Lihue is a small but vital urban center, situated on the southeast corner of the island, more or less equidistant from the east and north shores section and the south and west shores section of the island, which remain cut off from each other at the northwest end of the island by the rugged and largely inaccessible Na Pali Coast. Lihue is also the commercial and civic center of Kauai, and home to Kauai’s main airport, the Lihue Airport, as well as the island’s principal port, Nawiliwili, where most of the cruise ships bound for Kauai dock.
Sightseeing in Lihue
The primary areas of interest in Lihue are Rice Street in downtown, which has some interesting 1930s buildings and the culturally rich Kauai Museum, and the white-sand Kalapaki Beach, situated at the head of Nawiliwili Bay, Kauai’s only deep-water harbor. At Kalapaki Beach, too, is the landmark Kauai Marriott luxury resort, with a 26,000-square-foot swimming pool.
Among other places of interest in the Lihue area are the 241-acre Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge, a wetlands preserve for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds; a couple of restored plantation-era estates, the Grove Homestead Farm and Kilohana; and the twin Wailua Falls, one of Kauai’s premier visitor attractions, which provided the setting for the 1980s TV series Fantasy Island.
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