Quaint Sugar Plantation Town has Great Food, Shopping, and Nature
Kilauea is a charming town on the northern coast of Kauai with beautiful beaches, great places to shop and eat, and even a historic Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge.
Town’s Sugar Plantation Roots Began in 1880
Beginning as a sugar plantation town, Kilauea once housed the workers of the Kilauea Sugar Company which began processing sugarcane in 1880. Many of the plantation workers were imported from other countries including China, Japan, the Philippines and other locations. This made Kilauea truly a melting pot of cultures that continues today.
In 1881 Princess Liliuokalani, the future Queen of Hawaii, visited Kilauea to dedicate the new sugarcane railroad, driving the first spike. The new line included three miles of track, a railroad engine, and twenty-four railroad cars. Liliuokalani returned to Kauai ten years later as Queen of Hawaii.
A Drive Through Kilauea Town
Just after you enter Kilauea from Kuhio Hwy. on Kolo Road you will see the historic Christ Memorial Episcopal Church which was constructed from cut lava in 1941. The church used stained glass windows imported from England, and the adjacent graveyard has graves dating to the 1800s.
Just down the road is the Kong Lung Center offering boutique shopping. Next door at Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza you can grab some fresh-baked bread and a cappuccino, or a tasty pizza and then sit in the lovely courtyard and enjoy your meal.
Next to Pau Hana is fine dining at the Lighthouse Bistro, and you can shop for locally made products next door at Island Soap and Candle Works. At the adjacent center is a Fish Market and Healthy Hut health food store. These are just a few of the many merchants of charming Kilauea Town.
For a fresh fruit smoothie or other healthy fare try Banana Joes located on the Kuhio Hwy. just north of the entrance to Kilauea on the mauka (mountain) side of the road. Depending on what is in season you can try some papaya, mango, sapodilla, lychee, rambutan, jackfruit, longan and many more, including their specialty of course, banana!
For more fresh fruits and vegetables visit a Farmer’s Market every Thursday at 4:30 pm in front of the Kilauea Neighborhood Center. Another Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturdays at 11:30 am in the field by the Kilauea Post Office.
Kilauea Point Lighthouse National Wildlife Refuge
Just down the road is the Kilauea Point Lighthouse on a peninsula bluff with panoramic ocean views. The Lighthouse is a historic landmark, and the narrow peninsula of land it sits upon is the northernmost spot in all of the Hawaiian Islands.
As part of the Wildlife Refuge, the Lighthouse area harbors an abundance of native seabirds of many different species from Albatross to Shearwaters, Boobies, and Nene geese. Frigatebirds and Tropicbirds are often seen soaring high overhead.
Binoculars are provided at the Visitor Center so you can try to spot some dolphins or humpback whales offshore. A guided hike up nearby Crater Hill reveals a diversity of native species and a lesson in Kauai geology along with more amazing views.
Beaches of Kilauea
Bordering Kilauea is one of Kauai’s finest beaches called by the Hawaiian name Kauapea and commonly known as Secret Beach. The long and scenic beach features expanses of golden sand interspersed with lava rocks, and also provides a great view of the Lighthouse.
Nearby to Kilauea town are other popular beaches including Kalihiwai Beach, Anini Beach, and Kahili which is often called Rock Quarry Beach.
Kilauea Vacation Accommodations
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