On the outskirts of Līhu‘e, nestled among fertile hills formerly home to sweeping sugarcane fields, is a portal to another time on your next vacation. This 16,000 square-foot Tudor style mansion may look oddly out of place beneath blue Kaua‘i skies and backdropped by rugged mountains, but the Kilohana Plantation Kauai harkens visitors back to the 1930’s and the heyday of the agricultural boom in the Hawaiian Islands. Formerly the center of a 27,000-acre sugar plantation and home to one of Kaua‘i’s wealthiest and most iconic families, the mansion and 35-acre estate with tropical gardens and a plantation village have been restored to their glory days and are open to the public.
Special Attractions at the Kilohana Plantation Estate
Kilohana Plantation Kauai is a popular destination for weddings, historical tours, and gatherings on its expansive grounds, and there is plenty to do during your visit. The village is home to Gaylord’s Restaurant and a selection of eclectic, period shops and unique vendors like the Koloa Rum Company, a local distillery that produces rum from the same sugar the plantation used to harvest. In the evenings, the spectacular and theatrical Luau Kalamaku dazzles guests with hula performances, fire spinning shows, Hawaiian cultural demonstrations and traditional games, and a delicious feast full of island delicacies.
Touring the Estate
Once the economic, social, and cultural center of eastern Kaua‘i in the early 20th century, there is much to see and many ways to explore the estate’s grounds, but our favorite has to be a ride aboard the Kaua‘i Plantation Estate Railway. Hop aboard the train and enjoy a scenic tour through the working farm, which still produces a variety of products to this day. You can also go on foot, wandering the scenic jungle trails, exploring hidden streams, visiting the 60-acre orchard, and feeding the friendly animals housed across the estate. Stop by the market stands and shops to sample the exotic fruits and vegetables grown here, as well as the local rum. Vendors sell a variety of local arts and crafts, all made right here on Kaua‘i. Cap your day with a sunset over the mountains, a cocktail in the chic Mahiko Lounge in the former living room of the mansion, or enjoy a luau show and delicious dinner.
A glimpse into another time and a portal to Hawai‘i’s past, the Kilohana Plantation Estate is a wonderful escape for the entire family, and one of many of Kauai attractions. Parking and admission to the house are free, while train tours and luau tickets may be purchased in advance. The estate is open from 11am-2:30pm and 5:30-8:30pm, daily, except Sundays (9am-1pm).
Around the Area
The Kilohana Plantation Estate is located in Lihue, one of Kauai’s larger towns. Lihue is home to the island’s main airport, most of the larger box stores such as Walmart and Costco, and a mix of both local restaurants and fast food chains. This is where you will find many of Kauai’s conveniences.
In addition to shopping and dining, Kalapaki Beach is also located in Lihue. Situated near Nawiliwili Harbor, Kalapaki Beach offers views of boats coming and going on their journeys. Because Kalapaki Beach is tucked into a cove, the land jutting out at each end of the beach protects the shoreline from larger ocean swells, resulting in calm swimming conditions. The beach itself is a nice swath of golden sand with several onsite amenities. Kauai Beach Boys is located along the beachfront, offering up lessons and gear rental for several water activities. If an introduction to surfing is on your bucket list, Kalapaki Beach can be an ideal place to give it a try. The onsite instructors will give you helpful tips in falling safely, paddling, and standing up all on land before heading into the water. Once in the water, they are right by your side to give advice and help guide your board into a wave, ensuring that you’re up and riding during your very first lesson. Stand up paddle board and outrigger canoe lessons are also available, as are gear rentals for body boards and fins, snorkel sets, prescriptions masks, life vests, beach chairs, shade umbrellas, and kayaks!
Looking for Kauai Vacation Rentals?
Click here to browse our expansive listing of Kauai vacation rentals. Our reservation specialists live and work on the island, and each vacation rental is carefully chosen to suit a variety of group sizes and budgets. Situated along the island’s north, east, and south shores, our Kauai vacation rentals put you in convenient proximity for enjoying many of the island’s top attractions. For easy access to the historic Kilohana Plantation Estate, browse our East Coast vacation rentals. Situated within upscale communities such as Banyan Harbor, Islander on the Beach, Kaha Lani, Kauai Beach Resort, Lae Nani, and Pono Kai, these Kauai vacation rentals offer convenient access to all of the shopping, dining, and beaches nestled along the Coconut Coast! Most of our vacation rentals offer full kitchens, breezy living areas, and separate master suites, and many of them feature the plantation era charm exhibited in the architecture at Kilohana Plantation Estate. Come join us on the beautiful island of Kauai!