Charming and cool at the same time, the Kilohana Plantation was first established as a sugar cane farm near the town of Lihue, Kauai, in 1935. While sugar cane is no longer grown there, the 16,000-square-foot plantation is still a working farm—and a popular tourist spot offering several hours worth of fun.
Start with a ride on the vintage 1939 diesel train, which will take you on a 40-minute tour through the plantation to view exotic crops and vegetation—history lesson included.
Following the tour, visit the historic Manor House, where you’ll find boutiques carrying a variety of locally made items. Check out the surrounding smaller buildings featuring everything from an art gallery and pottery classes, to a beauty shop where you can stop in for a quick manicure. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Gaylord’s Restaurant (recent winner of OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award for top Outdoor Dining Restaurant in the United States), where seasonal produce grown on the estate is always featured on the menu.
If you’re in the mood for dinner and a show, plan to attend the plantation’s Luau Kalamaku, a splashy theatrical production with five stages and a cast of 27 performers. Held every Tuesday and Friday, the luau also provides a US$10 shuttle service from most major hotels on the island.
Three Hawaiian Road Trips to Take
On your next Hawaiian island getaway, rent a car and explore the sites nearby. Drive Chain of Craters Road through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, stop at Waimea Canyon along Kokee Road on Kauai or see the beautiful beaches of the North Shore on Oahu.