Shopping on Kauai
A shopping spree on Kauai mimics the island experience to a tee. You can't possibly know what to expect, and you'll have to go looking to find the treasures hidden along the way. There are shopping malls—none of them guilty of sprawl—big box discount stores, anda large department store, which is part of the national Macy's chain. But the heart of Kauai's shopping mix can be found in small, unique, owner-operated stores. There's no end to what can be discovered inside one of these shops.
Here's a short guide to the island's major shopping destinations:
Kukui Grove Shopping Center, in Lihu'e, is the largest shopping center on the island. Here you'll find Macy's, Starbucks, Long's Drugs and more. K-mart and Borders are nearby. Anchor Cove Shopping Center and Harbor Mall, smaller destinations, are located at Nawiliwili Harbor. Wal-Mart, on the north side of Lihu'e, is located near Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
The shops of Kilohana, north of Lihue on the grounds of a 1930s plantation estate, offer a selection of Kauai Made products in a pleasant surround.
South Shore shopping is concentrated in the shops and restaurants located in the Po'ipu Shopping Village, on the streets of nearby Koloa Town and in the resorts that populate the Po'ipu area. Expect to find a nice assortment of Hawaiian-influenced apparel, art, gifts and jewelry.
Kukui‘ula Shopping Village, a more than 87,000-square-foot retail center, houses boutiques, a country store, a surf and sportswear shop, a weekly farmers market, an ice cream shop, cafes and a fine dining restaurant.
Coconut Marketplace, near Kapa'a, is a visitor-friendly shopping center with 60 restaurants and shops.
Bambulei, an apparel and antiques shop in Wailua, is a find for women looking for something different. Located in Wailua, it's easy to miss. Watch for the sign just past the Wailua intersection.
In Old Kapa'a Town, a cluster of off-the-mall shops and restaurants line the streets. Park and walk to discover what's there.
West side shopping is likely to focus heavily on arts, crafts and tasty treats like handmade jellies and granola. If you come across Ni'ihau leis, though, you'll find yourself looking at the exception. Hanapepe is the place to find local art.
Kilauea, an old plantation town that's now growing its own brand of island chic, is located just off Kuhio Highway, 25 miles north of Lihu'e.
On down the road in Hanalei, a village of little shops and eateries invite exploration. Watch for offbeat, handpicked, upscale but not outrageous. Don't hurry in Hanalei. It's a shopping destination that reveals itself only after thorough and delightful investigation.
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