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The ruins of this stone fort, built in 1816 by an agent of the imperial Russian government named Anton Scheffer, are reminders of the days when Scheffer tried to conquer the island for his homeland, or so one story goes. Another claims that Scheffer's allegiance lay with King Kaumualii, who was attempting to regain leadership of his island nation from the grasp of Kamehameha the Great. The crumbling walls of the fort are not particularly interesting, but the sign loaded with historical information are.
No one knows just who built this intricate aquaculture structure in the Huleia River. Legend attributes it to the Menehune, a mythical—or real, depending on who you ask—ancient race of people known for their small stature, industrious nature, and superb stoneworking skills. Volcanic rock was cut and fit together into massive walls 4 feet thick and 5 feet high, forming an enclosure for raising mullet and other freshwater fish that has endured for centuries.
The colorful vases, bowls, and other fragile items sold in this distinctive gallery are definitely worth viewing if you appreciate quality handmade glass art. It's expensive, but if something catches your eye, they'll happily pack it for safe transport home. They also ship worldwide. www.glass-art.com.
This gallery sells art, but the owners want you to experience it as well. Sparse and dramatic, the main room at Galerie 103 consists of concrete floors and walls of featured pieces, from internationally acclaimed artists and local Kauai ones. Most of the artwork is contemporary or modern with a focus on environmental issues. www.galerie103.com.
An intimate gallery in Lihue, Art Shop sells original oils, photos, and sculptures, many by local artists, as well as art supplies and framing services.
ALOHA in this gallery's title stands for "Affordable Location of Original Hawaiian Art." A self-proclaimed "candy store for art lovers," it has a large selection of Hawaiian-theme art, ranging from $75 up to the rare $15,000, and owner Ray offers layaway plans to those who request one.
It seems a fitting tribute to see the play that put Kauai on the map. Rodgers and Hammerstein's original South Pacific has been playing at the Kauai Beach Resort to rave reviews since 2002. The full musical production, accompanied by a buffet dinner, features local talent. www.southpacifickauai.com.
A 30-acre tropical garden provides the lovely setting for this popular luau, which begins with the traditional blowing of the conch shell and imu (pig roast) ceremony, followed by cocktails, an island feast, and an international show in the amphitheater overlooking a torch-lighted lagoon. It's fairly authentic and a better deal than the pricier resort events. www.smithskauai.com.
Set on historic sugar-plantation land, this luau bills itself as the only "theatrical" luau on Kauai. The luau feast is served buffet-style, there's an open bar, and the performers aim to both entertain and educate about Hawaiian culture. Guests sit at tables around a circular stage; tables farther from the stage are elevated, providing unobstructed views. Additional packages offer visitors the opportunity to tour the 35-acre plantation via train or special romantic perks like a lei greeting and champagne. www.luaukalamaku.com.
This is a main venue for island entertainment, hosting a concert music series, visiting musicians, dramatic productions, and special events such as the International Film Festival. kauai.hawaii.edu/pac.