Welcome to Lihue
With the island’s only airport and largest port, Lihue is Kauai’s most popular vacation destination. It’s also a major hub of industry and commerce, with big box stores and an enormous open-air shopping center. Lihue is Kauai County’s government seat and the Garden Isle’s second-largest city.
Lihue’s real estate is varied and often more affordable than many Kauai communities. Home types include resort-style condos, attractive townhomes, traditional residences and lavish bluff properties overlooking Kalapaki Bay.
What to Love
- Airport and harbor access
- Central Location
- Major commercial hub
- World-class golf courses
- Easily accessible schools
People & Lifestyle
With 6,500 residents, Lihue is Kauai’s second most populous community. Oceanfront homes and those within resort-like golf course communities are luxurious, but the overall vibe is more local than Kauai’s more isolated areas.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Lihue has the widest-ranging retail and dining options of anywhere in Kauai. Duke’s Kauai
has great Mai Tai's and a menu that fuses American and Polynesian flavors in a beautiful Kalapaki Beach setting, with towering waterfalls cascading into koi ponds. Pietro’s Pizza
offers wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and NY-style slices. Gaylord’s at Kilohana
has served outstanding farm-to-table fare on a sprawling historic plantation estate since 1986. More casual dining and fantastic craft beers can be had at Kauai Beer Company.
Shopping options include big box retailers such as Costco and Home Depot and major supermarkets like Walmart. There are 55 retailers and restaurants at Lihue’s Kuki Grove Center. Kuki Grove
is anchored by Macy’s, which is Kauai’s only department store.
Things to Do
and Nawiliwili Harbo
r are the main ways in and out of Kauai, transporting passengers to and from other Hawaiian islands and the US mainland. Lydgate State Park
has a tree-lined beach with two lagoons and lifeguards, making it a popular place for swimmers and snorkelers. Kalapaki Beach’s
white sands tend to be frequented more by locals than tourists. This is another great spot for swimming, along with being a good place to practice surfing, boogie boarding, and paddle boarding.
Alternately known as Alekoko or Menehune
, Lihue is home to the island’s best and most significant fish pond. Legend has it the pond was constructed by the mythical Menehune, an ancient group famed for feats of engineering. The 900-yard long, five-foot high lava rock wall that surrounds the pond is a piece of traditional engineering that lives up to the Menehune’s legendary reputation.
There are also several spectacular golf courses in the area. The undulating oceanfront greens of 18-hole Wailua Golf Course
are dotted with sand bunkers and coconut and palm trees, with a majestic mountain backdrop. The Ocean Course at Hokuala
features a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that runs through mango and papaya groves to dramatic seaside cliffs. The 2018 World Golf Awards recognized The Ocean Course as the best in Hawaii. Many consider Puakea Golf Course
to be the island’s most fun place to play, with the course rising and falling around deep ravines, all surrounded by volcanic cliffs and Pacific Ocean viewpoints.
There are many excellent educational options in Lihue. Highlights include:
- King Kaumualii Elementary School: Public, Grades K-5
- Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School: Public, Grades 6-8
- Kauai High School: Public, Grades 9-12
- Island School: Private College Prep, Grades K-12
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