Kauai Museums Exhibit Island’s Past
History and Culture of Kauai On Display
Numerous Kauai museums provide a range of educational exhibits about Kauai’s interesting past from the Hawaiian culture of ancient times through the eras of whaling, missionaries, sugarcane and more.
The Kauai Museum displays rare cultural artifacts and often features exhibits about Kauai’s history as well as the culture of the island’s people. Grove Farm Museum hearkens to bygone days, as does Gay & Robinson Museum where you can learn about Hawai‘i’s sugarcane era and how sugarcane is grown and processed.
At the Waioli Mission House you can see how Hawaii’s early missionaries lived, while the Haraguchi Rice Mill provides a glimpse into the rice era including farming and milling. At the top of the mountain in Koke‘e State Park is the Koke‘e Museum with exhibits featuring Kauai’s native plant and bird life as well as hurricanes.
Located on Rice Street in Lihue, the Kauai Museum (808-245-6931) is housed in the impressive former town library building notable for its stately Greco-Roman (Greek Revival) facade. The museum displays many ancient artifacts of Kauai and the other Hawaiian Islands along with information about Hawaiian history and culture.
Photographs show Kauai’s post-contact period including the eras of rice and sugarcane. A well-stocked gift shop sells books and a variety of other items. The Kauai Museum also hosts a variety of events such as cultural demonstrations and book signings.
Grove Farm Homestead Museum
Located on Nawiliwili Road in Lihue, the Grove Farm Museum (808-245-3202) is a historic Sugar Plantation Museum on the 100-acre Grove Farm site. The museum preserves the earliest domestic, agricultural, and sugar plantation buildings still standing along with furnishings, collections and surrounding orchards.
This homestead from the 1800s was also the center of operations for the rapidly growing sugar plantation of George Wilcox (his nieces also lived here). The plantation estate represents the traditions not only of plantation activity but also family life, household work, farming and gardening. The main house is in pristine condition and includes a koa wood staircase, wash house, tea house and guest cottage.
Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill Museum
The Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill (808-651-3399) offers a guided tour of a taro farm and historic rice mill. Also included in this tour, which is available by reservation only, is a Kalo Kooler (original taro smoothie) and a full picnic lunch featuring unique items prepared with taro grown on the farm.
All proceeds from the public tours of the Haraguchi Rice Mill as well as gift shop purchases and donations help fund free local school tours and continuing historic restoration efforts.
Waioli Mission House Museum
The Waioli Mission House (808-245-3202) is located just west of Hanalei town behind the Waioli Church and was built in the 1820s. The missionary house was restored in 1921 by the granddaughter of Abner Wilcox, one of the region’s first American Protestant missionaries. The home is on the Hawai‘i and National Register of Historic Places.
Guided tours of the Mission House allow you to view the 1837 Waioli Mission home and grounds as they were 160 years ago, including historical house furnishings. Plants and trees on the site also represent traditional Hawaiian horticulture.
Koke‘e Natural History Museum
Located on top of the mountain in Koke‘e State Park, the Koke‘e Natural History Museum and Gift Shop (808-335-9975) displays a variety of interesting exhibits and also sells books and maps. The region’s native flora and fauna including birds are displayed and there is also a wonderful diorama of the park’s trails as well as an informative hurricane exhibit.
The second Saturday of every October is the Emalani Festival which takes place adjacent to the Museum and commemorates the 1871 journey of Queen Emma into the upland forest of Koke‘e and the Alakai Swamp. Formally known as Eo e Emalani i Alakai, the celebration features live music and authentic hula and chanting as well as historic displays.
Bali Hai Realty Concierge Services
Bali Hai Realty offers the highest level of personalized concierge services to help you plan your Kauai vacation activities. We look forward to assisting you in planning enjoyable Kauai adventures, entertainment and relaxation.
From helicopter tours to whale watching and sport fishing, we will make sure you are in the right hands. Take a surf lesson, enjoy a guided hike or try ziplining above the treetops. You can also pamper yourself with private yoga sessions and enjoy a massage, facial and even a private chef! Just give us a call and we will help you plan the dream vacation of a lifetime.
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