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Tip: This town is best known for hosting the annual Merrie Monarch Festival.

Princeville

By Coco Zickos

princeville

St. Regis Princeville pool. Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz via flickr.

Princeville is a picturesque location with cliffside views overlooking the Pacific. This Kauai North Shore community is not just a place for timeshares and condos; there are many hidden gems in this town.

A Little Bit of Princeville History

It started off as a sugar plantation. Prince Albert Kamehameha,son of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma visited the plantation in 1860, and Princeville was named in honor of the prince. Princeville later became a cattle ranch. Today it is a resort community with much to discover.

Sunsets and Beaches

princeville

Photo courtesy of Hawaii.com member Alena Nicholas.

This quaint town is an excellent location for sunset viewing. One of our Best Kauai Hotels, The St. Regis Princeville Resort, at the end of Ka Haku Road, has a bar with an outdoor seating area that gives an impeccable view of Makana Mountain (also known as Bali Hai) and overlooks the ocean in a way that is beyond comparison. The hotel, which requires valet parking, even celebrates each sunset with a champagne-sabering ritual (popping off the cork with a knife) and toast.

View of the beach from St. Regis Princeville.  Photo courtesy of sdluvingit via flickr.

View of the beach from St. Regis Princeville. Photo courtesy of sdluvingit via flickr.

Maybe you’d like to take a dip in the ocean or lay beachside for a spell while you’re in Princeville. If so, Puʻu Poa Beach, accessible via the St. Regis Princeville Resort or the Hanalei Bay Resort, is the way to go. Although small, it is a great place to unwind and is another terrific location for sunset viewing.

Shopping and Dining

princeville

Turtle, or honu, soap from Island Soap and Candle Works.

You’d probably just breeze by the Princeville Center without a second glance on your way to Hanalei if you didn’t know any better, but then you’d be missing out on local keepsakes and food that hit the spot in more ways than one. There are several businesses in this mall that sell one-of-a-kind items that make great gifts and souvenirs and are locally-made like Island Soap and Candle Works. If you’re hungry, there are plenty of dining options from grab-and-go’s like Frederico’s FreshMex Cuisine to upscale dining at CJ’s Steak and Seafood, as well as sweet treats like Lappert’s Hawaiʻi Ice Cream and Coffee.

Exploring Princeville

View of Namolokama Mountain.  Photo courtesy of Josh Friedman via flickr.

View of Namolokama Mountain. Photo courtesy of Josh Friedman via flickr.

After filling up on these flavorful foods, consider taking a walk on the Princeville Path which starts at the mall and travels down Ka Haku Road, Princeville’s main corridor, about two miles to the end. The walk offers lovely views of Namolokama Mountain with its cascading waterfalls. Plus, you might see a native bird or two along the way like the Hawaiian goose (nene) or Laysan Albatross.

Golfing

princeville

Photo courtesy of Hawaii.com member Ronald Rinna.

Golfers, Princeville touts one of the best golf courses on the island. The Makai Golf Club has topped many golf course lists including most scenic. Besides being blown away by the views, the course, which is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr., design, presents a fun challenge for the novice or experienced golfer.

Other Activities

Other activities offered in the resort areas include shopping, spa services, tennis, swimming, biking, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, whale watching, deep-sea fishing and helicopter tours.

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