Lihue, Hawaii

Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated community, census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii, United States. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 6,455,[1] up from 5,694 at the 2000 census.

Lihue, Hawaii
Aerial view of Lihue
Aerial view of Lihue
Location in Kauai County and the state of Hawaii
Location in Kauai County and the state of Hawaii
Coordinates: 21°58′29″N 159°21′56″W / 21.97472°N 159.36556°WCoordinates: 21°58′29″N 159°21′56″W / 21.97472°N 159.36556°W
CountryUnited States
 • Total7.5 sq mi (19.3 km2)
 • Land6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 • Water0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
220 ft (67 m)
 • Total6,455
 • Density968/sq mi (373.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−10 (Hawaii-Aleutian)
ZIP code
Area code(s)808
FIPS code15-45200
GNIS feature ID0361837


In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language.[2][3] Lihue is in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and the land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.[4] Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea;[5] he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.

With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.[6]

Subsequent plantation owner Paul Isenberg helped German people emigrate to Lihue starting in 1881, with the first Lutheran church in Hawaii founded in 1883.[7] Services were held in German well into the 1960s. By the 1930s, George Norton Wilcox became one of the largest sugarcane plantation owners, buying Grove Farm from Hermann A. Widemann.[8] The Wilcox family home, Kilohana, has been converted into a restaurant and gift shop. The surrounding plantation now grows crops and livestock. A narrow-gauge tourist railroad with vintage diesel locomotives from Whitworth and General Electric offers tours of the plantation; horse-drawn carriage tours are offered as well. The grounds are also the site of luaus, many of which are offshore excursions booked through NCL America. Lihue also houses the Kauai Museum, which details the history of Kauai.[9]

Geography and climate

NASA 1929 2012 Lihue, Kauai
Air thermography, 1929 to 2012

Lihue sits on the eastern side of the island of Kauai and is bordered by Hanamaulu to the north and Puhi to the west. Its shorefront on the Kauai Channel of the Pacific Ocean extends from Hanamaulu Bay in the north to the larger Nawiliwili Bay to the south. Hawaii Route 50 leads west from Lihue 12 miles (19 km) to Kalaheo and beyond to the western side of the island, while Hawaii Route 56 leads north 7 miles (11 km) to Kapaa and onwards to the northern side of the island.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Lihue CDP has a total area of 50 square kilometres (19.3 sq mi), of which 6.7 square miles (17.3 km2) are land and 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), or 10.42%, are water.[1]

Lihue has a tropical wet and dry climate zone (Köppen classification As) with a relatively dry summer season.[10] The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) in February to 79.7 °F (26.5 °C) in August. On average, there are 7.7 nights annually with a low below 60 °F (16 °C), and readings of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher are quite rare, occurring on average once every eight years. Temperature records range from 46 °F (8 °C) on January 14, 1930 up to only 91 °F (33 °C) as recently as September 4–8, 2019. The record cool daily maximum is 67 °F (19 °C) as recently as December 19, 1981, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 81 °F (27 °C) as recently as September 7–9, 2019.[11]

Normal annual rainfall is 37.05 inches (941 mm) spread over an average 195 days, but observed annual rainfall has ranged from 16.40 to 74.40 inches (417 to 1,890 mm) in 1983 and 1982, respectively. The wettest month on record is March 2006 with 36.13 inches (918 mm), while the most rain to occur in a single calendar day is 15.81 inches (402 mm) on May 13, 1940. The record driest month is February 1983 with trace amounts.[11]


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 5,694 people, 2,178 households, and 1,420 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 898.3 people per square mile (346.6/km²). There were 2,399 housing units at an average density of 379.8 per square mile (146.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 22.8% White, 49.2% Asian, 0.2% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.4% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 20.5% from two or more races. 6.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,178 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $44,906, and the median income for a family was $56,875 in 2000. Males had a median income of $38,713 versus $28,032 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $22,619. 4.6% of the population and 1.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.4% of those under the age of 18 and 7.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Lihue is served by Lihue Airport, in the eastern part of the community.[15] The main seaport for Kauai is at Nawiliwili Bay, directly southeast of town. Lihue is also served by The Kauai Bus, a public bus system serving the entire island of Kauai.


The town is home to the county administration building; Kauai's largest shopping center, Kukui Grove Center, which houses the island's only big department store, Macy's; and several big-box stores including K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Costco. There are also several car dealerships, movie theaters and restaurants.


Lihue is home to Kauai Community College, part of the University of Hawaii system.

Lihue is also served by the Hawaii Department of Education. Two K-5 elementary schools — Wilcox Elementary School in Lihue, and Kaumualii Elementary School in downtown Hanamaulu, Hawaii — serve the area. All of the area is zoned to Kamakahelei Middle School and Kauai High School.

Island School, a private pre-kindergarten to 12 school, is also located in Lihue.


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Records are based on data under "Lihue Area"


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Lihue CDP, Hawaii". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Lihue ". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  3. ^ Lloyd J. Soehren (2010). "lookup of Lihue ". in Hawaiian Place Names. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  4. ^ Lloyd J. Soehren (2010). "lookup of Lihue ". in Hawaiian Place Names. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Daniel Harrington. "Līhuʻe". Hawaiian Encyclopedia. Mutual Publishing. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  6. ^ "Lihue Plantation Company History (Kauai)". Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association Plantation Archives. University of Hawaii at Mānoa Library. 2004. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  7. ^ "Our History & Heritage". official web page. Lihue Lutheran Church. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "History". Grove Farm web site. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  9. ^ "Kauaʻi Museum". official web site. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  10. ^ Kottek, M.; Grieser, J. R.; Beck, C.; Rudolf, B.; Rubel, F. (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130.
  11. ^ a b c "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  12. ^ "HI Lihue WSO AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  13. ^ "WMO climate normals for Lihue, Kauai, HI 1961−1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "Lihue CDP, Hawaii Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
Barbara Anne Davis

Barbara Anne Davis (October 9, 1930 – March 2, 2008) was an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.Davis was a member of the Racine Belles and Rockford Peaches clubs during the 1949 season. She played in the Chicago Girls Baseball League for the North Town Co-Eds team before joining the AAGPBL. Davis is also credited for having won an ice skating medal in Chicago and a bowling tournament in Los Angeles.After baseball, Davis attended Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences (now California State University, Los Angeles), where she earned a degree, and later graduated in medical technology from Los Angeles County General Hospital. Following graduation, Davis worked as supervisor in the immunology department of LAC+USC Medical Center, retiring after 25 years of service.Afterwards, Davis moved to Lihue in Kauai County, Hawaii, where she directed educational travel tours programs for the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wild Life Refugee, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculptural Park. At the same time, Davis volunteered for the American Red Cross and was a docent at the Kauai Museum.The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League folded in 1954, but there is now a permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York since November 5, 1988 that honors those who were part of this experience. Barbara Anne Davis, along with the rest of the league's girls and staff, is included at the display/exhibit.Davis died in 2008 at her home of Lihue, Hawaii at the age of 77, following a long illness.

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released.

Dain Kane

Dain Kane (born June 6, 1962) is a politician from the state of Hawaii, United States. Kane was elected as a councilman in Maui County for four consecutive terms. He served as the Council chairman for two years and the Budget and Finance chairman.

David Kuraoka

David Kuraoka (born 1946) is an American ceramic artist. He was born in Lihue, Hawaii, grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii in Hanamaulu and Lihue, and graduated from Kauai High School in 1964. Kuraoka spent his formative years in Hanamaulu where he lived with his parents in his paternal grandmother's home in a plantation labor camp. His father, one of seven children and the only son, became a journalist, writing a weekly column published on Wednesdays, and the Kauai campaign manager for local politician Hiram Fong and Richard Nixon. His mother, Emiko Kuraoka, was a school teacher. He is married to Carol Kuraoka. Kuraoka moved to California in 1964 to study architecture at San Jose City College, eventually transferring to San José State University (San Jose, California) where he received his BA in 1970 and MA 1971. After completing graduate work that focused on ceramics, Kuraoka joined the faculty at San Francisco State University, eventually rising to head its ceramics department.At the age of 35 he was named a Living Treasures of Hawai'i.

Now retired as professor of art and head of the ceramics department of San Francisco State University, Kuraoka maintains studios in both San Francisco and Kauai, Hawaii.David Kuraoka said in an artist's statement, "My work is abstract, and my style is simple, clean and crisp." He is best known for large ceramic pieces that are first thrown on a wheel, then further shaped by hand, burnished, covered with rock salt and copper carbonate, and fired in an open pit. He also makes more traditionally shaped ceramics with grayish-green celadon glaze and has begun having some of his organically shaped ceramic pieces cast in bronze, which are patinated to resemble his ceramics. Hanakapi'ai 3, in the collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum, is an example of his bronze sculptures. Kuraoka has also created wall murals.

Frank Sullivan (baseball)

Franklin Leal Sullivan (January 23, 1930 – January 19, 2016), was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Minnesota Twins over parts of eleven seasons, spanning 1953–1963. Sullivan was named to the American League (AL) All-Star team, in 1955 and 1956, and was elected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, in 2008.

Sullivan was one of the tallest pitchers of his time, standing 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall. After the 1960 season, the Red Sox traded him to the Phillies for another towering right-hander, 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)-tall Gene Conley. Coincidentally, Conley had been the winning pitcher and Sullivan the loser of the 1955 All-Star Game. A walk-off home run by Stan Musial on the first pitch from Sullivan in the bottom of the 12th inning brought the midsummer classic to an abrupt end. Sullivan had entered the game with two men out in the eighth and had held the National League (NL) scoreless for 3​1⁄3 innings prior to Musial’s clout.

In 1955, Sullivan topped the AL with 260 innings pitched and tied with Whitey Ford for the most wins (18). For his career, he posted a 97–100 win–loss record, with a 3.60 earned run average (ERA), in 351 pitching appearances. He dropped 18 of his 21 National League decisions as a member of the Phillies, but went 94–82 in the American League. Overall, Sullivan permitted 1,702 hits and 559 bases on balls in 1,732 MLB innings pitched. He struck out 959.

In September 2008, Sullivan published a memoir entitled, Life Is More Than 9 Innings.

He was one of the subjects of the 1957 Norman Rockwell painting The Rookie.Sullivan died in Lihue, Hawaii, from pneumonia on January 19, 2016 at the age of 85.

Grove Farm (Lihue, Hawaii)

Grove Farm is a historic agricultural site on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Lihue, Hawaii)

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lihue is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii in the United States. Located in Lihue on the island of Kauai, the church falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Honolulu and its bishop. It is named after the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church was built in 1924.


KFMN (FM97 at 96.9) is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Contemporary music format. Licensed to Lihue, Hawaii, United States, the station serves the Kauai area and parts of Oahu. The station is currently owned by FM 97 Associates and features programming from AP Radio. KFMN-FM1 in Waimea provides an on frequency simulcast of KFMN Lihue.Current on-air staff:

BB Choi

Ron Wood

Beau Acoba


KJMQ (98.1 FM "Jamz 98.1 ") is a radio station broadcasting a Rhythmic Contemporary format. Licensed to Lihue, Hawaii, United States, the station is owned by James Primm.


KQNG-FM (93.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a contemporary hit radio format. Licensed to Lihue, Hawaii, United States, the station serves the Kauai area. The station is currently owned by Pacific Media Group.

Ken Shutt

Ken Shutt (1928-April 2, 2010) was an American sculptor and watercolorist who was born in Long Beach, California. He graduated from Pasadena City College, the Art Center College of Design and the Chouinard Art Institute. He moved to Hawaii in 1963, and lived there until 1995. He returned to California in 1995, to be near his foundry, when he was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture for the entrance of Sea Life Park Hawaii. He died 2010, at age 81, in Atascadero, California.His best known paintings are watercolors of Hawaii's flora (see image). His sculptures often combine such diverse materials as resin, wood, terrazzo, bronze, and granite. The Honolulu Museum of Art and the Hawaii State Art Museum are among the public collections holding work by Ken Shutt. His sculptures in public places include:

A granite and bronze sculpture at the Kauai Performing Arts Center, Lihue, Hawaii.

Untitled 1976 sculpture, Leilehua High School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Waialua, 1976, Waialua High and Intermediate School, Waialua, Hawaii

Konohiki, 1980-1981, King Intermediate School, Kaneohe, Hawaii

Celebrating the Arts, 1999, Kauai Community College, Kauai, Hawaii

Heritage Growing, 1975, Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School, Laupahoehoe, Hawaii

Lanai Ohana, 1977, Lanai High and Elementary School, Lanai City, Hawaii

Kauai Ola, 1981, Kauai High School, Lihue, Hawaii

Hawaiian Porpoises, 1976, Honolulu Zoo, Honolulu, Hawaii

Family Structure, 1971, Kauikeaouli Hale (courthouse), Honolulu, Hawaii

Matrix, 1990, Hilo High School, Hilo, Hawaii

Four Valleys, 1978, Waianae High School, Waianae, Hawaii

Konohiki, 1973, Hawaii State Art Museum sculpture garden

Kirby Yates

Kirby Kali Yates (born March 25, 1987) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels, and New York Yankees.

Mary Bea Porter

Mary Bea Porter-King (born December 4, 1949) is an American professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour.

Porter was born in Everett, Washington. She attended Arizona State University, where she played four sports; golf, basketball, volleyball, and softball. She was inducted into the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.Porter turned professional in 1973 and joined the LPGA Tour after winning the qualifying school tournament in June 1973. She won once on the LPGA Tour in 1975.During a qualifying round for the 1988 Samaritan Turquoise Classic, Porter saved the life of a drowning boy at a home adjacent to the fairway.Porter-King moved to Hawaii in 1989 after her marriage and helped found the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association. She was inducted into the Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

Porter-King was awarded the 2011 PGA First Lady of Golf Award by the PGA of America.

Moriyama, Shiga

Moriyama (守山市, Moriyama-shi) is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on July 1, 1970.

As of October 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 80,768 and the density of 1,400 persons per km². The total area is 55.73 km².

Notable locations include Katsube Shrine, famous for its fire festival, and the Moriyama Firefly Museum, where they raise and release hundreds of fireflies every summer.

Its sister cities are: Adrian, Michigan, United States, and Kauai County, Lihue, Hawaii, United States

The only train station in the city is Moriyama station on the JR West line.

The Garden Island

The Garden Island is a daily newspaper based in Lihue, Hawaii, covering the islands of Kauai and Niihau. The Garden Island began publication in 1902. It was formerly owned by Scripps League Newspapers, which was acquired by Pulitzer in 1996; Lee Enterprises acquired Pulitzer in 2005. Oahu Publications Inc., publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, acquired The Garden Island newspaper from Lee Enterprises in January 2013.

United States Post Office (Lihue, Hawaii)

The U.S. Post Office-Lihue, also known as Lihue Post Office, in Lihue, Hawaii, was built in 1939. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.The Mission Revival style architecture of the building is an accommodation to local citizens who did not want the standard neo-classical design of many mainland U.S. post offices.

Val Okimoto

Val Okimoto is an American politician and member of the Hawaii House of Representatives. She represents District 36 and is a member of the Republican Party.

Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett

Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett (March 28, 1861 – December 10, 1929) was a Native Hawaiian suffragist who helped organize the National Women's Equal Suffrage Association of Hawaii, the first women's suffrage club in the Territory of Hawaii in 1912. She actively campaigned for the rights of the women of Hawaii to vote prior to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.

Zay Harding

Zavan Kerr "Zay" Harding (born November 1, 1974, Lihue, Hawaii) is an American television personality and actor, who may be best known as "Jeff Northcutt" on the MTV television serial, Spyder Games, and as a host of the adventure travel television series, Globe Trekker. He is also the host of Tough Trains, a travel series from the producers of Globe Trekker.

He graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a B.F.A. degree in 1997.

Climate data for Lihue Airport, Hawaii (1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1905–present)[b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 87
Mean maximum °F (°C) 82.7
Average high °F (°C) 78.0
Daily mean °F (°C) 71.7
Average low °F (°C) 65.5
Mean minimum °F (°C) 58.3
Record low °F (°C) 46
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.75
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 inch) 13.1 12.1 15.3 16.6 14.2 17.2 19.4 18.3 16.3 17.2 17.6 17.5 194.8
Average relative humidity (%) 76.1 75.4 75.3 75.2 74.9 73.5 73.9 74.0 74.1 76.2 76.8 76.5 75.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 176.2 181.7 206.5 202.8 243.6 248.3 257.9 263.3 242.1 207.7 161.4 160.7 2,552.2
Percent possible sunshine 52 57 55 53 60 61 62 66 66 58 48 48 58
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961−1990)[11][12][13]
 State of Hawaii
Main islands
Sovereignty Movement
Islands, municipalities, and communities of Kauai County, Hawaii, United States


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