Travel back in time to Hawai‘i of yesteryear in Old Koloa Town. Here you can walk down shaded streets lined with clapboard storefronts, plantation-era homes, and inviting restaurants and cafes, experiencing the town’s vibrant past while learning about the unique history of the region and the stories of the settlers who called this beautiful island home.
Koloa was the site of Hawai‘i’s first successful sugar mill. Today, you can visit the History Center (located, conveniently enough, in the center of town; open daily from 9am to 9pm) to learn all about that burgeoning industry that gave rise to some of Kaua‘i’s most prominent land owners and brought about a great deal of social change – for better or worse – across the islands. Trace the history through photographs and exhibits on the very spot where it all happened, centuries before. The past is perfectly preserved here in Old Koloa Town, as each restored building and landmark bears a historic plaque commemorating and detailing the lives of the businesses, people, and families who called Kaua‘i’s oldest plantation town home.
Fun Activities in Old Koloa Town Kauai
Traveling back in time was never so easy. Old Koloa Town is located off of Highway 520 (after the famed “Tree Tunnel”) in southern Kaua‘i, near the resort destination of Poipu. Three clusters of historic buildings welcome visitors: the Old Town Shops, the Waikomo Shops, and the Plantation House Shops. Each has been lovingly restored and maintained just as it was when this small hamlet was the bustling center of sugar production and commerce in the 19th century. Now, these quaint clapboard storefronts are home to art galleries, clothing boutiques, unique gift shops, and fabulous restaurants. Enjoy the quiet, idyllic streets while sipping on a coffee from Koloa Mill, or snacking on a sweet and refreshing Koloa Shave Ice, then check out the handmade soaps and candles at Island Soap and Candle Works or browse the classic and iconic Aloha shirt selection at Crazy Shirts. All told, there are more than 20 shops and eateries here, meaning you are sure to find the perfect souvenirs and a little slice of Hawaiiana to take home with you.
Old Koloa Town Kauai is approximately 15 minutes from Līhu‘e and 75 minutes from the North Shore. The scenic drive will take you from the Coconut Coast through the lush fields and fertile Wailua River valley, past the mountainous interior, and through the tunnel of trees that shade Maluhia Road (Highway 520) just after the turnoff from Highway 50.