Translating as “cold chill” in the Hawaiian language, Lihue is one of the largest towns on the island of Kaua’i. In the 19th century, it flourished as a hub for the sugar industry and was the site of the first Lutheran church in the archipelago.
Things to do in Lihue
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the Albert Spencer Wilcox Building, a former library that has been transformed into the Kaua’i Museum. It was constructed in 1922 by Emma Kauikeolani Wilcox on a design by the prominent Hawaiian-based architect Hart Wood. Learn about the geological formation of the Hawaiian Islands and its rich culture before browsing the artistic creations collected from across Kauai and Niihau.
South of Lihue is Grove Farm, a historic sugar plantation that is an active, working farm. Join a guided tour to admire the original plantation house, the owner’s cottage and the worker’s camp, with the property listed on the Hawai’i Register of Historic Places. Agricultural practices established here in the 1870s are still used in the cultivation of produce and pastoral activities.
For a day on the sand, head to golden Kalapaki Beach, which fringes a sheltered cove south-east of Lihue. A short drive north of the town centre will take you to Wailua Falls, a spectacular double waterfall that tumbles off a cliff along the South Fork of the Wailua River. A hiking trails leads to the base of the falls, where men used to jump to prove their manhood.
Getting around Lihue
Lihue Airport is a five-minute drive from the town centre and has flights to destinations across North America. The Kaua’i Bus travels from Lihue to towns and villages around the island while the centre of Lihue is compact enough to explore on foot.