You Are At: AllSands Home > Travel > Places > Sights and beaches you don't want to miss in Koloa, Hawaii
The tropical paradise of Kaua'i sits amidst the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, about 20 minutes from Honolulu by plane. Formed some six million years ago, and encompassing about 550 miles, it is the oldest and most northerly of the main Hawaiian Islands. A visit to Kaua'i can easily immerse you in the quiet majesty of the island's lush tropical setting and extraordinary natural heritage.

The island’s most developed area is in the area called South Shore, the heart of which is Poipu and Koloa. Though Poipu is the larger, more popular tourist area, Koloa is worth a side trip if you’re in the area.

Tree Tunnel
Hwy 520, the Maluhia Rd, is the route to get to Poipu and Koloa on Kauai's east side. Visitors can drive through the Tree Tunnel which was planted with swamp mahogany and eucalyptus. They grew and formed a tunnel over the road. Hurricane Iniki in 1992 damaged the "roof" of the tunnel and many of the trees do not intermesh at the top, but they are growing back. The mature trees stretch for more than a mile along this route.

Koloa Sugar Plantation
The town of Koloa is the site of the island's first sugar mill built in 1835, and is considered the birthplace of the Hawaiian sugar industry. An old smokestack still stands next to ruins of the old mill. A sculpture of the ethnic groups that worked in the sugar industry is next to the site also. The old buildings have been restored to house
boutiques and restaurants as the tourism buisness replaces agriculture.

Prince Kuhio’s Birthplace
There is a small park 2.5 miles southwest of Koloa marking the birthplace of Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole in 1871. He was born of royal parentage and decreed a prince the same year he was born. He is remembered for his work to benefit the Hawaiian people and became famous as a Republican delegate to Congress from 1902-1922.

St. Raphael’s Catholic Church
This is the first Roman Catholic mission permitted in the islands. It was founded in 1841 and the stone church was built in 1856.

Old Koloa Town
Past meets present in Old Koloa Town where there are over 20 shops and restaurants located in carefully restored buildings. A drive through the Tree Tunnel takes you to galleries, activities, restaurants, snack shops, gift and clothing stores. Established in 1835, Koloa was
Hawaii's first productive sugar plantation and Koloa Town became the commercial and social hub of the island. Many of the restored buildings date from the plantation era.

A trip to Koloa is a history lesson of the island.