UNITED STATES  |  Kauai, Hawaii Travel Guide
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Kauai's North Shore

Kauai's North Shore

The North Shore of Kauai takes in the lush, green northern portion of the island, from Kilauea across to Ke’e Beach at the northeastern end of the Na Pali Coast. It includes in it not only Kilauea, but also the Princeville-Hanalei area and one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, Lumahai Beach.


Kilauea is the easternmost town on the North Shore, situated on the northeast corner of the island, some 15 miles from Kapa’a (or 23 miles from Lihue). It is a former sugar plantation town, founded in the late 1870s. It is small, rural, and filled with plantation-era buildings, all of them, surprisingly, built from stone, constituting what is considered to be the most extensive use of lava rock in the islands. Among the best examples of this rock construction are the Christ Memorial Episcopal Church and the Kong Lung Company Building, both built from lava rock in 1941.

Also in the Kilauea area are Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a splendid, 160-acre coastal park with an old lighthouse built in 1914, and the Guava Kai Plantation, comprising 480 acres of guava orchards, where the public can not only tour the orchards and guava processing plant, but also sample and buy a variety of guava products, including guava muffins, sherbets, sweet rolls, jams, jellies, and juice. There are also some good beach parks in the area.


Princeville, situated some 28 miles north of Lihue on Kauai’s north shore, is a major resort development with luxury hotels and condominiums and an exclusive residential community, sprawled on 11,000 acres of prime, oceanfront land, overlooking Hanalei Bay. At the heart of Princeville are the multi-million-dollar Princeville Hotel with its Olympic-size swimming pool and 27-hole golf course, and the equally prestigious Hanalei Bay Resort, both overlooking Hanalei Bay. There are also a few luxury condominium complexes here, and a couple of beaches with good swimming possibilities.


Hanalei, situated just to the southwest of Princeville at the head of Hanalei Bay, is a typical North Shore town, rural, unhurried, and set in lush, green surroundings. It has in it several small shops, a handful of restaurants, one or two museums, and a church with historic interest, the Wai’oli Hui’ia Church, dating from 1834. There are a few good beaches here as well.

Also, 3 miles or so west of Hanalei lies one of Hawaii’s most picturesque beaches, Lumahai Beach. The beach is memorable as the setting for the 1957 film classic, South Pacific.

Last updated December 26, 2010
Posted in   United States  |  Kauai
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