Driving north through the quaint town of Hanalei, a little green church stands on the west side of the road, surrounded by tall palms and backed by a dramatic mountain range. This is the Wai oli Hui ia church.
While a church may not seem like a vacation destination, you will want to stop here to get a closer look at the dramatic stained-glass windows and intricate wooden entry doors. With the tall, charming bell tower and traditional green exterior, walking these manicured grounds will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into the plantation days of old Hawaii. With the right timing, a full rainbow will arch directly over the church, presenting a picture-perfect moment. Stopping at Wai`oli Hui`ia church will give you a window into traditional Hawaii, long before the resorts and restaurant chains arrived.
History of the Wai oli Hui ia Church
Wai`oli Hui`ia has long-standing cultural roots and is the oldest surviving church building on the island of Kauai. Established by American Missionaries in 1834, the Mission Hall began as a pole and thatch meetinghouse constructed by Hawaiians. The present church building was constructed in 1912. This American Gothic Architectural styled shingled church has a belfry tower housing the old Mission Bell, dating back to 1843. Both the mission hall and church have since been restored as a result of hurricane damage and are listed on the state and national registers of historic places. Today this is an active church, striving to reflect Hawaiian heritage through a ministry of preaching, singing, teaching, service, and the growth of faith.
When to Go
Visitors are welcome to explore the Wai oli Hui ia church and its beautiful grounds. To do more than just admire this structure from the outside, attend a Sunday service at 10am or stop in during opening hours on Monday through Thursday. Open to frequent wedding bookings, this could also be a place to say “I do” if you’re planning a wedding on Kauai.
Nestled in the heart of charming Hanalei Town, stopping at the Wai oli Hui ia church can be conveniently paired with shopping, dinner, or a beach excursion. Stop at Ching Young Village Shopping Center or relax with a seafood dinner at Hanalei Poke or Kalypso Island Bar & Grill. Beautiful Hanalei Beach is just around the corner.
From our Hanalei Bay Villas to our units at Hanalei Bay Resort, we have a wide variety of rentals that will put you in close proximity for exploring the Wai oli Hui ia church. Need ideas for other must-visit places on your trip to the Garden Isle? Contact us at 866-922-5642 or [email protected], or find all the best places to stay and things to do on our website today!