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Kauai History

Behind the lush green mountains and valleys and pristine beaches and waterfalls, is a rich Kauai history. Kauai is thought to have been discovered around AD 500 by Marquesan’s, arriving in double-hulled canoes from the Marquesas Islands, approximately 2,000 miles away. These early settlers brought plants such as taro, sweet potato, and sugar cane with them on their journey. To this day, taro is a staple of the Hawaiian diet, used mainly to make poi, often served at luaus. Sugar cane plantations later boomed on Kauai and in Hawaii, at one point providing ten percent of sugar consumed by Americans. Centuries after the Marquesan’s arrival, they were overrun by Tahitians.

Captain Cook arrived on Kauai’s shores in 1778 in the west side town of Waimea and is recognized as the first European to discover the islands. Cook Landing Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located at Lucy Wright Beach Park, as well as a statue of Captain Cook at Hofgaard Park, both located in Waimea.

Hawaii was formerly ruled under a monarchy. Kauai is the oldest inhabited of the main Hawaiian Islands and is the only island not conquered by King Kamehameha in his attempt to unite all of the Hawaiian Islands. Kauai eventually came under his rule in a peaceful agreement with Kauai’s king, King Kaumuali’i. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 by the United States, and in 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America.

The island may be small but it is still rich in Kauai history and culture. Deepen your vacation experience by taking time to learn more about this island’s past. To walk the grounds of a traditional Hawaiian village, visit Kamokila Hawaiian Village in Kauai’s east coast town of Wailua. There are also several luaus around the island that offer traditional Hawaiian feasts, music, and hula. Many tours include knowledgeable guides that are able to share Kauai’s culture and history with visitors.

Contact Us for Kauai Information

We have nearly 30 vacation rental properties on Kauai’s north, east, and south shores. Staying at one of our properties puts you in close proximity to enjoying the island’s best beaches and attractions. Many of our rentals offer amenities such as resort-like pools, oceanfront or mountain views, island-inspired décor, and spacious lanais. Contact us at 866-922-5642 or [email protected] to make your vacation rental booking and to learn more Kauai information.