While small on the outside, the Kauai Museum has a large collection inside showcasing the rich history of Kauai and Ni`ihau. Pictured here is the museum’s first collection of artifacts donated in 1938 from the Lawai Kai home of Alexander McBryde. His estate later became known as the famous McBryde and Allerton Garden near Poipu Beach. During a two hour museum visit, our Kauai vacation rental guests can walk through Kauai history from its immigrant and indigenous ancestry including the monarchy period, plantation era and present day life.
Throughout the year there are themed exhibits to view and many popular Kauai activities to choose from. Some include the annual Lei Day Celebration the first Saturday of May, and the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in Hawaii at the December craft fair. Every Saturday popular entertainer Larry Rivera performs at 1pm. He will talk story about his days at the Coco Palms Hotel and entertain you with Hawaiian music. Throughout the year the Kauai Museum also hosts special benefit concerts with musical artists like Robert Cazimero.
Not to be missed is the newly expanded gift shop. When it comes to Kauai shopping, this is one of the best selections you will find of Ni`ihau Shell leis. Other choices include quality crafts, wooden bowls, reference books, cards and t-shirts. All proceeds support the museum and will make a nice souvenir of your Kauai vacation.
Trivia Question: The Kauai Museum is housed in the Albert Spencer Wilcox Memorial Building, built in 1924, and the William Hyde Rice Building, constructed in 1960. A small courtyard connects the two. Which building was first used as the Kauai Museum?
Answer: You’re correct if you picked the more contemporary Rice Building. The historic Wilcox building, which is on the National Historic Register, was the Kauai Public Library from 1924 to 1969 before it became part of the museum. The land was purchased for $1.00 from the Lihue Plantation Company and Kauai Mokihana Club. Mrs. Albert Wilcox donated $75,000 to build and furnish the library in memory of her husband.
Budget Tips: Visit the Kauai Museum the first Saturday of every month and receive discounted admission. You can also ask for a complimentary museum pass with your paid admission if you’d like to return again the same week.
Guided Tours: For a more in depth look at the museum collection, a one hour docent led tour happens Tuesday through Friday at 10:30am.
Location and Hours: 4428 Rice Street in Lihue. Telephone 808.245.6931. Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
Admission: Adults $10.00; Students (13-17) $6.00; Children (6-12) $2.00, Five and under: Free.
Photo Credit: The Kauai Museum includes over 14,000 historical photos dating back to 1778.