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Historic Hawaii
Island of Kauai


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WEST SIDE

West between the North Shore and the South Shore. Home to a string of charming old plantation towns and the longest continuous stretch of sandy beach in all the islands (approx. 14 miles). The "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" - Waimea - dominates the interior.

SITES: SACRED & HISTORICAL
(See also Museums / Galleries, Historical Tours)

VISITING A HEIAU

You are invited to visit the traditional Hawaiian religious sites listed in this website. However, you are asked to remember that these are religious sites which are still sacred to the Hawaiian people. As historic sites, these places are also fragile and subject to damage and collapse. Please visit with respect and care for these important places.

  • View the heiau from the exterior. Please do not climb on or over the rock walls. The stacked roof is unstable and may collapse.
  • It is unlawful to take, excavate, destroy, or alter any historic site on state land. Any person who violates this law is subject to a fine of $10,000 (HRS Chapter 6E-11)
  • Wrapping a rock in a ti leaf is not a traditional offering. This damages the plants and the integrity of the heiau structure.
  • Offerings of coins, candles, incense and similar items cause long-term damage.

The historic sites of Hawaii are unique resources that are fragile and cannot be replaced. Please help us protect Hawaii's past for the future.

COOK'S LANDING
Located on the oceanside of Lucy Wright Park and across the Waimea River from Russian Fort Elizabeth; off Kaumualii Highway.
(West Side)
The site where Captain James Cook first came ashore in the Hawaiian Islands in January 1778. The site is marked by a bronze plaque denoting its National Historic Landmark status.

COOK'S MONUMENT
Located in Waimea Town at Hofgaard Park.
(West Side)
Statue commemorating the first European explorer who set foot in Hawaii when he landed at the mouth of the Waimea River in January, 1778.

HANAPEPE VALLEY OVERLOOK
Located halfway between Kalaheo and Port Allen on Highway 50 (Kaumualii Hwy), just after Mile Marker 14.
(West Side)
A remarkable panorama of a classic Hawaiian valley, much of it still planted in taro. An ancient Kauai battleground.

KAUAI COFFEE COMPANY - PLANTATION VISITOR CENTER
Located at Eleele Town, near Hanapepe
(West Side)
Tel. (808) 335-0813
Hawaii's largest coffee estate growing 100% arabica on over 3,000 drip-irrigated acres. Near here, Hawaii's first coffee plantation was established over 150 years ago. The Visitor Center is situated in the midst of coffee trees and contains pictures and video explaining modern coffee production. Free admission.

MENEHUNE DITCH
Located in Waimea. Traveling west, cross the Waimea river bridge and turn right on Menehune Road (3rd road after bridge - at Big Save store). Go approx. 1-3/10 miles along Menehune Road to the Ditch.
(West Side)
Remnant of ditch lined with cut and fitted stone that diverted irrigation water from upper Waimea Stream to the taro fields in the lower valley. This site is said to have been built by the "menehune", a legendary people known for their engineering feats.

NUALOLO KAI
Located in Na Pali Coast State Park - remote location - access only by permitted boat tours
(West Side)
An interpretive trail with brochure takes you through an archaeological complex of walled enclosures, house platforms, and heiau. This heiau is the most impressive along the Na Pali Coast. It consists of walled terraces, paved platforms, and a spring. This may have been an agricultural heiau where ceremonies were conducted to insure a good growing season.

RUSSIAN FORT ELIZABETH STATE HISTORIC PARK
Located on the east bank of the Waimea rivermouth off Kaumualii Highway (Hwy 50) in Waimea.
(West Side)
The star-shaped fort is a reminder of Russia's short-lived adventure (1815-1817) in the Hawaiian Islands. An earthen berm covered with a stacked boulder wall is a unique mix of European and Hawaiian construction styles. Interpretive signboard with brochure for a self-guided walk. Site offers commanding views of Waimea Bay, Waimea River, and Cook's Landing. (See also Russian Fort Alexander in Princeville.)

SALT POND COUNTY BEACH PARK
Located west of Hanapepe in the lee of Puolo Point, adjacent to Port Allen Airport. From Kaumualii Highway (Route 50), take Waialo Road (Route 54) to the park.
(West Side)
Adjacent to the only functioning Salt Ponds in the Hawaiian Islands - where the ancient Hawaiian process of producing rock salt by evaporating seawater is still practiced. Swimming conditions are normally safe except during periods of high surf. Good snorkeling area and a popular surfing and windsurfing site. Lifeguard services are provided by the County.

WAIMEA SUGAR MUSEUM
(Located adjacent to Waimea Plantation Cottages)
9400 Kaumualii Highway
Waimea, HI 96796
(West Side)
Tel. (808) 337-1005 for information and reservations (required).
Authentic historic sugar mill camp and ruins of the Waimea Sugar Mill. Discover how people from many countries came to live in Hawaii and how the plantations provided for them. The camp dates from about 1900. Access is through the Plantation Lifestyles Tour that is offered several times each week. Please call the museum for current information on dates and times of tours. Tour starts in the lobby of Waimea Plantation Cottages. Reservations are required.

WAIMEA UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
(Formerly known as the Waimea Foreign Church)
4548 Old Road
Waimea, HI 96796
(West Side)
Tel. (808) 338-9962
A coral church completed in the 1850's. Called the "Foreign" Church because the services were held in English for any nationality.


HISTORICAL TOURS

KAUAI SEA TOURS
4310 Waialo Road
Eleele, HI 96705
(West Side)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 51004, Eleele, HI 96705
Tel. (808) 826-PALI or 1-800-733-7997
Fax: (808) 335-5180
Email: seatour@aloha.net
One of the oldest and most experienced Kauai charter companies offers tours of the Na Pali Coast - where others cannot go! Your choice of a 60-ft. power catamaran or a 24-ft. rigid hull inflatable raft. Have pure unadulterated fun while respecting the environment. Voted #1 "Best of Kauai" Best Boat Tours by the Garden Island News Readers Survey 2004 & 2005!! Photo

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