Standing as stark white structures surrounded by tall palms and backed by the South Shore’s cobalt blue sky, St. Raphael Church in sunny Koloa town houses beautiful historic and modern buildings.
If you’re staying on Kauai’s south side and are looking to take a break from the beach and enjoy a bit of Kauai history, St. Raphael Church offers scenic buildings set in a well-tended landscape. Founded in 1841, St. Raphael’s is the oldest Catholic Church on Kauai, established by Father Arsenius Walsh, two years after Catholics were granted religious freedom in Hawaii. The present sanctuary of the historic church was completed in December of 1854 and remodeled to increase seating capacity in 1936. The current modern building was built after hurricane Iniki occurred in 1992. Services are currently held in both the historic and new buildings.
The beautiful landscaping and picturesque buildings make St. Raphael Church in Kauai a great location for a short stroll. Follow the 500-meter long pathway extending from the new church to explore the grounds and visit the multiple grottos. The grotto depicting the risen Christ was built in 1880 over the mouth of a lava tube. The second was completed in 1941 and is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Planning Your Excursion to St. Raphael Church in Kauai
St. Raphael Church in Kauai is located on the island’s South Shore in Koloa at 3011 Hapa Rd. To tour the grounds on your own, pick up a printed guide located inside the front entrance of the historic church. Visitors are also welcome to join the parish for mass, which is held Monday-Friday and Sunday at 7:00 a.m. in the historic church building, and in the new church building on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
Things to Do Nearby
Situated in historic Koloa town, it is easy to add a stop at St. Raphael Church on the way to or from a shopping and dining outing. Koloa is home to surf shops, restaurants, food trucks, and coffee shops. Enjoy an Italian meal at Pizzetta or La Spezia, located on Koloa’s main street, or a seafood dish at Garden Island Grille. Koloa Fish Market offers up local style plates that are perfect for bringing along for a beach picnic. Aloha Roastery Specialty Coffee has a chic, welcoming interior and is a great place to get that daily dose of caffeine.
While Kauai offers its share of fine dining, you will also find some of the best meals and beverages in the many food trucks found around the island. Just off Koloa Road on Weliweli Road is a small lot housing a handful of food trucks, including Chalupa’s Taco and Eden Coffee. Pick up a refreshing Freeze or smoothie from Eden on your way to spend the day at Poipu Beach!
Kauai ATV is also located along Weliweli Road, offering an exciting off-road option for exploring Kauai. Navigating aboard a Polaris UTV, it is a thrilling ride to explore 22,000 acres of undeveloped land. Kauai ATV tours last 3-4 hours, during which you will adventure through rugged trails, lush jungles, famed movie sites, and a hidden tunnel, all the while soaking up incredible ocean and waterfall views! This is an adventure that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
Located west of St. Raphael Church in Kauai are the popular south shore attractions of Spouting Horn and Allerton Garden. Spouting Horn is a natural attraction in which waves push their way through a natural lava tube, causing water to spray upward, at times reaching heights of an astounding 50 feet. The spray can often be felt from the nearby lookout area – the perfect refresher on a hot day! The spray from Spouting Horn makes a fantastic backdrop for a family snapshot but be sure to not venture beyond the railed area.
Just across the road from Spouting Horn, Allerton Garden is a National Tropical Botanical Garden that offers a peaceful place to stroll among tropical trees and flowers. Special care has been placed here on the art of landscape, with garden rooms featuring exotic plants, sculptures, and water features. Meander among some of Hawaii’s most beautiful and significant plants at the renowned Allerton Garden!
We have rentals at nearly 30 properties on Kauai’s north, east, and south shores. Staying at one of our south shore properties such as Kahala, Makahuena Point, Poipu Kapili, or Poipu Shores Resort will put you in perfect proximity for enjoying St. Raphael Church and the sunny south shore’s best beaches. Many of our south shore rentals have full kitchens, pristine swimming pools, beautifully manicured grounds, spacious lanais, and impeccable ocean views.
Come join us on the south side! We are in the know about all the best places to stay and things to do while on the island of Kauai. 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. E Komo Mai! Welcome to Kauai!
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