A large part of Kauai’s charm is its vast undeveloped and agricultural land and quaint plantation-style homes. Take a step back in time and learn the stories behind modern-day Kauai by experiencing the island’s plantation days of old at the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum.
Experience life in the 19th century as you explore the ongoing active household and farm at the 100-acre Grove Farm. Its animals, gardens, banana patches, and pastures maintain the same cleaning and agricultural schedules and methods that were established in the 1870’s. Meander the expansive front lawn, planter’s home, outbuildings, and farm. The property allows for a striking view over the Nawiliwili Valley and is now listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
The first Polynesians to voyage to Hawaii brought sugar cane and plantations and were already in existence before Captain Cook’s arrival on the island. Started in 1854, Grove Farm was one of the first sugar plantations in Hawaii built for the purpose of extracting sugar as we know it today. The name Grove Farm was given due to it being started by chopping out a large grove of kukui trees. Hawaii’s production of sugar cane peaked in 1980, when the state supplied one tenth of the sugar consumed in America.
If you happen to be on Kauai for the second Thursday of the month, you may be lucky enough to hop aboard an authentic sugar cane train car pulled by a historic Grove Farm Museum steam locomotive, the only authentic sugar plantation steam train experience in the state. Rides are between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at a different location than the museum.
Plan Your Excursion to the Grove Farm Museum
The Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum is located in Lihue at 4050 Nawiliwili Road. Tours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, starting at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and costs are by a requested donation of $20 for adults and $10 for children 5-12 years old.
Activities in the Area
Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum is situated in Lihue, one of the island’s main hubs for shopping, dining, and activities, making it easy to pair your visit to the Museum with other stops. Lihue is home to many of the island’s larger chain stores, such as Walmart, Costco, and Ross. Stopping in these stores provide a great chance to stock up on groceries or snacks for your stay, as well as beach items such as swimwear, boogie boards, and surfboards, which can all be found at a lower cost here in comparison to surf shops across the island. You’ll also find some souvenir items unique to Hawaii in both Walmart and Costco.
A variety of fast food restaurants are located in Lihue, as well as a large number of local eateries. Hamura Saimin is located near the Grove Farm Museum, providing another unique chance to step back in time, this time for a culinary experience. Hamura’s has long been a Kauai mainstay, serving up noodles in a community-type setting, with patrons finding seating at long, shared counters. If soup and island life don’t seem to be too much of a contrast for your palate, Hamura’s is well worth a stop and is frequented by both locals and visitors. For your daily dose of caffeine, Ha Coffee Bar is also located nearby. Ha Coffee Bar offers a chic, café setting for planning your next island adventure over an iced coffee and acai bowl or bagel.
If you’re up for a beach trip while in the area, Kalapaki Beach is located just down the road from the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum. Kalapaki Beach is tucked in Nawiliwili Bay, offering sheltered waters that make for good swimming conditions. There is also a surf break here that is good for beginning surfers, and a Kauai Beach Boys rental stand is located right on the beachfront, making lessons and gear rentals simple and convenient. Book a surf or stand up paddle board lesson, or simply lounge along this stretch of sand that also offers sand volleyball courts. Waterfront dining options are available here, with just a paved walkway separating the sand from Café Portofino and Duke’s Canoe Club Barefoot Bar & Restaurant. Dinner and drinks overlooking the ocean from one of the tables lining the upper deck of Duke’s is the perfect way to end your day in Lihue, Kauai!
We have nearly 30 rental properties on Kauai’s north, east, and south shores. Staying at one of our east coast properties such as Banyan Harbor, Islander on the Beach, Kaha Lani, Kauai Beach Resort, Lae Nani, or Pono Kai will put you in close proximity to enjoying the Grove Farm Museum and other great activities. Contact us at 866-922-5642 or [email protected] to make your vacation rental booking and to get started with planning your ideal Kauai getaway.
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