Lihue is the commercial centre of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, which offers visitors a vast selection of outdoor adventures, but the city itself is a charming place to spend some time as well.
As the island’s capital, Lihue offers plenty of museums, with the best being home to a unique collection of artworks by local artists from the past 200 years. Just outside town, travellers can also visit the beautiful Grove Farm Homestead, which was founded 50 years before Hawaii even became a state.
But the attractions of Lihue may lie outside the city limits. Kauai is not a huge island, but hosts many beauty spots, beaches and outdoor attractions. Head to the stunning spectacle of Opaekaa Falls, hike down the Waimea Canyon, or look out for the graceful albatross at the Kilauea Lighthouse.
The seas around Lihue also offer excellent scuba diving, as well as uniquely sculpted lava formations and rich marine life, while visitors can also take a leisurely snorkelling tour by catamaran if the ocean depths don’t seem enticing.
The island of Kauai is also a surfing hotspot, with surf schools hiring out equipment at almost every beach. Visit sites like Poipu Beach and experience some of the finest waves in the Pacific.
Back on land, visitors to Lihue can enjoy horse riding at local ranches or play a round at one of the three golf courses in the city. There are also regular cultural events, including the Kauai Festival of Lights, which illuminates the city at Christmas time, as well as a superb jazz festival held in June.
Whether you want to get lost on gorgeous hiking trails, descend to the ocean floor or ride the wild surf, Lihue is an exceptional holiday destination.
High season on Kauai is around Christmas time and early spring – when the weather on the US mainland is poor and people need a seasonal escape. However, the weather may be better from April to June and September to December. The crowds will also be lighter and accommodation will also be cheaper, a winning combination. Travel in May to combine great weather with a chance to head out whale-watching.
Lihue isn’t very large, and the harbour and town centre are walkable (or you can rent a bike). However, to see the island’s attractions renting a car is essential, and see if your hotel offers a package deal as you can make significant savings. The coast of Kauai is also great cycling territory.