

While catching waves and bumming around on the beach are favorite...Read More

Kauai Mythbusters

Night marchers and forest-dwelling little people, volcanic goddesses, and human...Read More
Arguably one of the most rugged and diverse landscapes on earth, there is little that compares with the dramatic scenery of Kaua’i (or “Kauai” as the island’s visitors bureau allows), the oldest island of the Hawaiian archipelago. Since Captain Cook first landed there in 1778 on the western corner of this Eden-like island, the image of Kauai travel to the rest of the Western world has been traditionally overly simplified as something savagely beautiful and untouched, dismissive of the other elements that make Kauai more than just another mass-marketed paradise. Often missing from a description of Kauai travel are the rich cultural and historical elements of the island, whether its political strife, monarchy or ancient and later forbidden religious practices. The longest holdout among the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai and its people were rebels until the last possible moment, and didn’t join the kingdom until 1810, after negotiating a peaceful incorporation into the rule of King Kamehameha ...See More the Great. The celebration of native Hawaiian culture has been in resurgence since 1978, a period called the Hawaiian Renaissance. With that new era came changes in the way Hawaiian culture was marketed, and nowadays just about every visitor institution understands it is not only right to respect that culture, but doing so makes for a more rewarding visitor experience.  Authenticity is valued as a commodity more than ever, and elements that weren’t authentic but still fun, such as Mai Tais, have been kept on as a form of “Hawaiiana,” kitsch.  Because a Kauai vacation is a more rural experience than a O’ahu or Maui vacation, it tends to be less gimmicky, and therefore most of the best experiences are free. Kauai holds its own with such mind-blowing wonders as the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and the thousand-foot waterfalls that stream off of the wettest spot on earth, Mt. Wai’ale’ale. So don’t be afraid to live simply for a while. That’s what Kauai is all about.See Less
from our Editors
  • Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages
  • Aston Waimea Plantation CottagesOne of the more authentic properties on Kauai, this resort is composed of refurbished plantation cottages arranged on...
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  • AOL Travel Editors test hundreds of travel experiences at all price points. See their recommendations and make the most of your trip...
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