Old Koloa Town, Kauai

Old Koloa Town

  • Name: Old Koloa Town
  • What: Charming town rooted in its plantation past
  • Where: About 20 minutes west from Lihue

Historic and picturesque, the Koloa district spans from Old Koloa Town to Kauai’s beautiful South Shore in Poipu. Koloa opened its first sugar mill in 1835 and set the precedent for commercial sugar production across the islands. The sugar era opened the door to a wave of immigrants that make up Hawaii’s multicultural population today.

The gateway to the Koloa/Poipu area is called the Tree Tunnel, a stretch of Maluhia Road lined with eucalyptus trees first planted a century ago. The Tree Tunnel still thrives and welcomes visitors today.

Old Koloa Town has retained much of its charm with shops now occupying the plantation buildings along Koloa Road. Stroll by old-fashioned storefronts and discover special local gifts. Stop by the Koloa History Center to learn about the town’s sweet heritage. Then cool down with an island-style Lappert’s ice cream cone under the shade of the large monkey pod trees. Lappert’s Ice Cream Store is a Kauai original and is still made fresh daily in nearby Hanapepe. Hawaii-inspired favorites include Heavenly Hana, Big Island Inspiration and Kauai Pie.

You can also explore the Koloa Heritage Trail, which covers 14 cultural, historical and geological sites from Old Koloa Town to Poipu. But to really experience all that this area has to offer go to the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration (July), an annual summer event that celebrates Kauai’s rich plantation past. Further south you’ll discover the resorts around beautiful Poipu Beach, a modern change from charming Old Koloa Town.