If you’ve ever wondered how sugar cane grows or just have an interest in farming in general, you’ll love to take a tour of the Grove Farm Homestead & Sugar Plantation Museum. With its start in 1870, this farm participated in Kauai’s rich tradition of growing sugar cane across its 100 acres. In addition to all that sugar, the farmlands were also used to grow banana patches and raise livestock of all kinds.
Today, over 150 years later, the farmers continue to follow the same agricultural practices as they have from the beginning — and you can see the work in action by signing up for a guided tour. You’ll need to book your spot well in advance to join one of the many groups that tour the farm each week. Held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, these Grove Farm tours take you on a two-hour trek across the land and through the many buildings on the property.
As your guide tells you all about the Wilcox family, you’ll get to see their old home plus the housekeeper’s cottage situated nearby. While walking through the gorgeous house, you’ll hear all about how the Grove Farm got its start and then landed in the hands of George Norton Wilcox. Once you make it into the kitchen, you’ll get to enjoy mint tea and cookies, which were the refreshments traditionally served to guests.
The stories will continue as you make your way across the grounds to all the cane fields, Mauka orchard, and banana patch. As you travel along the Grove Farm grounds, the gorgeous views will undoubtedly prove captivating, especially if all the orchids and other flowers are in bloom. You’ll also get a chance to peek inside the fernery where lush ferns and other leafy greens grow and thrive. All along the way, the guide will point out the pastures, poultry pens, and other beautiful spots where the livestock spend their days.
At the end of your Grove Farm tour, you can zip into the gift shop to take home a souvenir to best remember your explorations. All the items inside the shop are handmade by local artisans and the proceeds help preserve Grove Farm and other historic sites on Kauai, including the Waioli Mission House. If you want to learn more about the plantation upon returning home, be sure to buy their book about the history of the Wilcox farm.
If you walk away smitten with the garden aesthetic, plan to host your next event on their grounds. They happily open up their lawns for weddings, corporate events, and everything in between. During your festivities, they even offer guided tours of the rest of the property to all your guests. Since it’s such a popular event venue, you do have to reserve the space well ahead of time and put down a deposit to hold your spot.
-Upon arriving for your tour, check in at the old Grove Farm office to let your guide know you’re there.
-The tour is over flat ground, but you should still wear comfortable walking shoes since you’ll be on your feet for at least two hours.
-If you have limited mobility, let your guide know when you make your reservations. They will work additional rest stops into the tour or provide any other accommodations you need to make the most of your visit.
-If the rain starts coming down hard, don’t be surprised if your tour gets canceled.
-You’re allowed to take pictures all along the tour as long as you do not turn on the flash.