Letʻs continue touring Kaua’i, from Lihue to the Napali Coast. I love Hawaii; it’s my happy place. I am excited to share my love of our 50th state. I hope to inspire you to fully learn about and enjoy this Pacific paradise.
Lihue is on the southern, windward side of the island. It is the Kaua’i County seat, the site of the airport, and the beautiful Nawiliwili Harbor. Kalapaki Beach is on the north side of the harbor and has one of our favorite restaurants, Duke’s Canoe Club, named for Olympian and surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku.
For history, visit the Kauai Museum or Grove Farm Homestead Museum. Outside the main part of town is the Kilohana plantation. The main house and its buildings have been converted to shops, restaurants, and the Koloa Rum Company tasting room. Kilohana is also home to our favorite luau in the islands, Luau Kalamaku. The buffet is excellent with local favorites lomi lomi salmon, macaroni salad, kalua pork, haupia, and more. The show is based on Hawaiian creation stories and is not like a Las Vegas version of Hawaiian culture.
Further north is the Coconut Coast and Kapaa Town. The Wailua River flows to the ocean here and you can enjoy the natural beauty of ʻOpaekaʻa Falls and Fern Grotto. Shopping, food, and beaches can all be found here.
Continuing north you see the farmlands and mountain beauty of Kaua’i. Kilauea is a small village on the North Shore. You can drive through it to the coast to see the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse. The view is breathtaking and it is a great spot for bird watching.
Princeville is next along the coast. Named for Prince Albert, the son of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, this area has the St. Regis Princeville resort, along with condos and other resorts. The view of Hanalei bay from up here is worth the side trip.
Continuing west along the North Shore you will arrive at Hanalei Town. The beaches along the bay here are so beautiful. The historic Hanalei Pier was once a major player in the rice trade. Along with restaurants and shopping, Waioli Mission Church is a peaceful stop. Itʻs worth it to continue driving west to visit more beaches and lava tubes.
Finally, the Napali Coast is a spectacular 17-mile stretch of mountains meeting the sea. You can see this by boat or air, or hike the Kalalau Trail.
Next time we go we plan to go on the Fern Grotto Wailua River cruise and maybe try Merrimanʻs Poipu restaurant.
Let’s talk story
I’m willing to see any movie set in Hawaii at least once. Then, of course, I end up falling in love with some of them. A setting in Kaua’i can make up for plot holes or other criticisms.
- “South Pacific” with Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi: Bali Hai, Bloody Mary’s beach, and the Frenchman’s home are all at Hanalei Bay. Have a drink at the St. Regis Princeville Makana Terrace or St. Regis Bar and think of “Some Enchanted Evening.”
- “The Descendants” with George Clooney and Shailene Woodley: The land the family is thinking to sell to the resort developer is Kipu Ranch, near Poipu. The bar (Tahiti Nui) and Brian and Julie’s house (Nalu Beach Cottage) are in Hanalei. Time to listen to “He’eia” by Gabby Pahinui.
- “Blue Hawaii” with Elvis Presley and Angela Lansbury: The Old Coco Palms Resort hotel near Kapa’a is a wonderful location for romance. Listen to the “Hawaiian Wedding Song” in the moonlight.
Be sure to check out Part 1 of my Kaua’i overview. Whatʻs your favorite thing to do on Kaua’i? Are you planning a trip?
Affiliate links: if you make a purchase using these links, I’ll receive a small compensation towards maintaining this blog, at no extra cost to you.