Although Kauai is best-known for its emerald valleys, tropical rainforests, and white-sand beaches, the island also has a rich Polynesian culture and history. Visitors interested in learning more about Kauai’s indigenous cultures and history can head to one of the island’s museums. Here are some of the top picks.
Located in Lihue, Kauai’s capital city, the Kauai Museum offers a great introduction to Kauai’s geology and culture, and the history of the Hawaiian Monarchy. The museum also features many Native Hawaiian artifacts, and works of art by local artists and sculptors.
Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum
Learn about the history of Kauai’s sugar cane industry during a tour of the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation. Visitors can tour the original plantation house, gardens, and grounds by booking in advance.
Kokee Natural History Museum
The Kokee Natural History Museum is located near Waimea Canyon and Koke‘e State Park on Kauai’s West Coast. Here, you can learn about Kauai’s geology, flora and fauna, and unique micro-climates, as well as get tips for visiting Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park.
Waioli Mission House
Tucked in the foothills of Bali Hai is the historic Waioli Mission House, one of the first Christian missionary homes built on Kauai. The Waioli Mission House offers guided tours and gives visitors insight into how Christian missionaries lived in Kauai during the early 19th century.