Kauaʻi isn’t populous enough to have a large variety of museums to choose from, however, for those interested in history, there’s always something interesting to be found even in small towns. A visit to a local museum can give you a much better understanding of the culture you’re visiting, so it’s worth going early in your trip. Learn more about the Kauai history museums below.
Kauaʻi Museum – Līhue
This beautiful old building in downtown Līhue is a great place to get a sense of Kauaʻi’s place in the larger history of the Hawaiian Islands. Docents offer tours every weekday at 10:30 am; reservations requested. Regular special events include lei making, demonstrations of throw-net making, and live Hawaiian music (check their website for details). The gift shop is also something of a treasure, with locally made items from around the island.
Kōkeʻe Natural History Museum – Kōkeʻe State Park
This great little museum in the park is a wonderful place to learn more about the geology and ecology of this beautiful island. This is the place to stop if you’re planning a hike in the park, as they’ll have all the current trail updates and weather advisories on hand. It’s an excellent stop if you have any questions about the flora and fauna you’ve encountered in the forest!
Waioli Mission House – Hanalei
For history buffs, an immersive visit to the Waioli Mission house is a real treat. It’s a 19th century mission home that’s been preserved in its original state, so you can see how the original missionaries to Hawaiʻi lived. Call ahead of your visit to make sure they’ll be open; visits are available only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Ring the large church bell in the yard to announce your arrival!
Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum – Līhue
Anyone interested in Hawaiʻi’s sugar plantation days should not miss a visit to Grove Farm, and especially the unhurried two-hour tour they offer (call in advance). You’ll learn so much about life on a sugar plantation, and be able to ask all your questions to the knowledgeable local guides. Check out the old steam locomotives; if you’re lucky enough to be here on the second Thursday of the month, you can hop aboard for a free ride! Grove Farm is working on building a mile-long stretch of track as part of their Learning Park project; check their website for future updates.
Allerton Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden – Lawaʻi
Okay, it’s not exactly a museum. Or maybe it is. What do you call a museum that’s largely outdoors? Allerton Garden is a special property of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and one that’s only accessible by booking a tour (no self-guided tours are allowed). Part garden tour, part art exhibit, a visit to Allerton is like being inside a landscape architect’s wildest fantasy. You may even recognize parts of the landscape from blockbuster Hollywood films!
Contact us today to learn more about the Kauai tourist attractions!