Hawaii has some of the best scenery in the world and tourism contributes greatly to the economy. Kauai travel is popular as more and more people discover this fourth largest and oldest island in the group. The volcanic island is known as the Garden Isle and its high annual rainfall has resulted in several waterfalls. The terrain is mountainous and the highest peak is Kawaikini at 5,243 feet (1,598m).
Spectacular scenery has led to many movies and TV shows being shot here, including the musical South Pacific and Spielberg's Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The island is also the base for the US Navy Pacific Missile Range facility. Many visitors like an aerial view and take a helicopter tour or prefer Kauai travel by boat.
The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii and is famous for its waterfalls. It's a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking and boat cruises go on the river. Waimea Canyon State Park boasts the largest canyon in the Pacific area and is 3,000 feet (900m) deep in places. Nature is splendidly displayed at the Allerton Botanical Garden. Visitors are required to make a reservation and are rewarded with different areas of specialty in what used to be part of a sugar cane plantation. The garden contains a bamboo garden, a statue to Diana, a mermaid fountain, summerhouse and tropical fruit orchard.
Spiritual life can be explored during Kauai travel too and the Hindu Iraivan Temple is a magnificent structure, made from white granite stone, carved by craftsmen in India. There are many beautiful features, including lion pillars and sandalwood doors. There are several towns on the island and Kauai travel can involve shopping for souvenirs and dining. The town of Lihue contains the Kukui Grove Center shopping mall, which has Macy's, K-mart and Wal-Mart. The local history of the area is on display at the Kauai Museum. Visitors can view the town from a vintage diesel locomotive on the narrow gauge railroad or from a horse-drawn carriage.
Latest on the pained Kauai Coco Palms Hotel, Kauai’s first and arguably most iconic resort ever. The place where the rich and famous once stayed and where Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii was filmed.
One of the most famous landmarks on the island is the Coco Palms Resort Hotel. It was forced to close in 1992 after Hurricane Iniki devastated it but the resort's new owners are hopeful that it will re-open soon. Surrounded by a coconut grove, it made its name in the 1960s and 1970s when many celebrities stayed there, including Elvis Presley, who made films on the island. Its return would be welcomed by the Kauai travel industry.