Kauai has all the elements: moody rainforests, majestic cliffs, jagged peaks, and emerald valleys, palm trees swaying in the breeze, daily rainbows, and some of the most spectacular golden beaches.
On any list of the world's most spectacular islands, Kauai ranks right up there with Bora Bora, Huahine, and Rarotonga, you don't just go to Kauai, you absorb it with every sense. Kauai may get more than its fair share of tropical downpours, but that's what makes it so lush and green, and creates an abundance of rainbows.
Kauai is essentially a single large shield volcano that rises 3 miles above the sea floor. The island lies 90 miles across the open ocean from Oahu, but it seems at least a half century removed in time. It's often called "the separate kingdom" because it stood alone and resisted King Kamehameha's efforts to unite Hawaii. In the end, a royal kidnapping was required to take the Garden Isle. After King Kamehameha died, his son, Liholiho, ascended the throne. He gained control of Kauai by luring Kauai's king, Kaumualii, aboard the royal yacht and sailing to Oahu; once there, Kaumualii was forced to marry Kaahumanu, Kamehameha's widow, thereby uniting the islands.
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