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“Train, nature walk, lunch, orchard eco-adventure”

Kilohana Plantation Estate
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and up
Luau Kalamaku and Buffet Dinner
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Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner's Dinner and Champagne Reception
Ranked #6 of 55 things to do in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built in the 1930's, Kilohana Plantation is a historic landmark and premier visitor attraction offering visitors and locals a glimpse into Kauai's past combined with assorted island-style activities, dining and shopping. Ride on our Kauai Plantation Railway, winding its way through the plantation's working farms and orchards. Learn about Kauai's history, enjoy the beautiful views and stop to feed the pigs! Take the afternoon to stroll the grounds and explore the 16,000 sq. foot plantation home. Stop in at Koloa Rum Co. for a rum tasting or for a full "Rum & Dining Experience." Visit the various artisan shops located around the grounds and both upstairs and downstairs in the home. Established in 1986, Gaylord's restaurant is a Kauai tradition. Set in the courtyard of the estate, it offers fresh, island-inspired food and beverages for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Make lunch a part of your fun afternoon on the estate or make reservations for a romantic dinner. Memorable by day, unforgettable by night. Or check out Happy Hour in the new Mahiko Lounge. Luau Kalamaku is Kauai's only theatrical luau telling the story of the original Tahitian voyage to the Hawaiian islands. An interactive experience, it offers all the exciting luau features including an imu ceremony, torch lighting, Polynesian knife dance and of course traditional music & hula. Choose one or all of the features that Kilohana Plantation has to offer. Open daily, you'll love the chance to see a piece of Kauai's history while experiencing the best of the island today!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 8 May 2014

We took the nature walk and orchard eco-adventure as well as the train ride. This combo got away from the most touristy parts of the estate, such as the shops and rum-tasting, and gave a much more personal picture of the area. The entire visit took nearly 4 hours, and included, in addition to the 40 minute train ride, a long hike into the rain forest, lunch, and a walking tour of the orchards, where we were able to pick and eat fruit right off the trees. The hike was led by a very well-informed and interesting guide, and was not too strenuous, although a 3 year old in our group needed to be carried most of the time. The lunch (salad or turkey wrap) was good, but not exceptional. Picking and eating a number of different fruits in the orchard was a real treat for everyone. Not an inexpensive tour, but well worth the price.

Thank Beth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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448 - 452 of 658 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2014

Would recommend this place. : ) The Luau was fabulous, one of the best I have ever seen. Food was good. Ate at Gaylord's on a different night. Excellent food & service.

1  Thank Linnea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014 via mobile

I have never been to a LuAu but my friend had and she agreed with me. Food great fish wonderful pork so moist and tasty. Not a big fan of mac and potato salad. Desert to die for. Now the entertainment fabulous fabulous. If i were to come again i would definetly come here and recommend.

Thank agrami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We did the whole shooting match here. We arrived wit enough time before the train tour to eat on Gaylord's, the on-site restaurant (I rated 5 *s), took the train tour around the property, stayed for the run tasting (Koloa Rums, exceptional), and let our youngest traveler spend some time running the grounds and working off some steam. We will definitely be back, although I would skip the train tour if you have no kids or a devoted interest to watching fruit trees fly past you. The kids enjoyed getting to feed some local pigs, goats, and chickens, and ride on the open air train, but it had no real adult interest for us. It did, however, give us a chance to spend about 4 hours of relatively complaint-free time with a very opinionated and precocious young traveler.

Thank Jamie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

NOTE: I am rating this "Excellent" for what is is. A true tourist joint, but with emphasis on the local--and just enough of a twist to keep one engaged. A great event for a rainy day.

We went to the Kilohana Plantation on a drizzly day in March. It was our first time in Kauai, but we were with a friend who travels there frequently. She kept mentioning the "cheesy train ride"--but it clearly left an impression on her. When we asked about the "Cook Pines" she was knowledgeable, and had learned about it on the train ride. At the Farmer's Market, we purchased rambutan and longan (delicious fruits similar to lychee)--because she had seen the trees on the train ride and both were now in season. So we had to go.

The Kaui Plantation Railway:

For adults without children, once is likely enough for the train ride. It is a reasonably brief (40 minutes) and informative ride on a full size train with open cars that runs through the Plantation's farm and orchards, where a wide variety of produce, fruits and native wood are grown by local farmers. I even saw a Malie Farm, which I presume is the source of some of the flowers that the Malie uses in its high end--and wonderful--organic spa products. (The Malie Boutique in the Poipu area is definitely destination shopping!) For railway buffs, the train uses renovated pre WW II Baldwin steam engined locomotives. The loop is 3 miles. There is a stop so that the kids can feed the feral pigs--which the kids loved and which actually was surprisingly fun to watch. The local boys and girls club was on our tour, and the conductor wisely directed them to their own separate car (good call!).

Koloa Rum Tasting

This is worth doing. Just remember to bring your identification, as no matter what your age they will check. We sampled 4 different rums, with the opportunity to create a "mai tai" with Koloa's mix. The rums were excellent; the mix not so much. I later had a scratch Mai Tai made with Koloa rum in the Mahiko Lounge, which was exceptional.

WIlcox House

This 16,000 square foot mansion built by sugar plantation owner Gaylord Wilcox in the 30's is a gem. It has been well restored and is filled with period furniture, pictures, etc. A nice place for a drink (Mahiko Louge is special) or a meal (my best meal in the Lihue area was at Gaylords) or just to soak in the ambience. It is also a great place to escape the rain.

There are various stores located in the old house that are worth wandering through--with potential gifts/souvenirs ranging from Ni'ihau necklaces to Kukui Nut jewelry and local soaps and candles. They also have a women's clothing store, art gallery, etc. We didn't buy anything, but found it a nice place to escape when the rain got heavy.

4  Thank LossForAName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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