Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park

Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park: Stroll the Pier at Lihue's Most Underrated Park
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Embrace the simple appeal of Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park, which, while certainly not the fanciest or most expansive park near Lihue, is still worth a visit when you have time to set aside for a casual stroll. Located near the airport, this park is most frequently used by tourists killing time prior to or after their flights, although locals appreciate the unique wildlife viewing and excellent fishing. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

A wide range of spectacular parks allow you to take in iconic Hawaiian scenery as you explore Lihue. Often, however, the hidden gems are where you gain a true feeling for the local community. This is easily accomplished at the underrated Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park, which lacks a beach but is worth visiting nonetheless. This spot is compelling, in part, because of its location; situated near the airport, it makes for an easy stop when you need to kill a little time before or after your flight. 

Beyond its location, this simple, yet lovely park is best known for its historic pier, which primarily attracts local fishers but also sees its fair share of tourist activity. This is a great spot to watch (and listen to) the crashing waves. If possible, visit at sunrise, when you will be treated to a gorgeous display of colors.

The appeal of the scenery at Ahukini Recreational Pier State Parkis undeniable, but this is also a great place to spot wildlife. Manta rays are frequently seen swimming around the pier, as are turtles. Perhaps more surprising, however, are the cats frequently spotted here. While some visitors are not exactly pleased by their presence, many others are thrilled to share the park with these feline friends. Chickens are also a common sight, to the point that some visitors have been known to bring chicken feed. 

While the pier itself is constructed from cement, a wooden walkway has been added to make navigating the area a bit easier. Take your time and meander as you look up, down, and all around at the lovely scenery. 

Beyond the walkway and the easy parking, the facilities at this location are minimal. You won’t find water or restrooms, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. Chances are, however, you won’t spend more than an hour here — unless you have big plans for fishing, which is a favorite activity among the locals who gather at the pier.

When you need to stretch your legs and see the coastline from a new perspective, Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park is worth a quick stop. Take a brief stroll and discover the local appeal of this Lihue gem. 

Insider Tips:
-The views of Hanamaulu Bay are spectacular, in part, because it is a State Fishery Management Area. This also means, however, that there are major restrictions in place for spear and net fishing. If you plan on fishing, you will need to take a close look at these in advance to ensure that you comply during your visit.
-Rules also abound for casual visitors — even those with no intention of fishing. These restrictions are clearly outlined on a sign placed near the beginning of the wooden walkway. Check these out before you proceed. In general, you should be fine if you opt for a relaxed stroll, as biking, swimming, and motorized vehicles are not allowed. 
-If you have a dog, you may need to find somewhere else to explore, as the wooden walkway at the pier is, technically speaking, only open to service animals. That being said, you are likely to spot at least a few local cats during your stroll.