3 Top Reasons to Visit Kauai’s Old Koloa Town

Sugarmill in Old Koloa Town
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > 3 Top Reasons to Visit Kauai’s Old Koloa Town

At the turn of the 20th century, Hawaii was dotted with several sugar mills and plantations. The sugar industry drove the territory’s economic engine and social hierarchy. And it all started in one place: Old Koloa Town on Kauai. 

It’s the site of Hawaii’s first successful sugar mill, something locals talk about with pride, and tourists discover when visiting this charming little town near Poipu.

During our last trip to Kauai, our side trip to Koloa Town was essentially a way to buy some time before our rental home opened up. But, I think fate was sending us here anyway — we so enjoyed getting to know this historic place!

Ahead are three things not to miss when visiting Old Koloa Town on Kauai.

Koloa Heritage Trail

If you want to see the full history of Koloa, embark on the Koloa Heritage Trail. This 10-mile journey will take you through prehistoric ages, pre-contact Hawaii, the sugar era, and modern Old Town Koloa. 

You can walk, drive, or bike along the trail to see some of its great sites. Our favorite stops include the Sugar Monument, Spouting Horn Park, and Pāʻū A Laka (Moir Gardens). Even Poipu Beach Park is included on the trail, so you can end your sightseeing with a refreshing dip in the ocean. 

Shopping in Old Koloa Town

I was heartened to see so many shops thriving in this tiny little town — it means commerce is alive and well here. Check out Brianne & Co, Kauai Gourmet Nuts, and Aloha from Koloa for lovely and unique souvenirs to take home. 

There are also art galleries and business offices, all set inside beautiful historical buildings. 

Ice Cream (and Other Restaurants)

I could swear we’ve tried about every ice cream/shave ice store in Hawaii, so I feel I’m a bit of an expert here. And I have to admit we LOVED the Koloa Mill Ice Cream and Coffee Shop on the main drag. 

Little ones can spot an ice cream store a mile away, and it didn’t take them long to hone in on this one! Also, check out Koloa Pizza Kitchen + Bar and Kenji Burger for more hearty eats in Old Koloa Town.

Stopping By Old Koloa Town

Koloa may not be a five-hour stop during your Kauai vacation. But it’s the perfect detour before or after a day of horseback riding, ATV riding, or hiking. So, bring your hungry stomach and your wallet — and enjoy a little bit of shopping, eating, and learning in Old Koloa Town on Kauai.