Kauai is the oldest of the major Hawaiian Islands at 6 million years. It is a small island where no place is more than a dozen miles from the ocean.
It was here that Captain Cook first landed in the Hawaiian Islands. He was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Kauai has the unique honor of being in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most rainfall on planet earth on the top of its major mountain with an average of 600 inches of rain per year and an average of 360 days of rain per year. Our most amazing experience was to be walking along in moderately sunny or cloudy weather and then, out of the blue, a torrential rainfall would start and then stop about a minute later.
KAUA'I MARRIOTT RESORT
It was an easy choice to make to stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort since it is one of the most beautiful resorts on the island, is only two miles from the airport and offers complimentary airport/hotel transportation, and we are longtime members of the Marriott Group of Hotels.
Long sandy beach
Resident Moluccan Cocatoo
Coconut weather report!
The hotel is filled both outside and inside with magnificent Asian antique works of art collected by the original architect. Here are just a few examples.
Our Vice Presidential Suite
Hula dance show
Paul Toner, General Manager and Hannah Taito, Front Office Manager welcomed us with genuine Hawaiian graciousness and helped make our stay so very wonderful and memorable.
Sugar plantations have historically been a major contributor to the financial well-being of the Hawaiian Islands. However, since it was such a lucrative business, other countries began to experiment with it and found success. Since a major portion of the cost of importing sugar cane products from Hawaii is transportation, other countries were able to come in at a lower cost for their products. As a result, the sugar cane industry has declined dramatically and only a few remain. Those that remain will probably close within the next few years.
Translated from Hawaiian, the name Kilohana literally means “not to be surpassed.” This was certainly the case in 1935, when sugar baron Gaylord Wilcox built his legendary 16,000 square foot plantation estate. In its heyday, Kilohana was the site of many extravagant parties and ceremonies. It remains a Historic Landmark and one of the finest examples of plantation era architecture in Hawaii.
Kilohana Plantation House
In 1986, Kilohana opened its doors to the public. Since then it has grown from 36 acres of charming gardens to a 104-acre visitor destination, including an agricultural park, Plantation Railway, Gaylord’s Restaurant & Mahikō Lounge, Lu’au Kalamaku, and Koloa Rum Company.
Kauai Plantation Railway
There are two heritage railways in Kauai. One is the Kauai Plantation Railway at Kilohana. Unlike the Grove Farm Museum trains, which are brought out only once a month, the Kauai Plantation Railway is a daily fee-based attraction. It is a great way to see the entire plantation in one pleasant hour.
Koloa Rum Company
Since rum is a by-product of sugar, it is only natural that a plantation would manufacture rum. The Koloa Rum Company exports rum and also offers a free “rum-tasting” . It’s a nice “after the train ride” treat!
Gaylord's Restaurant & Lounge
The finishing touch is lunch or dinner at Gaylord’s Restaurant in the plantation house.
SMITH'S FERN GROTTO
A lovely way to spend a half day is to take a boat ride on the Wailua River to visit the famous and beautiful Fern Grotto. The location is about ten miles north of Lihue and easy to reach either by cab or rental car.
Smith’s Motor Boat Service offers morning and afternoon tours at a very reasonable rate.
Wailua River State Park Fern Grotto
It includes not only a visit to the Fern Grotto, but a delightful hula song and dance show on the return trip.
HOKUALA GOLF COURSE
We had some extra time to visit the nearby Hokuala Golf Course.