Lihue Travel Guide

The second biggest town on the northwestern Hawaiian island of Kauai, Lihue is a transport hub with its own airport despite having a tiny population of just over 5,000 people. The town has a long tradition as a German settlement specializing in sugar, with remnants of the industry still evident today, among some of the many tourist attractions on show here.

With stable, warm temperatures year-round and some fascinating cultural sites to explore, Lihue makes a worthwhile trip on the edge of the Hawaiian chain. With the increasing number of tourists has also come an influx of retail outlets including the popular US department store chain Macy’s. Despite rapid development in recent years, the town still retains its Hawaiian aura – in the local language Lihue means ‘cold chill’ – even if nearly 50 percent of the local population is Asian. This gives the town a curious mix of culinary styles, where dishes like hot noodles are a particular favorite along with ever-popular Mexican and Italian.

Along with museums that detail Lihue’s sugar milling past, the town is also home to the Kauai Museum, a look into the island’s local history, and the Menehune Fish Ponds, an ancient fish breeding ground surrounded by rolling, green hills just outside the town.


Kilohana Plantation Estate: formerly a sugar plantation, this estate has now been turned into a cultural center that includes restaurants and gardens.

Menehune Fish Ponds: an elaborate series of fish breeding ponds dating back centuries that today add to the already stunning natural landscape.

Kauai Museum: houses a comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to traditional life on the island of Kauai, including a photographic exhibition.