In the picturesque district of Kōloa, situated on Kauaʻi's stunning South Shore, lies a historic treasure that transports visitors to a bygone era. Established in 1835, Kōloa opened its first sugar mill, marking the beginning of commercial sugar production that would shape the destiny of the Hawaiian Islands. This pivotal moment ushered in an influx of immigrants, whose cultural diversity continues to define the vibrant population of Hawaiʻi.
To enter the enchanting realm of Kōloa and Poʻipū, visitors pass through the iconic Tree Tunnel - a captivating stretch of Maluhia Road adorned with towering eucalyptus trees planted over a century ago. These majestic sentinels still thrive, creating a captivating welcome for all who traverse this scenic pathway.
Old Kōloa Town, with its well-preserved charm, invites exploration as it showcases shops nestled within historic plantation buildings along Kōloa Road. Meandering through the streets, visitors are transported back in time, surrounded by old-fashioned storefronts and a treasure trove of local delights. A visit to the Kōloa History Center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., unveils the sweet heritage of the town. Here you will discover the captivating story of the sugar era and its lasting impact, and then treat yourself to a cool island-style Lappert's ice cream cone under the shade of the sprawling monkey pod trees. Lappert's Ice Cream Store, an authentic Kauaʻi original, continues to delight with its freshly made daily creations in nearby Hanapēpē. We recommend indulging in flavors inspired by the islands, such as Heavenly Hāna, Big Island Inspiration, and Kauaʻi Pie.
For those seeking a deeper connection to the area's history, the Kōloa Heritage Trail is a must-explore adventure. Discover the stories of the land and its people as you traverse this remarkable trail encompassing 14 culturally significant, historically rich, and geologically captivating sites that stretch from Old Kōloa Town to Poʻipū.
To truly immerse yourself in the spirit of Kōloa and its remarkable past, plan your visit during the Kōloa Plantation Days Celebration, held annually in July. This lively summer event pays homage to Kauaʻi's plantation heritage, offering a firsthand experience of the rich traditions and cultural tapestry that shaped the region.
Continuing south, the landscape unfolds to reveal modern resorts that dot the stunning shores of Poʻipū Beach. While these luxurious accommodations offer a contrasting experience to the quaint allure of Old Kōloa Town, they provide a gateway to the natural beauty and recreational opportunities that abound in this idyllic coastal haven.
As you venture through the Kōloa district, the fusion of history and natural wonders, together with contemporary indulgence, creates an alluring tapestry of experiences. The timeless charm of Old Kōloa Town, where the past whispers in every street, and the captivating beauty of South Shore's Poʻipū Beach are both unique and irresistible, making this region a truly unforgettable destination.