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Kīlauea Lighthouse

Enjoy stunning coastal views and wildlife spotting at this iconic landmark that has guided ships along the island’s treacherous coast for over a hundred years.

At the northernmost tip of Kaua’i Island sits the historic Kīlauea Lighthouse. Built in 1913 as a beacon for passing ships, the lighthouse is now one of Kauai’s most popular attractions where you can spot local wildlife and enjoy picturesque ocean views.

The Kīlauea Lighthouse is a distinctive white 52-foot (16-meter) structure perched on Kauai’s northern peninsula. In the first half of the 20th century, it guided ships from the Orient along the island’s dangerous coastline. Its light was visible for 90 miles (145 kilometers) in all directions. Deactivated by the Coast Guard in 1976, it was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Although the light has been replaced with an automatic beacon, you can still see the unique double flash that has been the lighthouse’s signature since its creation.

The lighthouse is located in the middle of the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1985 to conserve seabird nesting colonies. Take a self-guided walking tour through the refuge and keep watch for the many bird species that call the area home, such as red-footed boobies, albatrosses and frigates. Learn about the history of the area and the local wildlife from the information plaques located throughout the peninsula.

Above the refuge looms Crater Hill, part of an extinct volcano. Hike up this hill for spectacular views of the north shore coast and Moku’ae’ae Islet just offshore. Scan the waters for Hawaiian monk seals and spinner dolphins. From December through May, you can even spot humpback whales. 

Browse the on-site bookshop and gift store run by the Kīlauea Point Natural History Association. Purchase souvenirs and learn more about local ecosystems.

The lighthouse is a 45-minute drive north of Lihue. There is a small admission fee, but children can enter free. Park in the paved lot near the visitor center and then take the short walk to the lighthouse. Kilauea Lighthouse is open daily during daylight hours. 

Make the most of your visit to Kilauea Lighthouse. Here's a list of some of the best things to do:

Your next epic adventure is waiting for you! You might want to try out a Best of Northeast Kauai Sightseeing Tour & Riverboat Ride or an Ultimate North Shore Private Tour.

If you're chasing even more options, take a look at our Princeville things to do page.


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Best Lodging Options Near Kilauea Lighthouse

See all 1,166 Properties near Kilauea Lighthouse
Heaven Resort
Heaven Resort

Heaven Resort

2445 Makanano Place, Kilauea, HI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated by the ocean, this vacation home is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Kilauea Lighthouse and within 9 mi (15 km) of Princeville Golf Course and Princeville Center. Hanalei Beach Park and Maniniholo Dry Cave are also within 16 mi (25 km).

    Luxury Ocean Front Cottage
    Luxury Ocean Front Cottage

    Luxury Ocean Front Cottage

    Kilauea, HI
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the waterfront, this resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kilauea Lighthouse and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Kauai Mini Golf and Secret Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Luxury Oceanfront Cottage - Spa\jacuzzi
      Luxury Oceanfront Cottage - Spa\jacuzzi

      Luxury Oceanfront Cottage - Spa\jacuzzi

      Kilauea, HI
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated by the ocean, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kilauea Lighthouse and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Kauai Mini Golf and Secret Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        AS Seen ON TV- Rated #1 Northshore Rental/retreat With the 'wow' Factor
        AS Seen ON TV- Rated #1 Northshore Rental/retreat With the 'wow' Factor

        AS Seen ON TV- Rated #1 Northshore Rental/retreat With the 'wow' Factor

        Kilauea, HI
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated by the ocean, this historic vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Kauai Mini Golf, Secret Beach, and Ka Lae o Kowali. Kalihiwai Beach and Kilauea Lighthouse are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Air-conditioned Hawaiian Plantation Home With Breathtaking Ocean Views
          Air-conditioned Hawaiian Plantation Home With Breathtaking Ocean Views

          Air-conditioned Hawaiian Plantation Home With Breathtaking Ocean Views

          Kilauea, HI
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated on the waterfront, this romantic vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Ka Lae o Kowali and Kalihiwai Beach. Kauai Mini Golf and Secret Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Private Handcrafted Cottage, Walk to Secluded Beach, Hot Tub, Tandem Kayak, Wifi $249
            Private Handcrafted Cottage, Walk to Secluded Beach, Hot Tub, Tandem Kayak, Wifi

            Private Handcrafted Cottage, Walk to Secluded Beach, Hot Tub, Tandem Kayak, Wifi

            Kilauea, HI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this romantic cottage is within 1 mi (2 km) of Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Rock Quarry Beach. Waiakalua Beach and Pila'a Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              North Shore Home With Ocean Views!
              North Shore Home With Ocean Views!

              North Shore Home With Ocean Views!

              Kilauea, HI
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Kilauea, this vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Kauai Mini Golf, Secret Beach, and Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. Ka Lae o Kowali and Kalihiwai Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                A Watermans Paradise! Newly Renovated Bungalow. Kayak/sup Tvnc-4238
                A Watermans Paradise! Newly Renovated Bungalow. Kayak/sup Tvnc-4238

                A Watermans Paradise! Newly Renovated Bungalow. Kayak/sup Tvnc-4238

                Kilauea, HI
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Kilauea, this historic vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Kalihiwai Beach and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Anini Beach. Ka Lae o Kowali and Kauai Mini Golf are also within 3 mi (5 km).