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Tip: This town is best known for hosting the annual Merrie Monarch Festival.
Located on the southern shore of Kauai, Hanapepe is a town that has held tenaciously to its roots and it looks just as it did over a century ago. It is one of the few towns on the island born without the heavy influence of early sugar plantations. There are at least eight art galleries, and the Children’s Garden of Peace is adjacent to the Storybook Theatre, which reside among the gift and jewelry shops and restaurants that make up the business section of this river town. Walking tour maps are available from most merchants.
Famous and off limits to the public, dramatic Manawaiopuna Falls near Hanapepe were featured in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park.” Also located in the area is Salt Pond Beach Park, named for the traditional Hawaiian sea salt produced in salt flats near the beach. Rights to process the salt are handed down each generation and sometimes families can be seen working their saltpans.
Thrillseekers can try skydiving from Hanapepe, while those who get their thrill from fresh produce can hit the weekly farmers market on Thursdays.