Hawaii is the newest of the 50 states of the United States, and the only state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of the archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. Because it is located in the center of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has many North American and influences from Asia, with its own native culture active. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu.


Kauai–the northernmost and oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands–is a little bit out of the way. About 2,400 miles from the nearest continent, to the north the Pacific stretches unbroken to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, and to the south about the same distance to the islands of Polynesia. But getting to get to Kauai from most places is just an in-flight movie, a couple of meals and a nice, long nap away.

United Airlines offers direct service to the island twice daily and Sun Trips excursions schedule twice weekly flights. However, all major American carriers and 11 international carriers touch down at Honolulu International Airport. From there, you’ll connect with a quick inter-island flight to Kauai.

Hiking on Kauai

Hiking on Kauai

Inter-island carriers, Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines, depart about every 30 minutes from Honolulu International Airport for the 27-minute hop to Kauai. Flights are scheduled from about 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Passage on an inter-island cruise ship will get you a quick look at the island. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean cruise ships call on Kauai. The $400-million Norwegian Star can accommodate 2,200 passengers and is scheduled to make its inaugural trip to the island in early December.