Posted October 2, 2009 by Kate Hamman
Located on the western side of the small island of Kauai, Waimea is rumored to be the spot where European explorer Captain James Cook first set foot in 1778. It's somewhat ironic then that the town which led to the colonization of the Hawaiian islands remains fairly untouched by tourism. Today, those in the know come to explore its canyon, or enjoy the tropical breezes, but this small town also has a sugary sweet side.
Waimea Plantation Cottages: Instead of staying in a cookie-cutter resort, come relax in the coconut grove at Waimea Plantation Cottages. Originally housing for sugar company employees in the early 1900s, these authentic oceanside plantation homes give people from all over the world a personal hideaway in paradise. Unique in size and decoration, each cottage maintains its historical roots with period-inspired furniture. Cottages start at about $164 per night, but some can fit a large group or family.
Waimea Brewing Company: As the westernmost pub in the world, the Waimea Brewery serves freshly brewed ales and lagers to happy patrons sitting outside under the coconut trees. With a selection of island-themed brews such as the Luau Lager, Waimea Bay Pale Ale, and Captain Cook's Original IPA, guests can enjoy local libations in an idyllic setting. Menu items range from burgers and hot wings to innovative seafood dishes like the macadamia- and coconut-crusted Ono.
Kauai Plantation Railway: For the sweetest tour around, pay a visit to the Kauai Plantation Railway. Tours begin with an "all aboard," as passengers take a seat in the "King Kalakaua-style" wooden cars (modeled after cars built during the King's reign). From the depot, the authentic narrow-gauge trains take visitors on a 40-minute journey into the past. The tour covers 70 acres of sugar cane, coffee, pineapple, banana, and tropical flower fields. During the trip, tour guides discuss the history behind traditional farming methods and what the future may hold for these techniques. Following the ride, guests then tour a farmer's market, where they can purchase products grown on the plantation. Located near Lihue, the Railway is about a 45-minute drive from Waimea.
To search for flights and compare prices to Lihue, which is home to Waimea’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.(Photo: ResortQuest Hawaii)
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