Historic Kilauea town had its origins as a sugar plantation town and today retains much of its original character. Many of the residents are former sugarcane workers or descendants of, and this family-oriented town has a thriving local community.
Today the vibrant Kilauea town has boutique shopping, health food stores, a pharmacy, and a variety of places to eat from fine dining to pizza and even a fish market. A popular gathering place is Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza where you can enjoy lunch in the courtyard near Kong Lung Store, Island Soap & Candle Works, and other gift shops.
To purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables directly from farmers visit one of Kilauea’s two weekly Farmers Markets. They are held every Thursday at 4:30 pm at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center on Keneke Rd., and every Saturday at 11:30 am next to the Post Office on Keneke Rd.
A short drive down the road from Kilauea town brings you to the historic Kilauea Point Lighthouse which is set on a peninsula bluff with panoramic views of the north shore coastline. The Lighthouse is also part of a national wildlife refuge and home to many nesting seabirds. During the winter months, the Lighthouse bluff is a great place for spotting humpback whales as they pass around Kauai’s northernmost point.
Close by is Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens where you can tour the many themed gardens and see more than 70 impressive bronze statues. Kids love the full-size hedge Poinciana Maze made from 2,400 mock orange bushes and culminating with an orange-flowered Royal Poinciana.
Bordering Kilauea is Kauapea, or Secret Beach, one of Kauai’s most scenic beaches and also a favorite resting spot for spinner dolphins. Another popular beach just south of Kilauea Town is Kahili, commonly known as Rock Quarry Beach. Set in a relatively protected cove this is a fun beach for surfing as well as swimming except during times of high surf.
One of the better ways to find your way around Kauai is by noting mile markers. Kilauea is shortly after mile marker 23. Take a right turn on Kolo road, right after the gas station, and then take a quick left on Kilauea Rd. About a half-mile down the road you will find the commercial center of Kilauea, which consists of only a few shops, restaurants, a post office, and other businesses. Follow Kilauea Rd all the way to the end and you will find yourself at the Kilauea Lighthouse and National Wildlife Refuge.