Warm tradewinds tickling the palms, Waves lapping at your ankles, the physical nourishment of mango & papaya, and the golden sun cleansing your soul.
Welcome to Poipu Beach, Kauai - the Leading Edge of the Known Universe ®
The Hawaiian Islands are home to a diverse population and many different ecosystems. The unique character of each island is reflected in its nickname.
Hawaiʻi is the “Big Island,” because it is bigger than the rest of the islands put together. That’s because it has the active volcano and is continually growing.
Oʻahu is called “The Gathering Place.” It has Hawaiʻi’s only big city, Honolulu, and the most famous beach in the world, Waikiki.
Kauaʻi is the oldest island and known as the “Garden Isle,” because wherever you look gardens spring up from the soil. It has Waimea Canyon, Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Maui is known as the “Valley Isle” because of the large isthmus between its two volcanoes and its numerous large valleys.
Niʻihau is privately owned, and boats cannot land without permission from the owner. Some of the families living there have been there since the first settlement. It is called the “Forbidden Isle.” Tiny shells roll in the waves on this distant outpost, and the Niʻihau people make them into shell leis of great delicacy and beauty.
Lanaʻi, another privately owned island, was once called the Pineapple Isle because the whole island was a vast pineapple plantation. Its nickname has been changed to the Private Isle.
By contrast, Molokaʻi is called the “Friendly Isle,” because here more than on any other island, the old values of aloha (universal friendship), kuleana (mutual responsibility), and kokua (helping whoever needs help) still prevail.
Each island remained a separate nation until Kamehameha welded them into one in the first years of the 19th century. America continued the unification process by annexing Hawaii, declaring it a unified “territory,” and eventually absorbing it as a full-fledged state of the union.