Lihue, Kauai

Lihue is the government and commercial center of the island as well as a cultural and historical area. Lihue has a variety of beaches and natural wonders to explore. The Lihue area also has numerous historical spots and your gateway to adventure on Kauai.

The Lihue area also has numerous historical spots including Alekoko (Menehune Fishpond), a roughly 1000-year old aquaculture reservoir; Kilohana, a historic plantation estate; and both the historic Kauai Museum and Grove Farm Homestead Museum. Lihue is your gateway to adventure on Kauai.

Tour Map of Kauai Island

Explore Kauai by region: North ShoreEast Side (Coconut Coast)South ShoreWest Side.

Download Tour Map of Kauai Island

Island Highlights

- Napali Coast: Take an air tour or a boat tour to witness the towering cliffs along Kauai’s North Shore.
- Waimea Canyon: Enjoy the panoramic views of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
- Wailua River: Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii and Wailua is one of the most popular.
- Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse: Visit this beautiful scenic point at the northernmost tip of the island.
- Kauai Beaches: From Poipu on the South Shore to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore, explore Kauai’s amazing beaches.


Kauai Museum

Kauai Museum

Located in a lava rock structure in Lihue, the Kauai Museum features amazing collections from the artisans of Kauai and Niihau (a small eastern island part of Kauai county).

Visitors can learn about the geological formation of the Hawaiian Islands, early Native Hawaiian life, Captain Cook’s arrival on Kauai’s shores in Waimea and the Hawaiian Monarchy.

Location: On Rice Street in Lihue.

Alekoko, Menehune Fishpond

Waioli Mission House and Church Kauai

According to legend, the Menehune built Alekoko Fishpond on Kauai’s southeast shore in one night. Built nearly 1,000 years ago, the Alekoko Menehune Fishpond, minutes from Lihue, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. Ingenious ponds like this were built to catch fish, and the Menehune Fishpond is one of the finest examples of this type of ancient Hawaiian aquaculture.

Though Menehune legends abound, some say the word may have derived from the Tahitian word manahune meaning commoner, or small in social standing, not in physical size.

Location: In Nawiliwili, minutes from Lihue.

Wailua River

Napali Coast Kauai

The tranquil Wailua River weaves by gorgeous waterfalls and lush, jungle landscapes along the island’s East Side. Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii, and the Wailua River is one of the most popular.

The 20-mile long river, that once wove through the settings of seven different heiau (temples), flows from the 5,148-foot Mount Waialeale in the center of the island. The Wailua River features two popular and accessible waterfalls: Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls. The scenic river itself can be explored by kayak or outrigger canoe, and a boat tour is also available.

Location: North of Lihue, at the south end of the Wailua River.

Grove Farm Homestead Museum

Grove Farm Homestead Museum

A visit to the Grove Farm Homestead in Lihue provides visitors with a fascinating look into the island's past. Hawaii’s booming sugar plantation industry in the late 1800’s had its origins on Kauai. Grove Farm, one of the earliest sugar plantations and the former home of George N. Wilcox and his descendents, was founded in 1864. Today, this 100-acre, historic site showcases life during Kauai’s plantation era more than a century ago.  

Location: Roughly a 45 minute drive north of Lihue.

Kilohana Estate

Kilohana Estate

Kilohana, a restored plantation estate that provides a glimpse of life in the 1930s. The site of a 16,000 square-foot Tudor mansion that was home to one of the island’s most prominent families, Kilohana is now a picturesque venue for tours, gatherings and a theatrical luau. 

Location: Lihue on Kaumualii Highway.


Popular Kauai Activities

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Kauai Adventure Tours

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Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Acknowledgements & Credits


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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do