Start your exploration of Kauai at the Kauai Museum, located near the airport, and get foundational knowledge of the island’s environmental and cultural history. A walk through the museum’s exhibits reveals the island’s volcanic origins, human history, prized cultural artifacts, and local artwork depicting life on the island.
The Greco-Roman facade and volcanic rock exterior of the Kauai Museum set it apart from its surroundings in Kauai’s capital city of Lihue. You can tour the exhibits and galleries on your own or join a docent-led tour of the museum. After a visit to the museum, see the geology and traditions you learned about in the museum come to life at a traditional luau or on a sunset cruise along the island’s jagged coastline.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Kauai Museum is a favorite amongst history and geology buffs.
The museum hosts educational talks, traditional craft workshops, and hula classes.
Docents enrich the experience with educational details and historical stories.
The museum is wheelchair accessible and non-flash photography is permitted.
How to Get There
The museum is located on Rice Street in central Lihue, two miles (five kilometers) from the Lihue Airport. You can rent a car at the airport, take a shuttle from the airport to Lihue, or visit on foot or by taxi if you are staying in the town of Lihue.
When to Get There
The Kauai Museum is open morning through midafternoon Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays and major holidays. Docent-led tours typically begin daily at 10:30am. Educational lectures, story sessions, workshops, and classes are offered on a weekly basis. An event schedule can be found on the museum’s website.
Learn the Story of Kauai
The exhibits in the museum tell the story of Kauai in chronological order, beginning with the formation of the island, progressing through the story of the indigenous Hawaiians, and also exploring the arrival of whalers, missionaries, and plantation workers. For an in-depth look into the past, pair your tour of the museum with a lecture about Polynesian navigation or Cleopatra’s Barge—the royal yacht of King Kamehameha II.