Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns

Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Lihue adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Photograph by Carrie Johnson, My Shot

Pop. 5,674
GPS: 21°58N; 159°20W

Lihue (lee-hoo-ay), an old sugar-mill town on the island of Kauai, has a prime location between heavenly Kalapaki Beach—perpetually ranked as one of the world’s finest stretches of white sand—soaring mountains, and the 3,000-foot-deep, jungle-fringed Waimea Canyon.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Lihue adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

The protected waters of Kalapaki Beach are ideal for swimming and bodysurfing (free and open to the public). Or sign on with Outfitters Kauai and kayak Hawaii's largest tropical river, deep into the rain forest of central Kauai, to 100-foot Wailua Waterfall (

For breakfast, Tip Top Motel Café & Bakery combines Macadamia nuts—a Hawaiian staple—with their banana pancakes (808-245-2333). Mark’s Place, tucked away on Haleukana Street, serves up enormous portions of Hawaiian-style beef stew and chicken katsu (808-245-2522).

The modest, family-run Garden Island Inn is just across the street from Kalapaki Beach (doubles from $99;

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