One of the many reasons the island of Kauai in Hawaii is a premier travel destination because of the diversity of its attractions. Here, you will experience that iconic Hawaiian island vibe and indulge in the sight of lush mountains and stunning beaches.
A huge number of travelers who want to explore Kauai will most likely see Lihue first as it is home to Kauai’s main airport, as well as Nawiliwili Harbor, the island’s main cruise ship and commercial shipping port. But Lihue is more than just a transport center. The town is the cultural and historical hub and also the administrative center of the island.
The town was originally known for its sugar mill industry. Today, people flock to Lihue for the completely gorgeous Kalapaki Beach. The beach’s beauty is truly praiseworthy. In fact, it consistently ranked as one of the best white sand beaches in the world by travel experts. Kalapaki’s water is protected from strong currents rendering it perfect for swimming and other aqua sports like bodysurfing and windsurfing.
Kalapaki Beach is populated by a number of distinguished hotels and leisure establishments like Kauai Lagoons Golf Club and Marriott Kaua’s Beach Club. Kalapaki is not the only beach in town. Ninini Beach is also an interesting and relaxing spot. Adding to this beach’s character is an automated lighthouse, which was established in the late 19th century.
Part of the Kalapaki’s appeal is its beach cape, which is surrounded by towering mountains and the rich Waimea Canyon. This canyon, which boasts a depth of about 914 meters and a length of around 14 miles, is an attraction in itself. It is truly a magnificent site to behold, with its distinct feature – the red hued soil that surrounded the Waimea River. The canyon is even more breathtaking during the setting of the sun. It is during this point when the sunlight directly bounces on the red canyon walls creating a natural glowing effect.
The Lihue area is also proud of its colorful history, depicted by the many remaining old structures preserved in town. One of them is the Alekoko or Menuhune Fishpond – a fascinating aquaculture reservoir that dates back 1000 years. The Grove Farm Homestead Museum and the Kauai Museum have their own stories and collections that reveal LihueÃs past.
And if you want to relive the town’s glorious plantation days, head out to the restored Kilohana estate, which flourished during the 1930s. The estate’s centerpiece is the large and elegant Tudor mansion, which at some point was the residence of Lihue’s most noble families. The estate is now a notable tourist site, which offers tropical gardens, a plantation village, a working farm and dining facilities.
Lihue is also the gateway to the many wonderful natural landmarks Kauai offers. If you venture a little off the beaten path and head out north of the town, you will encounter the beautiful Wailua Falls. The falls drop 800 feet, with its waters cascading two streams. Wailua is visible from the side of Maalo Road in the Hanamaulu area. You will need to hike uphill for a couple of miles to reach the falls. It is a great location to visit during early in the day and definitely worth the effort.