The island of Kauai is a captivating vacation destination fondly referred to as the Garden Isle for its lush, natural beauty. Beyond the appealing aesthetic, however, Kauai history is very rich and worth exploring. The following is a brief look at how Kauai grew over time into the place travelers know and love today.

The First Settlers

Experts tend to agree that the first settlers of Kauai were likely the Marquesans and Polynesian groups that arrived in the area around 500 A.D. These groups were followed by the Tahitians. All early settlers would have had to travel the waters extensively to reach the island. This is a true testament to their sailing and navigational skills. Many of the plants and foods early settlers brought with them like Kalo are still important staples of a Hawaiian diet today.

The Arrival of Westerners

Kauai island history’s timeline shows westerners first arriving on the island around the late 1700s. Many credit Captain James Cook for being the first European to step foot here, landing in present-day Waimea around 1778. It didn’t take long for Kauai to become an important trade stop as well as a thriving destination for missionaries.

The Plantation Era

Kauai proved bountiful when it came to natural resources offering up coconuts, sugar, and bamboo in abundance. This lent itself to a plantation culture as early as the 1800s. Sugar plantations in particular became a staple of Kauai’s economic growth. By 1899, pineapple plantations were on the rise as well.

A Tourism Book and Hollywood’s Influence

By the early 1960s, tourism began booming across Kauai. Hotels began popping up across the island as well as luxurious beachfront resorts. Much of the area’s initial appeal stemmed from Hollywood’s influence as directors saw the potential in the stunning backgrounds the island offered up starting in the early 1900s. Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii at Cocoa Palms, and today, many people know that Jurassic Park was also filmed here. These powerhouse forces of cinema and tourism have gone hand-in-hand ever since.

Enjoy Your Island Adventure

Whether you head this way to discover Kauai history, or can’t wait to soak up the sights, the property professionals at Arrived will help you find your island vacation rental that’s just right for you! Reach out to our team today to learn more about our many property options across the island and how we can help you start planning your next trip. We can’t wait to see you here soon!