On the east coast of Kauai rests its most prominent county and the hub for its transportation and commercial activities. Lihue comes alive every year with hundreds of passionate locals, their customs, and vibrant culture. Lihue is a place where warm breezes and beaches accompany the warm residents for an unforgettable time.
The nearby Kalapaki Beach is home to many sunbathers, surfers, and swimmers. It's the perfect coastline for water sport activities with the little ones, to work up a tan, or to try your skills in the surf.
The history of Kauai is as old as time itself - or so the narratives and artifacts woven together at the Kauai Museum would have you believe. Stop by to take in its origins as a former sugar plantation, a home to royals and naval expeditions, with guided tours.
Prepare to set aside an entire evening to partake in this special occasion, beginning with Hawaiian crafts and the Imu Ceremony. As you dine, hula dancers and local musicians perform the luau and reenact ancient Hawaiian legends.
Here you'll find dancing, pool, and lots of willing karaoke participants. This is the spot to be, whether you want to just soak it all in or take center stage.
Along with a rum distillery and a ceramics shop, the historical and restored 1930s mansion also houses several galleries, boutiques, and a historic train.
The climate in Lihue is typical of Kauai. September and November or April to June are the most enjoyable times to visit, when temperatures are in the mid-80s. Winter, from December to March, sees a lot of rain with temperatures in the mid-70s.
To get into Lihue, you'll land at Lihue Airport. From there, you can use a taxi to get to other parts of Kauai.
There are no trains getting into Lihue. There is, however, the Kauai Plantation Railway, which is a ride that goes through farms, specifically for travelers once they're on the island.
Inter-island travel is easy. Use highway 50 if you're coming from the north and west and take highway 56 if you're driving from the east or the south.
Buses coming in to Kauai run Monday to Friday and there is no service on the weekends. Because Lihue is a county in Kauai, you must use the Kauai Bus service. Buses between cities cost $2 for a single fare, one-way, with multiple stops in-between.
Luxury lovers will love the pools and amenities at The Kauai Inn. For modest accommodations, pick Kauai Palms Hotel. Budget travelers will experience great hospitality at Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai.
Kilauea - the site of the Kilauea active shield volcano, the youngest of the active volcanoes at 300,000 to 600,000 years old.
Kapahi - is a popular residential neighborhood with local schools and markets, as well as many long-term vacation rental homes.
Kekaha - is situated on the far west side of Kauai, featuring the Kekaha Beach and is the starting point for the longest stretch of white sand beach in Kauai.
You can choose to rent a bike or use the Kauai Bus. A single fare costs $2 for the mainline and $0.50 for the shuttle. If you're staying long-term, grab a pass for $40/month from the Lihue Civic Center.
There are lots of local taxis for hire. Look for a dome or a sign at the top of the car as this is legally required. There are two rates: rate 1 is $3 for the first mile and $3/mile thereafter. Rate 2 is $120 for 2 hours minimum, and $15 for every 15 minutes thereafter.
Car rentals are available from local companies like Enterprise. Expect daily rates starting at $48-$52.50.
For lovers of local boutiques and vintage trolley tours, head to Harbor Mall. Those who love brand name retail will find what they're looking for at Rice Shopping Center.
A quart of milk is quite affordable at $1.57 per quart. A dozen eggs will cost you $3.96.
Of course, there are lots of great restaurants in Lihue but if you love street food, head first to the Hamura's Saimin Stand on Kress St. Grab Saimin soup (the Hawaiian noodle soup classic) with the extra fixings like hard-boiled egg and veggies and lilikoi chiffon pie. Depending on size, the average price for two to dine is $25.