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“Do not miss it, if you love Hawaii history” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kauai Museum

Kauai Museum
Ranked #7 of 56 things to do in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A natural history museum in Kaua'i.
United States
Level Contributor
97 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“Do not miss it, if you love Hawaii history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

We live in Italy, but we love Hawai’i Islands very much and mainly their history and traditions.
We knew about the Museum, while still in Italy, through its interesting newsletter ; and , participating to the weekly contest they held , we were lucky enough to win a copy of “Hobey”, the wonderful biography by Hobey Goodale : thus , well in advance to our trip , we could learn about the many changes which took place in Kauai over the last decades , from long gone-sugar plantations to tourism and recent problems of the island.

We visited the Museum on one of those days when a guided tour is held : our docent, Roy Miyake, was very knowledgeable and friendly. He guided us through a couple of hours - trip along Hawai’i history – and ( after the tour was over) we stopped to “chat” with him some more time with great pleasure – learning new facts and a deep perspective into the Island life .

The Museum consists of 2 buildings - one is the historic Lihu'e Library (built in the 1920's) and the other is a 2-story building , which you can you reach through a small courtyard between the 2 buildings.

The historic wing of the Museum hosts several exhibition as well as having exhibits about various aspects of ancient life in Kaua'i. There is also a Gift Shop that has a very good selection of local artifacts.

The other building is about the history of Kaua'I : there are a video presentation with an overview on Kaua'i and various exhibits about the Polynesians voyaging to the Hawaiian Islands, Captain Cook's arrival, the Missionary period and the Plantation days.
Everything was very interesting and very well explained by our tour guide ; I suppose the guided tour is much more better than a simple visit by yourself .

We were also very glad we could meet Lyah, the lovely lady who is managing the Museum “contest” , with whom we had several chats before arriving to Kauai ; it was with great pleasure that we could also meet Hobey himself, who was at the Museum that day - signing his book.

If you love Hawai’i and wish to learn more about its fascinating history , the Kauai Museum is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Visited August 2012
Thank LauraDiItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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356 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Small local museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

It was raining and cold outside so we spent a few hours in the museum. The ladies at the front were lovely and very friendly. I think a lot of love was put into this little museum and the displays were quaint. We watched the 45 minute video which was very interesting and one of our group bought one to take home. I especially liked the side mountain view wooden relief of the islands - very old fashioned but effective. Great local effort for a small island.

Thank girlfromtherock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Just another small local meuseum”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

Some folks like these heterogeneous, object filled museums but I guess I am not one of them. There was a pretty steep entrance fee and the objects were not well interpreted. The exhibits were separated into various cultures: Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese. Each with a case of exhibit objects that were derived from each. With that emphasis on material culture one might expect a story about acculturation in Hawaii. But the closest that the museum came to that was a single discussion of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. There is a 2nd building with a clear description of the geology of the island and a decent description of the first contact of Hawaiians and Captain Cook. Interestingly the written presentation was from the British and the Hawaiian perspective. The British saw it one way and the Hawaiians saw it another. We were in and out in 90 minutes including time in the store and sitting outside on a bench to decide where to go next.

Visited December 2012
Thank joe g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level Contributor
369 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Tie this in with a trip to Hamura's”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

It is interesting and well done. It also does not take a lot of time to go through. My recommendation is to tie this in with a trip to Hamura's Saimin restaurant, both in downtown Lihue

Visited September 2012
Thank braidmacd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good history lesson”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012 via mobile

This was a great rainy day activity. It was a good history lesson and had many different exhibits. It was somewhat disorganized in some areas but the staff was super friendly and helpful.

Thank Ljbeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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